Where is Addison’s new home?
As web heads and industry insiders geared up for Day 2 of upfront madness with Tuesday’s presentations from ABC, speculation centered on where the Alphabet might deploy its most potent new weapon, “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff “Private Practice.” ABC of course was keeping tight-lipped about anything to do with its upfront announcements.
Pairing “Practice,” which centers on Kate Walsh’s Addison Montgomery character exiting Seattle for a new life working at a tony Santa Monica medical group, with “Anatomy” in the Thursday 9-11 p.m. hours would make for a potent night for ABC. But the conventional wisdom is that ABC has too many holes to fill on other nights for it to use most of its ammo on Thursday.
“Practice” might well be used to help ABC fill some holes on Wednesday, especially now that it plans to hold back the return of “Lost,” its anchor on the night, until January. One scenario had new drama “Pushing Daisies,” about a detective who can touch the dead and bring them back to life, landing at 8 p.m., followed by “Private Practice” at 9 p.m. and possibly a returning drama at 10 p.m. a la “Men in Trees.” The new drama “Dirty Sexy Money” starring Peter Krause as an idealistic lawyer who’s forced by circumstance to become the legal caretaker of a powerful New York family has good buzz and could also be a contender.
The other big question surrounding ABC is what show gets the vote of confidence to land in the post-“Anatomy” 10 p.m. Thursday slot, should the net decide to relocate current occupant “October Road.” The buzz late Monday as insiders convened at the Four Seasons hotel for the annual William Morris Agency upfront bash had the plum slot going to “Cashmere Mafia,” a new Darren Star ensembler about – what else? – four successful femmes juggling families, relationships and careers.
On the unscripted side, the Oprah Winfrey-produced skein “The Big Give” is undoubtedly a contender for a fall slot, perhaps on Monday where ABC has had success with reality/alternative series.
ABC’s comedy strategy is another puzzler. It’s expected that the net will continue to aim its half-hours to Tuesday, though ABC’s lineup is definitely in transition with “According to Jim” still very much on the bubble and “George Lopez” reportedly history. The top candidate for a good slot seems to be the buzzed-about “Cavemen” project based on the recent series of Geico commercials riffing on early homosapiens trying to find their way in 21st century America.
Sunday is expected to stay status quo with the “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Brothers & Sisters.”
CW Network, in its second upfront outing, is said to have strong drama contenders that have cinched spots on the fall sked: “Gossip Girl,” about rich kids in New York; and “Reaper,” which adds to the list of new shows revolving around the people who are either vampires or dead and recently resurrected or both.
“Reaper” may well get the post-“Smallville” 9 p.m. Thursday slot now held by “Supernatural,” which is expected to graduate to a third season. “Gossip Girl” sounds tailor-made for the post “America’s Next Top Model” berth on Wednesdays. That would mean a new time slot is in store for “One Tree Hill, which skated to a renewal.
“Wild at Heart,” a family drama set at a South African game preserve, seems bound for the old “7th Heaven” 8 p.m. slot on Sunday.
CW’s lone half-hour newcomer is “Aliens in America,” about a Muslim exchange student and his friendship with an unpopular teenage boy. “Aliens” has undergone a last-minute studio shift. It’s now coproduced by CW’s parent studios, Warner Bros. TV and CBS Paramount Network TV after originating studio, NBC Universal TV Studio, bowed out because of financial concerns about the cost of producing a single-cam show on the CW (though NBC U TV retains a small piece as insurance on the off chance that it becomes a monster hit).