ABC is aiming for a 2010-11 sked that fills in a few holes while strengthening key 10 p.m. slots.
Alphabet is also plotting to getting back into the 8 p.m. game in a big way, placing two of its major new players in the timeslot: “No Ordinary Family” on Tuesdays and “My Generation” on Thursdays.
Otherwise, ABC is hoping to maintain an air of stability in spots where it has pre-existing franchises. Rather than cause too much disruption by moving shows around, the net will focus on adding frosh series to spots that need it the most.
That means ABC’s Sunday night “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers and Sisters” lineup won’t change.
Ditto Monday nights, where “Dancing With the Stars” and “Castle” combo will remain intact.
Alphabet net is likely planning to shake those two nights up in midseason, however, as it rests some shows and tests out new ones. “Brothers and Sisters,” for example, was set to get a slightly reduced 18 episode order, making room for new fare there later in the year.
On Tuesdays, Alphabet’s Michael Chiklis superhero series “No Ordinary Family” is expected to face off with Fox’s “Glee,” as well as NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and (most likely) CBS’ “NCIS.”
Given the genre power of “No Ordinary Family,” ABC likely sees the show as somewhat of a self-starter — and solid counterprogramming to the older-skewing “NCIS” and more femme-appeal “Glee.”
ABC will probably move the “Dancing With the Stars” results show back to 9 p.m., where it has done well in the past. That will give the net the opportunity to use “Dancing” to launch one of its new dramas – likely more female-oriented entries such as medical procedural “Body of Proof,” starring Dana Delany. (Another possibility: Cop drama “Detroit 1-8-7,” in case the net wants to recreate the success they had there for years with “NYPD Blue.”) Net is expected to stick with a two-hour comedy block on Wednesday, anchored by breakout hit “Modern Family” at 9 p.m., with returnees “Cougar Town” at 9:30 p.m. and “The Middle” at 8:30 p.m.
That leaves room for one new show at 8 p.m. — and the money’s on Matthew Perry’s “Mr. Sunshine,” given that auds were accustomed to seeing Perry in the 8 p.m. hour during his tenure on “Friends.”
Perry also brings a star power that could open up a night — although ABC tried that last year with other ex-NBC star, Kelsey Grammer, to unfortunate results.
At 10 p.m., ABC could go with another one of its new dramas, such as Jerry Bruckheimer’s “The Whole Truth” or cop drama “Detroit 1-8-7.” “Body of Proof” is always a possibility as well.
Then there’s Thursday, where “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” remain — although it wouldn’t be hard to imagine “Practice” taking a breather in midseason to test out another Shonda Rhimes show, the newcomer “Off the Map.”
At 8 p.m., ABC will likely hope for the “Grey’s” halo effect to help the ensembler “My Generation,” which has generated some of the best buzz of the year for pilots.
Fridays are still anyone’s guess, as the net has to decide whether to follow Fox’s lead and aggressively go with all-scripted fare from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (in front of “20/20”), or put some reality in the mix.
Net could potentially put one of the aforementioned dramas in one or both of those slots.
As for midseason, returning thriller “V” is expected to wait until then (particularly as it has received just a 13-episode order).
ABC also has the new relationship comedies “Happy Endings” and “Better Together” on tap. Both of those shows sound like potential Wednesday night entries when other shows take a rest — or could always be launched behind a 90-minute “Dancing.”
ABC holds its upfront presentation Tuesday at Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center.