Tuesday, May 10, 2011

SitcomsOnline.com 2011-12 Upfront Preview: ABC; Fox Extends Family Guy, Cleveland Show to 2013

ABC will need some new drama hits to go along with a few new comedies to strengthen their line-up and a lot of their pilots could deliver. We will likely see some veteran series take a backseat or moved to another time period to make room for fresher series.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com ABC 2011-12 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Missing (drama, 10 episodes) and Celebrity Wife Swap (reality, 6 episodes).
Already Renewed Returning Series: The Bachelor, Castle, Cougar Town, The Middle, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice.
Likely Returning Series: 20/20, America's Funniest Home Videos, Body of Proof, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Brothers & Sisters, V, Happy Endings, Secret Millionaire, Shark Tank, and Wipeout.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: My Generation, Supernanny, The Whole Truth, Skating with the Stars, Detroit 1-8-7, No Ordinary Family, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Off the Map, Better With You and Mr. Sunshine.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups: Charlie's Angels (drama for fall), Damage Control (drama for fall), Pan Am (drama for fall), Last Man Standing (comedy for fall), Smothered (comedy for fall), Suburgatory (comedy for fall), Apartment 23 (comedy for fall), The River (drama for mid-season), Good Christian Bitches (drama for mid-season), Hallelujah (drama for mid-season), and My Freakin Family (comedy for mid-season).

OUR FALL 2011 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM Secret Millionaire
9:00PM Charlie's Angels (NEW!)
10:00PM Desperate Housewives

Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
10:00PM Pan Am (NEW!)

Tuesdays
8:00PM Last Man Standing (NEW!)
8:30PM Smothered (NEW!)
9:00PM Dancing with the Stars: The Results
10:00PM Body of Proof

Wednesdays
8:00PM The Middle
8:30PM Suburgatory (NEW!)
9:00PM Modern Family
9:30PM Apartment 23 (NEW!)
10:00PM Cougar Town
10:30PM Happy Endings

Thursdays
8:00PM Castle
9:00PM Grey's Anatomy
10:00PM Damage Control (NEW!)

Fridays
8:00PM You Deserve It (NEW!)
9:00PM Shark Tank
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM College Football

Comments: ABC will likely bulk up on comedies, with as many as four hours maybe over two nights. They also have some drama pilots that are promising and are getting good marks from screenings. But scheduling will be key as always. So let's look at each night. I'll start with Mondays. Dancing with the Stars is a no-brainer from 8-10pm. ABC will easily fill the two-hour hole from Jan-Mar with The Bachelor but perhaps at 10pm, a new drama like the talked about new pilot Pan Am could take the time period? Castle is strong enough to air on another night, I think. Since The Bachelor is a younger audience than Dancing, maybe a new drama will premiere to give Pan Am a break, if that should hit. Options could be Georgetown or Revenge, as these seem like would be young skewing but right now they haven't tested too well. Or they could go with something more buzz worthy like Good Christian Bitches or the Marc Cherry drama Hallelujah.
On Tuesdays, Dancing with the Stars: The Results will likely remain at 9pm in the fall, to further build on the success of Body of Proof at 10pm. The 8pm hour needs work, perhaps two traditional comedies would work best. Tim Allen's return to TV would be big in Last Man Standing and could be the ideal series to lead off the night followed by another new multi-camera comedy titled Smothered, which is testing well. But what will happen once December comes when Dancing ends after November? ABC could use Celebrity Wife Swap in the time period in December or perhaps bring back V in "mini-series" form for 4 or 5 weeks, with a few two-hour episodes in there to cut down on repeats and liven up the holiday month. Then in early 2010, the Ashley Judd drama Missing could air in January and February at 9pm holding the Dancing time period. The series has been given a 10-episode blind commitment. Winter Wipeout is also an option, should they decide on another in-season season.
For Wednesdays, ABC should just remain comedies on this night in the fall. Give 10pm more time to grow and more promotion over the summer. The Middle will continue to lead off and Modern Family will anchor the night at 9pm, but new comedies will be needed at 8:30 and 9:30pm, I think. Two comedies getting high marks are the family comedy Suburgatory and Apartment 23. Those two would be ideal candidates. Cougar Town and Happy Endings could work in the 10pm hour given some time. Both series are a match made in heaven. Mr. Sunshine has a 50/50 chance of returning, but with so many comedies, I'm leaving it off. ABC could order one more comedy for this night for mid-season, should anything fail, perhaps My Freakin' Family? A drama could be used in mid-season at 10pm to rest the 10pm comedies, as they probably wouldn't repeat as well as the family comedies.
As for Thursdays, the 8pm slot has been troublesome for ABC in the past few seasons. I think ABC needs to air a familiar series and something that is already a hit, such as Castle. It might be good counter programming to CBS and NBC's comedies and Fox's reality. Plus Bones isn't going to air here. I don't think there is a doubt that Grey's Anatomy is at 9pm, but Private Practice could be saved for mid-season to launch a new drama, such as Damage Control, also from Shonda Rhimes. This one isn't medical, though. Private, which is already renewed, would return in mid-season in this time period or elsewhere should Damage do big.
As for Fridays, ABC will likely keep the same plan and go with unscripted. I don't think Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Fridays will happen. ABC usually uses Fridays for encores the first month or so for the season from 8-10pm, and that will likely happen again. Shark Tank will definitely be back I think and should be aired at 9pm. Primetime: What Would You Do? would return later in the year and 20/20 is at 10pm, of course. 8pm is the question mark. Perhaps they go with a cheap game show such as the upcoming You Deserve It, hosted by Chris Harrison, as it doesn't seem like comedies are coming there this season. The game show would launch in mid-October so it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle during the first few weeks of the season. ABC could use a drama on this night, like Identity, but they have to worry more about promoting Sun-Thurs.
On Saturdays ABC will have College Football in the fall and then movies and/or repeats for the rest of the season. Sad, but nothing can be done right now. Finally, on Sundays, I mentioned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition before, but I think it will held until mid-season so Secret Millionaire can air in the fall at 8pm out of AFV at 7. At 9pm Desperate Housewives could either lead-in to the new revival of Charlie's Angels at 10 but I am going with the opposite because Charlie's seems like an 8 or 9pm show and it could hit with 18-49. Season six of Brothers & Sisters is more likely now, but it will be a very short order, perhaps as low as 6 episodes. They could use it to replace repeats, perhaps in January or March/April.
I think ABC needs to take more chances this season and with a new man in charge, Paul Lee, I think that is what we will see. They have some very buzz-worthy drama pilots coming up again and the comedies seems good as well. This is a much better class than last season. They have fresh new ideas of shows with shows like The River, which could satisfy LOST fans and be the event series we need in mid-season to air repeat free. This was a tough schedule to predict, as I personally would do things different but this is how I see ABC going. Yesterday's NBC and Fox schedules were also predictions, not what I would do. Scheduling is the key ingredient and let's hope ABC makes it right.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own.

