ABC, like many of the broadcast nets had a tough year such that, they are probably going to end up in last place among the Big 4 nets in the 18-49 demo. The only scripted show from their ’04 resurgence (Lost, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal etc.), Grey’s Anatomy is beginning to show its age. Their Sunday night lineup of Once Upon a Time and Revenge didn’t hit their heights of previous years. The coolest and youngest-skewing comedies, Don’t Trust the B and Happy Endings, were both mismanaged and canceled, and Dancing with the Stars is finally beginning to falter on both nights. The lone bright spot of the year is that Scandal is turning into a bonafide hit. It’s recently eclipsed Greys’ ratings! With that, ABC is going to the well with a mix of femme-skewing, and family-driven fare.
New Shows: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, Lucky 7, Back in the Game, Super Fun Night, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Betrayal, Resurrection, and Mixology.
Similar to NBC, ABC has ordered a staggering amount of new shows to series. Their most likely success will of course be Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. It was only a matter of time before corporate synergy found a way to get Marvel’s massively popular comic books reconfigured for TV. With Joss Whedon at the helm, this show should be nothing other than a safe bet. It will be going up against NCIS, but I doubt these shows will overlap demographically speaking. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has a tough job of opening Thursdays, but it’s a familar property, so that should help. Also Super Fun Night, starring current It Girl, Rebel Wilson, should find success nestled after Modern Family.
Where I’m concerned with ABC is that everything else looks extremely derivative and devoid of a soul. Lucky 7 will probably be good, but will probably be an early casualty. Everything else looks like exactly what ABC has been trotting out the last few years. Back in the Game looks horrendous, and Betrayal is the worst title for a show since Deception, or Revenge. A smart move ABC has taken is turning Dancing with the Stars into a once-a-week show. Hopefully that will stop the bleeding, and also give ABC the chance to get more scripted hours back on tv. If SHIELD is a hit, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland does respectably, ABC will be onto something. They can repurpose themselves from being soapy shows for women to being a network with actual family appeal. Each of their 8pm hours has a show the entire family can watch together.