Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ABC Upfronts

ABC held their annual "upfront" presentation today to preview their 2009/10 prime time season. I'm covering the upfronts at all the major networks on my personal blog.

Here's today's update on ABC:

Next up on the agenda, the only network that I actually own stock in! That doesn't mean I watch it regularly or anything though.

Summary: "Ugly Betty" moves to Friday for reasons past anyone's understanding, Wednesday has nothing but new shows, thus ensuring one of them will get canceled in time for Lost to come back in the fall, "Scrubs" lives on also for reasons past anyone's understanding.

The Good: "Dancing With the Stars" and the entire Sunday lineup ensure the network is a player regardless of any other goofiness. "V" and "Flash Forward" both sound ambitious and potentially interesting but these kinds of shows are always hit or miss so I'm a little leery to get into one and then find it canceled in a month. Ed O'Neill and Julie Bowen star in an Office-style comedy that I'm really not interested in but I love the two of them so I may have to try it.

The Bad: "Ugly Betty" to Friday is a horrible idea on every imaginable level. It should be getting paired with "Dancing" if they don't like it on Friday or let it anchor Wednesday. So many of the new shows sound horrible including two comedies involving the financial crisis. Everybody knows that in bad economic times people flock to escapist shows about rich people. It was "Dallas" in the 80's and, hell, just look at the ridiculous popularity of "The Hills" and its various and sundry spinoffs right now. How the marketing machine never got behind "Dirty Sexy Money" enough to make it a huge hit is completely beyond me.

The Weird: "Scrubs" is back despite airing two series finales in, like, the last three years. Courtney Cox's "Cougar Town" can't possibly be good but might be popular if it could escape the black hole-like Wednesday 9:30 death slot it's in.

Final Thoughts: History shows us that at least one of these new shows is going to be a hit despite the fact that, like Fox, none of these look particularly appealing to me or any large number of people I can fathom. If I were to venture a guess, I'd say that "The Forgotten" has a decent shot, seeing as it's a Jerry Bruckheimer produced crime procedural with a Dancing with the Stars lead in. "V" could work out with good reviews and a decent timeslot when it debuts mid-season (though the fact that they're holding off until mid-season for it might mean they already consider it dead.) "Flash Forward" sounds too high concept for that Thursday night block they put it in but they must have some faith since they bumped "Ugly Betty" for it. Like Fox, nothing on this schedule is going to make or break the network's current position. They don't have a "CSI" to catapult them to the top but nothing is going to hurt the popularity of Dancing, Grey's, Lost, Desperate, etc.

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