Off-season franchises set for end of May

ABC is getting an early start on summer, launching several of its off-season franchises at the end of May.

Joining “The Bachelorette,” which the net had already booked for May 18 (Daily Variety, March 4), the second seasons of “Here Come the Newlyweds” and “Wipeout,” as well as new animated laffer “The Goode Family,” will all bow before the month is up.

Also on deck for summer: athletic competish “The Superstars,” the return of “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” and newcomer “Dating in the Dark.”

“Bachelorette” — now a two-hour series — will move into its regular Monday 8 p.m. slot on May 25, a week after its bow. That will lead into the return of “Here Come the Newlyweds,” which will air Mondays at 10 starting that night.

Also that week, last summer’s breakout hit “Wipeout,” returns on Wednesday, May 27, at 8 p.m. — leading into the bow of “Goode Family,” the new half-hour from “King of the Hill” alums Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, as well as MRC and 3 Arts. Alphabet will pair “Goode Family” with the live-action Bob Saget laffer “Surviving Suburbia,” which moves to Wednesdays at 9:30 starting that night.

Once those comedies complete their run, “Japanese Game Show” will slide into that Wednesday at 9 p.m. slot starting July 8.

“The Superstars,” which pairs eight celebs with pro athletes to compete in various sporting events, joins the Tuesday night competish starting June 23 at 8.

Meanwhile, “Dating in the Dark” replaces “Newlyweds” in the Monday 10 p.m. slot starting July 20. Show follows men and women who are sequestered from each other — but go on dates in completely dark rooms, so that they get to know each other without knowing what they look like.

Also, in a move that will please the fans of shows yanked earlier in the year — and help amortize the costs of said shows — ABC is turning its Saturday night 10 p.m. slot into burn-off theater.

In what the network ought to dub “Last Chance TV,” leftover episodes of canceled series will be featured: “Pushing Daisies” from May 30-June 13; “Eli Stone” from June 20-July 11; and “Dirty Sexy Money” from July 18- Aug. 8.

“Bachelorette” comes from Mike Fleiss’ Next Entertainment and Warner Horizon; “Newlyweds” is produced by the Jay and Tony Show and Warner Horizon. “Wipeout” is from Endemol USA, as is “Dating in the Dark” (which also comes from Talpa Content). “Superstars” is produced by Juma Entertainment and Best, while “Japanese Game Show” is from A. Smith & Co. and Babyfoot APS Denmark.

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