It’s safe to say at least seven names will still be at ABC come autumn: “According to Jim,” “My Wife & Kids,” “Extreme Makeover,” “George Lopez,” “Hope & Faith,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Alphabet net on Monday officially ordered all seven skeins for the 2004-05 season. ABC previously greenlit a 12th and final season of “NYPD Blue” for next year.
“They’re all performing well for us; there was no question they’d be on the schedule in the fall, so why wait?” said ABC Entertainment prexy Susan Lyne. “This gives the shows a head start in staffing. They need to lock people in for the next year.”
“Jim” pickup was a no-brainer: Show is ABC’s top-rated scripted series among adults 18-49 as well as the No. 1 Tuesday night comedy in the demo. Pulling off what was once considered an unthinkable feat, “Jim” has dominated time period rival “Frasier” by 16% in adults 18-49 so far this season (4.4/11 vs. 3.8/10).
“Wife and Kids,” meanwhile, is second in its Wednesday slot with adults 18-49 (3.8/11), while “TGIF” entries “George Lopez” (2.7/9) and “Hope & Faith” (3.2/10) are also No. 1 in their timeslots in that key demo.
“Extreme Makeover” and spinoff “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” earned pickups, having both turned into solid performers for the net. “Extreme Makeover” has kept the lights on for ABC on Thursday nights, improving the net’s adults 18-49 delivery (2.8/7) by 27% vs. last year. “Home Edition” continues to blossom on Sunday nights; show has bumped ABC’s adults 18-49 performance in the 8 p.m. hour (4.1/10) by 64%.
Then there’s “Home Videos.” Lyne points out that the clip show remains one of the longest-running reality shows in primetime and says “there’s always a place for it.” Show, now hosted by Tom Bergeron, hit its 300th episode this season and has averaged a 2.8/8 with adults 18-49 on Sundays this year.
Still on the fence are laffers “I’m With Her,” “Less Than Perfect,” “It’s All Relative,” “Married to the Kellys,” “Life With Bonnie,” “8 Simple Rules” and “The Big House.” Several of those sitcoms are expected to return, as is actioner “Alias.”
“There’s more to come,” Lyne said. “We’ll have a solid base of comedies next fall, and we have several good comedies in development.”
As for the elephant in the room, Lyne admits the rumors swirling about ABC’s behind-the-scenes structure has been a bit of a distraction.
“(But) if I had something to tell you, I would, and in the meantime, we’re trying to get a great development slate finished and ready for May,” she said.
“Jim,” from Touchstone TV and Brad Grey TV, is exec produced by Jonathan Stark, Suzanne Bukinik and Marc Gurvitz. Touchstone is also behind “Wife and Kids,” which is exec produced by Damon Wayans, Don Reo, David Himelfarb and Dean Lorey.
Touchstone and Industry are behind “Hope & Faith,” which comes from exec producers Joanna Johnson, Emile Levisetti, Guymon Casady and Geyer Kosinski. “George Lopez,” from Warner Bros. TV, Mohawk and Fortis Films, is exec produced by Bruce Helford, Robert Borden, Deborah Oppenheimer and Sandra Bullock.
“Extreme Makeover,” from New Screen Entertainment and Lighthearted, is exec produced by Chuck Bangert, Lou Gorfain and Howard Schultz. “Home Edition,” from Endemol, is exec produced by Tom Forman and Craig Armstrong. Vin DiBona exec produces “Home Videos.”