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).


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 18

Bob's Burgers - "Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob decides to start serving brunch at Bob's Burgers in order to offer more strict competition against Jimmy Pesto and his pizzeria.

Bob's Burgers - "The Secret Ceramics Room of Secrets" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The kids set out to find a secret room filled with homemade ceramics which is rumored to be hidden at their school; Teddy starts a phone repair service and the adults become determined to improve his online rating.

The Simpsons - "Homer Is Where the Art Isn't" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Homer is accused of stealing a million-dollar painting, only a detective from the 1970s can clear his name.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Safe House" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Seamus threatens Kevin, Holt devises an elaborate plan to hide him in a safe house, using Jake as his guard; Kevin is miserable as the 99 works overtime to find Seamus and take him down.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Last Man on Earth - "Hamilton/Berg" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After the graveyard incident, Tandy and Todd try to convince the rest of the gang that something is wrong with Karl.

School of Rock - "Photograph" (Nickelodeon, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The whole band works together to get Zack to look perfect for photo day, so he can finally have a picture on his parents' mantle at home.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 12)

Friday, March 16

  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Watch Yara on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. J. Totah (Champions) - J. J. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew talks about Santa Clarita Diet on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.