Remember, next Tuesday (May 17) is the actual date when we will find out ABC's plans for the 2011-12 season. So, come on back next Tuesday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong!). Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on CBS's upfront!


Fox has renewed Animation Domination comedies Family Guy for a tenth season and The Cleveland Show for a fourth season, These seasons are NOT next season, but for 2012-13. These two were already renewed for next season, the ninth and third seasons, respectively.
Look for the second season finale of The Cleveland Show this Sunday at 9:30pm and the one-hour eighth season finale of Family Guy the following week on May 22 from 9-10pm.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 19

The Big Bang Theory - "The Solo Oscillation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Sheldon kicks Amy out to work solo, she and Leonard bond during a series of science experiments. Also, Bert the geologist replaces Wolowitz in the band Footprints on the Moon, and Sheldon finds Penny a surprising source of scientific inspiration. Laurie Metcalf returns as Sheldon’s mother, Mary.

Young Sheldon - "Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A worried Mary sends Sheldon to Sunday school after she finds him playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends Tam and Billy. Billy Gardell guest stars as Billy Sparks’ father, Herschel.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "The Suitcase" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Josh Segal and Associates get their first case, defending Lavinia Peck-Foster, the eccentric First Lady of East Peck, who was found with her husband Edgar's corpse in a suitcase in her trunk. Lavinia is surly, entitled, larger than life and, instead of hugs, her currency of connection is a face slap. On the other hand, she is wealthy so she can pay him. Winning this case could be Josh's ticket for his true goal, to be considered a "Pecker." Unfortunately, complications and bodies keep piling up and there are more questions than answers.

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - "The Timeline" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Judge Kamiltow rules that Lavinia must stand trial for the murder of her husband, Josh and the team try to poke holes in the timeline of the case Carol Anne will present. But when a clock is determined to be the murder weapon, they are forced to seek help from two unlikely sources - the convicted murderer of Lavinia's brother and the host of a popular murder podcast called M-Town.

American Woman - "The Heat Wave" (Paramount Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie invites her co-worker Louise to join her and her friends at her pool; Diana asks for a promotion at work, as she struggles to get along with her overbearing mother.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 16)

Thursday, July 19

  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Catch Jim on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He will also be on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo, Access Live (check your local listings) and on People Now on PeopleTV at 12pm.
  • Amanda Peet (Brockmire/Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Daveed Diggs (black-ish) - Daveed visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) and Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House) - Olivia, Keegan-Michael and the cast of The Predator are guests on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Joel McHale (Community/The Great Indoors) - Joel stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. He will also be on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Constance drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rob Riggle (Rob Riggle's Ski Academy/Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Esther Povitsky (Alone Together) - Esther appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy talks about Claws on People Now on PeopleTV at 12pm.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Sherri/Less Than Perfect - Sherri talks about Trial & Error: Lady, Killer on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On/Starved) - Laura cooks with Clinton Kelly on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Trial & Error: Lady, Killer/Kristin) - Kristin talks about Trial & Error: Lady, Killer on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July)

New Girl - The Complete Seventh Season Alice - The Complete Seventh Season Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season The Good Place - The Complete Second Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
07/03 - New Girl - The Final (Seventh) Season
07/10 - Alice - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - The Bill Engvall Show - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
07/10 - Green Acres - The Final (Sixth) Season
07/10 - The Last Man on Earth - The Complete Fourth Season
07/17 - Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - The Complete Series
07/17 - The Good Place - The Complete Second Season
07/17 - Son of Zorn - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest