Tuesday, May 16, 2006
ABC announced their 2006-2007 Fall TV schedule today. My overall reaction to the line-up is 'interesting'. One complaint I have is that the network is relying too much on reality television - I can understand why the high-rated DANCING WITH THE STARS is back, but why ABC is returning THE BACHELOR is a huge mystery to me. I think Monday night looks extremely weak for the network, and the decision to not move GREY'S ANATOMY here [instead of the Thursday parking spot] is a mistake. So let's begin with Monday Night: As I just mentioned, this is a HUGE weak spot. First, the middling-rated WIFE SWAP will kick things off. That show is then followed by the - YAWWWWNNNN - umpteenth cycle of THE BACHELOR. Finishing the night off is the ratings-challenged WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, a show that should have been canned. But since JJ ABRAMS (of LOST) is the force behind the show, maybe ABC is giving the series a second chance to keep the peace with the producer. What REALLY would have helped BRIAN is if GREYS ANATOMY had moved into the BACHELOR spot. That would have insured BRIAN some good ratings. ...TUESDAYS look a little better for ABC, provided that America hasn't burned out yet on the DANCING WITH THE STARS phenomenon. If that show is still a hit, then the payoff will be good for new comedies LET'S ROB... and HELP ME HELP YOU that follow it. LET'S ROB...is an interesting high-concept com about a group of misfits who are targeting to rob Mick Jagger's penthouse in New York. It's sorta of like PRISON BREAK without the Prison or the break-out or the drama. As for HELP ME HELP YOU, Ted Danson returns to TV comedy as a therapist. Let's hope this one is funnier than BECKER. BOSTON LEGAL keeps the legal profession BARELY still alive on network TV. But I have to wonder how a has-been show like BOSTON LEGAL can do any ratings justice for ABC anymore.... Wednesday night is a draw for the network. Things begin with the DANCING WITH THE STARS results show. Again, if the joy of DANCING is gone, there won't be much celebrating for LOST and newcomer THE NINE. LOST saw a ratings slide this past season, and the now-cancelled INVASION that followed it only retained half of LOST's ratings. I don't see how THE NINE will do any better than INVASION did unless THE NINE is a riveting series. The plot of THE NINE revolves around the victims of a bank robbery and how they deal with the post-traumatic stress of the event. To me, it sounds like a hard series to keep the creativing up on. Plus, there just seems to be too many season-long crisis shows on the networks lately (24, PRISON BREAK, KIDNAPPED, THE HEIST, etc). ...Thursdays will be an interesting night for ABC - and for all networks. The 9 PM EST hour is shaping up to be BRUTAL now that ABC has moved GREY'S ANATOMY to this night and time. It will go up against NBC's top pick of the season STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP and TV's top drama CSI. It won't help GREYS having a weak comedy hour leading into it: BIG DAY and NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY or a new drama in SIX DEGREES after it. GREYS has been doing great on SUndays following DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, but to move it to brutal Thursday with no established hits before or after it is a HUGE gamble. IF the gamble is good, ABC will be heroic for the season. But if it flops out, the net will be hurting - and moving GREYS to Monday at 9 PM will be the best recourse the network would then have to take....The new ABC show that I am most excited about kicks off Friday night: BETTY THE UGLY, which is a comedy about a corporate climber set inside the world of high fashion. This show should do well, especially if the summer flick THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA succeeds. BETTY's biggest competition will be DEAL OR NEW DEAL on NBC, as well as CBS's THE GHOST WHISPERER (assuming CBS keeps that series where it currently is). Also not in BETTY's favor is the weak line-up following it: MEN IN TREES at 9 and 20/20 at 10. Honestly, I think BETTY THE UGLY would have shone best following the coveted post-DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES slot on Sunday nights....ABC will have ABC SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on Saturdays...And on Sundays, things kick off with AMERICAS FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS followed by EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES will continue to thrive for the net at 9 PM and should allow great things to happen for new series BROTHERS & SISTERS following it. BROTHERS & SISTERS is a family drama with soapy elements. If the show is off-beat and quirky like HOUSEWIVES, ABC could have another major hit on it's hands. I just think the current title of this new show is very weak.