Upfronts 2011: ABC Releases Its Schedule for Next Season

As Upfronts Week continues, today we get ABC’s planned schedule for the next TV season. In total, the network picked up 13 shows: 8 dramas and 5 comedies. Here’s a rundown of the new shows and where they’ll sit in the new schedule:

  • Last Man Standing [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: Starring Tim Allen, the show revolves around a “man’s man” who finds his life being dominated by women and attempts to put men back into their  “rightful place in society.” I know Tim Allen coming back to television is kind of a big deal, but they couldn’t give him something better? A show about men trying to dominate society because they now feel threatened by women? Come on, what year is this? And I know it’s a comedy but still.
  • Man Up [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30]: Three guys wonder about what it really means to be a man in today’s world. Really? I think the only thing I find hilarious in all of this is that the network is showing 2 comedies about being men, right before they air the DWTS results show.
  • Suburgatory [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 8:30]: A single father with a teenage daughter decides to move from NYC to the suburbs, much to her horror. If done right (meaning not playing on the stereotypes of city life + suburb life for too long) this could work very well with the current Wednesday night comedy lineup. Although I’m still a little pissed they cancelled Better With You.
  • Revenge [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Supposedly a female and modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, the show stars Emily Van Camp as a woman who moves to the Hamptons to get revenge on the people who ruined her family. Also stars Connor Paolo from Gossip Girl (guess we know where Eric won’t be next season…) The show sounds intriguing to say the least and I love a good mystery thriller, so we’ve got something here.
  • Charlie’s Angels [Drama – Thursdays @ 8]: Without a doubt one of the more high profile shows of the new season, we get a reboot/adaptation(?) of the original Charlie’s Angels series, produced by Drew Barrymore (who of course brought the Angels to the big screen.) For the brand name alone, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people will tune in to the premiere at least and figure their interest from there. And anyways, I’m all for girls kicking ass on TV. But Thursdays? As if my Thursdays aren’t packed enough. Although, if CW does the right thing and renews Nikita for a second season and keeps it in its current timeslot, that would certainly make for a totally awesome 2 hour block of television.
  • Once Upon A Time [Drama – Sundays @ 8]: Similar to NBC’s new show Grimm, we’ve got another show where we are to believe that fairy tales and fairy tale characters exist in our world. Both similar in the fairy tale aspect, but obviously their takes on it will be different. Question is will viewers watch both shows despite similarities? Or will one prevail over the other, which I feel might be the case? I mean we’re not talking about the same issue as True Blood vs. The Vampire Diaries, which really isn’t an issue but just a matter of comparison’s sake. TVD is on CW, mainly for teens; TB is on HBO, for older audiences – there’s little overlap, unless you’re someone like me who does watch both. But both Once Upon A Time and Grimm are broadcast network shows, and they’re more than likely aiming for the same type of viewers. At this point, I think I’ll give both a shot, but ultimately, I’m sure I’ll be choosing one over the other.
  • Pan Am [Drama – Sundays @ 10]: A 1960s-set soap following the pilots and flight attendants of Pan Am Airlines. People are looking at this as broadcast network’s attempt at a Mad Men type of show. Doesn’t really interest me all that much, not sure why.
  • Good Christian Belles [Drama – Midseason]: Leslie Bibb stars as Amanda, once a “mean girl”, who moves back to her hometown after a scandalous divorce. Amanda’s a different person than she used to be, but will her former classmates accept her now? The idea of Leslie Bibb (who I still love from her days on Popular) and Kristin Chenoweth (who is just awesome, let’s be real) in one show is more than enough reason for me to watch.
  • Missing [Drama – Midseason]: Ashley Judd plays Becca Winstone, a mother who finds out her son has disappeared while studying abroad, and is now on a mission to find him. To me, this sounds like the movie Taken, but with gender reversal. It’s another one of those shows where I feel like how long could this possibly go? Once she finds her son, it’s end game. It’s like Prison Break – the broke out of prison after season 1, and yet somehow the show went on for an additional 3 seasons. But who knows? They could do like Lost and give this whole mythological background to it and her son was missing for a reason, and so on. Could be interesting, but I feel like I could lose interest real fast too.
  • The River [Drama – Midseason]: A wildlife expert/TV personality goes missing in the Amazon, and his family, friends, and camera crew go on a hunt to find him. Meh.
  • Scandal [Drama – Midseason]: Another show from Shonda Rhimes, this one revolves around the lives of a group of crisis management consultants. For one thing, at least its not another medical drama from Rhimes. Personally, I’m intrigued by the idea of crisis management, so the show might be worth giving a shot. I’m just afraid of the show getting too soapy.
  • Apartment 23 [Comedy – Midseason]: A show about a Midwestern girl moving to the big city, who is then forced to share an apartment with a party girl of a roommate. The whole odd couple thing is always fun, plus add to that James Van der Beek playing a caricature of himself? I think we’ve got ourselves a winner here.
  • Work It [Comedy – Midseason]: Two guys can’t seem to find a job, so they decide to dress in drag and get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Again, really?! I’ve got a feeling that this won’t last long.

Other scheduling news:

  • Cougar Town has been pushed to midseason. Happy Endings will take its 9:30 slot on Wednesdays.
  • Extreme Makeover Home Edition moves from Sunday to Fridays @ 8.
  • Officially Cancelled Shows – Better With You, Brothers & Sisters, Detroit 187, Mr. Sunshine, No Ordinary Family, V, Off the Map

ABC’s new shows are definitely a mixed bag. Many of the dramas show a lot of promise, the comedies not so much. But of course, we’ll just have to wait and see. Tomorrow, we get CBS’ schedule for next season.