Fall Television Season Network Preview 2006: ABC

Going into the fall, ABC has a lot of transitioning to do. For every successful show they’ve produced such as Lost and Desperate Housewives, we get a few shows like Emily’s Reasons Why Not or Jake in Progress. Take into account the loss of a huge franchise in Monday Night Football and some cancelled shows which have provided stability like Alias and we’ve got a pivotal rebound season for ABC. Will they be able to be successful or are we seeing a continued drop from the network? We’ll take a look at their new season, new shows to watch, and returning shows with new times. (New shows in bold italics on daily schedules.)

Sunday

7-8 PM: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8-9 PM: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9-10 PM: Desperate Housewives
10 – 11 PM: Brothers & Sisters

Notes: This day stays mostly untouched, except for the movement of Grey’s Anatomy from the 10PM slot over to Thursday at 9PM. America’s Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are solid lead-ins to one of the most popular shows on television today. Desperate Housewives controls most of the female demographics and will continue to do so. We’ll have to see whether new show Brothers & Sisters will feed off Desperate Housewives much like Grey’s Anatomy did. It’s a new show starring former Ally McBeal star Calista Flockhart as a person who works in radio about to make the jump to television in Los Angeles when her boyfriend from New York proposes to her. Her and her siblings will deal with personal problems while discovering shocking truths about their family that could pull them apart. It’s an interesting concept, and we’ll see how well Flockhart does back on television. The show should get boosts from those watching Desperate Housewives.

Monday

8-9 PM: Wife Swap
9-10 PM: Supernanny/The Bachelor
10-11 PM: What About Brian?

Notes: A pivotal day for the network, they’ll try to replace the Monday Night Football franchise that has been moved to ESPN with three shows that are not new to ABC viewers. Wife Swap is an imported idea from England which as seen decent success here in the U.S., and followed by eithe Supernanny or The Bachelor will give them an interesting reality night until 10 PM. What About Brian, a show that started off late last season starring former 7th Heaven star Barry Watson who is the last of a group of married or attached friends, This show wasn’t given high reviews and with its late start, could be one of the first shows axed should they not be successful.

Tuesday

8-9 PM: Dancing with the Stars/Set for the Rest of Your Life
9-9:30 PM: Let’s Rob…
9:30-10 PM: Help Me Help You
10-11 PM: Boston Legal

Notes: Tuesday proves to be an interesting mix of reality and new shows needing a forum. The first part of the season will have the hit Dancing with the Stars returning with new contestants. After that competition, ABC brings a new gameshow back to primetime with Set for the Rest of Your Life. This gameshow will have contestants vying for paychecks ranging from $50 to $10,000 and the duration of the payment, whether it is for a month or for their lifetime. Two new sitcoms take over the 9-10 hour, with Let’s Rob, from the creators and producers of The Late Show with David Letterman. It is about a group of friends who are looking to rob Mick Jagger’s New York apartment. Ted Danson stars in the second show, Help Me Help You, as a therapist who is just as troubled as his patients. It will close off the night with Boston Legal, which boasts great performances from their great cast.

Wednesday

8-9 PM: Dancing with the Stars/George Lopez & According to Jim
9-10 PM: Lost
10-11 PM: The Nine

Notes: Again the first part of the season will be devoted to the result shows for Dancing with the Stars, but then will return with George Lopez and According to Jim after the completion of the competition. Two sitcoms which enjoyed very fast starts but have since cooled down. Lost returns for a third season and is still as strong as ever for ABC and for television in general. A solid fan base will continue to make this a high rated television show. The Nine is an interesting concept in itself, about a group of nine hostages who have been in a bank during a robbery attempt for over 50 hours and are realizing their lives are changing. Can it have success that the cancelled Invasion couldn’t behind Lost? That will make or break Wednesday night.

Thursday

8-8:30 PM: Big Day
8:30-9 PM: Notes from the Underbelly
9-10 PM: Grey’s Anatomy
10-11 PM: Six Degrees

Notes: With NBC’s new Thursday lineup having some success, CBS having the number one show in television on Thursdays, and Fox’s O.C. controlling the youth demographics, ABC needed to shake things up. They bring one of their higher rated shows into the dreaded 9 PM slot opposite The O.C. and C.S.I. Grey’s Anatomy will be preceded by two new sitcoms, Big Day and Notes from the Underbelly. Big Day follows a couple on their wedding day, which will consume the entire season. Notes from the Underbelly is a story about a couple expecting a baby and having to deal with friends and family who have different suggestions about raising the unborn child. An impressive cast including Jay Hernandez, Bridget Moynahan, and Erika Christensen star in Six Degrees, a show about strangers who find out throughout the season that their lives are all combined and affect each other. Interesting concept following on the popular six degrees of separation theory.


Friday

8-9 PM: Betty the Ugly
9-10 PM: Men in Trees
10-11 PM: 20/20

Notes: The popular news magazine 20/20 holds on to its familiar position at the 10 PM slot this night, and it will have two new shows in front of it. Betty the Ugly, which is co-produced by Salma Hayek, is about a girl from Queens who is hired to work with a publishing executive’s son, who takes over control of a fashion magazine. Men in Trees, meanwhile, stars Anne Heche, as an engaged woman who gets trapped in Alaska during a snowstorm and finds out her fiancee has been cheating on her. The town she’s stuck in is littered with available men for her.

Saturday

8-11 PM: Saturday Night College Football

Notes: ABC didn’t have much success on this night with the Disney movies, so they have shifted the direction to primetime sports. Without Monday Night Football, ABC has instead replaced it with College Football on Saturday night to keep sports a part of the lineup. It will be mostly West Coast games because of the lateness of the time, but they will feature some premiere match-ups for football fans as well.

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