Schedule-wise, here’s what ABC has for y’all:

Mondays: 8 p.m., Dancing with the Stars (The Bachelor after Dancing completes its run); 10 p.m., Castle

Tuesdays: 8 p.m., The Shark Tank (new reality show); 9 p.m., Dancing with the Stars Results Show (Scrubs and after Better Off Ted after Dancing completes its run); 10 p.m., The Forgotten (new drama)

Wednesday: 8 p.m., Hank (new comedy); 8:30 p.m., The Middle (new comedy); 9 p.m., Modern Family (new comedy); 9:30 p.m., Cougar Town (new comedy); 10 p.m., Eastwick (new drama)

Thursday: 8 p.m., Flash Forward (new drama); 9 p.m., Grey’s Anatomy; 10 p.m., Private Practice

Friday: 8 p.m., Supernanny; 9 p.m., Ugly Betty; 10 p.m., 20/20

Saturday: 8 p.m., College Football

Sunday: 7 p.m., America’s Funniest Home Videos; 8 p.m., Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; 9 p.m., Desperate Housewives; 10 p.m., Brothers & Sisters

* New shows on the bench for midseason include the dramas Deep End, Happy Town and V. Also waiting in the wings: True Beauty and Wife Swap.

My initial thoughts:

- Mondays: ABC doesn’t exist for me until Castle

- Tuesdays: Ditto in the fall.  For mid-season, probably giving Better Off Ted a try.

- Wednesdays: Got nothing I want.

- Thursdays: Flash Forward might bear investigation.  Will still be fighting with the wife over who gets to watch what first, my CW stuff or her ABC stuff.

- Fridays: I’m sure I’ll be drunk.

- Saturday: Drunk and watching football.

- Sunday: Desperate and B&S with the wife.  Kill me now.

Honestly, ABC has been a desert of good programming for me for years.  There’s sporadic life here and there, but the Aplhabet is catering to a demo that definitely ain’t me.

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ABC has yet to reveal its formal schedule for the upcoming TV season, but some details are piercing the veil, spearheaded by word that ABC has canceled Christina Applegate’s Samantha Who?According to Variety, the show, which was expected to return, was the latest victim of a down economy and belt-tightening measures the network was forced to take.  In lieu of cancellation, ABC mulled such ideas as plans to go to a multi-camera format rater than the more-theatrical single camera format the show previously utilized, and / or slashing up to $500,000 from the budget of each episode.  Once the network decided to load its schedule with 10 new shows, Samantha Who? suddenly became quite expendable. 

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as Michael Ausiello has brought word that ABC has renewed my favorite show on the network, Castle, as well as Better Off Ted and Scrubs, which deems to live off the blood of other shows like a vampire to keep going.  In the latter show, Zach Braff is reported to return for six episodes.  Castle has started off solid and Nathan Fillion more than deserves some steady work for a few years in a role that’s tailor-made for his talents.  Other pick-ups this past Friday include the following:

  • ABC Studios’ Happy Town, a small-town murder mystery from scribes/co-showrunners Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg
  • 20th Century Fox TV’s The Deep End, a legal dramedy from scribe Dave Hemingson
  • Warner Bros. TV’s The Forgotten, a Jerry Bruckheimer TV vehicle about amateur detectives devoted to solving the murders of unidentified victims, from scribe Mark Friedman
  • Warner Bros. TV’s Eastwick, a redo of 1987 pic “The Witches of Eastwick,” from scribe Maggie Friedman
  • Warner Bros. TV’s V, a “reimagining” of the 1980s mini revolving around aliens infiltrating Earth, penned by Scott Peters. It’s expected to be presented as a 13-episode limited-series “event.”

They’ll join Flash Forward, which was previously announced.  As for new comedies, ABC is going with the following:

  • ABC Studios’ Cougar Town, featuring Courtney Cox as a newly single mom with a 17-year-old son, from scribe Bill Lawrence
  • Warner Bros. TV’s The Middle, starring Patricia Heaton as a middle-class Midwestern mom, from writers DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler
  • Warner Bros. TV’s Hank, starring Kelsey Grammer as a once-hotshot Wall Streeter who is forced to return to his small-town home, from writer Tucker Cawley.

They also join the previously announced Modern Family.  Of these new pick-ups, the two showing up on my personal radar will of course be V and also Flash Forward.  Glad that Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell has landed on her feet (in addition to the hydrogen bomb) with V.  Her presence can only serve to improve the show, for which I have high hopes, considering my love for the original.  Let’s hope it’s more Battlestar Galactica than Knight Rider.

Finally, in a surprising bit of news with sister network, ESPN, former Buccanneers coach, Jon Gruden will be replacing Tony Kornheiser on Monday Night Football.  I think “Chucky” could be an interesting addition, but considering his age (he’s only 46), it’s a certainty that this move is transitory at best.  I’d give it one season before Gruden is calling the shots on another sideline.  And I don’t buy Kornheiser, who is great on PTI, by the way, John Madden-ing away the ouster by attributing it partly to fear of flying.  They’ve been juggling this MNF lineup forever and I don’t see that stopping any time soon.

More details as they come, including ABC’s official fall schedule.


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