ABC has announced it will return According to Jim on Tuesday, March 24 and air it in the 8-9pm hour with two back-to-back episodes. The series aired 6 episodes during the holidays and didn't do too well, but that was during a low-rated month. Now the series has 12 episodes left and these will be the final 12 for this long-running sitcom. They will air them in six weeks through Tuesday, May 5, which will be the series finale (they will be preempted on April 7 for Charlie Brown Easter). According to Jim will replace Homeland Security, USA, which will have its final Tuesday broadcast next week. The show still has 5 episodes left in this season's order, and will likely air elsewhere.
With the return of According to Jim, ABC will have comedy hours three nights a week in the 8-9pm hour from Tuesdays through Thursdays. Scrubs returns with new episodes and Better Off Ted launches Wednesdays starting March 18 in the 8pm hour, then Jim returns Tuesdays starting March 24, and Thursdays will see the launch of In the Motherhood and the return of Samantha Who? starting March 26.
According to Jim and Scrubs are both ending their runs after eight seasons a piece this season and ABC is trying to create a comedy block for next year, so the end of these two will provide a start. Both series will have their series finale on back-to-back nights (May 5 and May 6). Dancing with the Stars will probably give the comedies a good push for promotion, as the new Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia will premiere a few weeks later on Monday, April 6 at 9:30pm, giving ABC another comedy. ABC hasn't had this many sitcoms since like 2002 and 2003, when their promotion were called "ABC Happy Hour" and "Comedy Rules." For the sake of sitcoms, let's hope this works and I could certainly see a four-comedy night return to ABC next fall...with hopefully all traditional multi-camera sitcoms. Surviving Suburbia is a good start!
As for you Jim fans, here are the episode titles the first two weeks: March 24 - "The Ego Boost" and "The Yoga Bear." March 31 - "Kyle's Crush" and "The Meaningful Gift." Then jumping a month later on May 5, the series finale "Heaven Opposed to Hell" will have many guest stars! Kimberly Williams-Paisley returns and Dan Aykroyd, Erik Estrada, Lee Majors, and Mitch Rouse are among the guests who also return.
In a broadcast first, Glee, the new one-hour musical comedy series from Ryan Murphy, will get a special preview following American Idol's performance finale on Tuesday, May 19 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox. The show will then premiere in the fall (date to be announced). So the series will get a special preview before returning about four months later. Will this work? It won't have an Idol lead-in in the fall, that's for sure. We shall see.
Glee is an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present, so it should blend well with American Idol.
But before Glee, Fox will hop aboard the "Crazy Train" when Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne turn another television convention upside down and inside out with their new series Osbournes: Reloaded premiering after American Idol on Tuesday, March 31 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT.
The variety series features audience interaction, rowdy comedy and hilarious stunts that will shock and amuse. Outrageous sensibility and brash humor are at the core of the series filmed on location and in front of a studio audience that never knows what to expect from the First Family of Rock. Following the premiere, Osbournes: Reloaded will return to the Fox schedule as a series of one-hour specials to air later in the season, as six episodes were ordered in all. So this means Fringe won't return until April 7. The creepy drama series has 7 episodes left from its 21 episode order and hasn't aired since Feb. 10. So with the Glee premiere and the preemption on March 31 for the Osbournes, the Fringe finale will likely air out of sweeps with no American Idol lead-in on May 26. And if Osbournes does very well, Fringe could be preempted more likely. So Fringe has to watch its back, as the show really hasn't done that well in the ratings.