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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March)

227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season

02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbrekable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 22

The Goldbergs - "O Captain! My Captain!" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Beverly substitutes for Barry’s chemistry class in hopes to inspire students in the same way as Mr. Keating from “Dead Poets Society,” much to Barry’s embarrassment.  When Beverly refuses to give Barry special treatment, Murray pushes Barry to work hard and prove to her that he can get a good grade.

Speechless - "R-O--ROAD T-R--TRIP" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family goes on an annual impromptu family road trip, but Ray has something in store, which angers Maya when she finds out what it is.  But Maya’s relentlessness proves to be helpful when she takes control of an emergency situation involving Ray’s appendix.

Modern Family - "Ringmaster Keifth" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Trying to recover from his Thanksgiving debacle, Cam decides to treat the family to a New Year’s Day feast. After realizing that Cam’s recent attempt is also a complete fail and in order to salvage their meal, Mitch uses a “concierge gift card” that he received as a Christmas gift. Cam soon discovers that the concierge who is on his way to save the day is none other than his ex-boyfriend, Keifth (Kelsey Grammar), a former circus ringmaster who left him without saying goodbye. Meanwhile, Phil’s dad, Frank (Fred Willard) arrives with his new girlfriend, who happens to be Phil’s childhood babysitter, which sets him on a confusing tailspin. Finally, Gloria and Jay have to decide who should take care of little Joe if something should ever happen to them.

black-ish - "40 Acres and a Vote" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With Obama leaving office and the upcoming election, Dre finds a new candidate to believe in – Junior. Junior is running for class president and is overqualified for the job, but he just can’t seem to connect with his fellow classmates. Dre becomes his campaign manager and tries to make Junior appeal to the masses. Meanwhile, Pops, Johan and Jack discuss why they’re not voting in the upcoming election, and Bow is worried that Zoey’s college essay is not going to get her into college.

Schitt's Creek - "Stop Saying Lice!" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny tries to stop the spread of lice; Moira tries to get out of having a garden named after her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 20)

Wednesday, March 22

  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - Watch America on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Woody stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley) - Michael appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • H. Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers) - H. Jon is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kristen Bell (The Good Place) - Kristen visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Gad (The Comedians/1600 Penn/Back to You) - Josh drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) - Judy appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Greg Proops (True Jackson, VP) - Greg is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Eugene Mirman (Bob's Burgers) - Eugene appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) - Laura stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She also talks about Wilson and The Founder on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Lena Dunham (Girls) - Lena is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Rhea Perlman (Cheers/Kirstie) - Rhea talks about Me and My Grandma on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 4:30pm.