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ABC Shakes Up Prime Time

Big shifts, lots of laughs in 2012-13 schedule

Krysten Ritter of "Don't Trust The B...In Apartment 23" Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage

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Fans of hit ABC series like Revenge and Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 will need to rearrange their fall social calendars, as Emily Thorne and the comely sociopath Chloe are moving to new digs.

After a season of holding down the Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot, the sudsy thriller Revenge will jump to Sunday nights at 9 p.m., where it will lead out of freshman phenom Once Upon a Time. Revenge will take up shop in the newly vacated Desperate Housewives time slot.

Through 20 episodes, Revenge is averaging 7.86 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo. In moving it to female-friendly Sunday night, ABC is hoping to build on the success of Season 1.

And Once Upon a Time could prove to be a killer lead-in for Revenge. In its first season, the fractured fairy tale averaged 9.94 million total viewers and a 3.1 in the demo, making it the highest-rated new drama series of 2011-12.

Meanwhile, the dysfunctional Apt. 23 gang will forsake their cushy Modern Family lead-in, making way for a new series that seems to have established itself as the in-house favorite. Like a Garden State version of 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Neighbors is about a gated community full of oddballs who weep tears of gelatinous green goo and get their nutrition from books. (Spoiler alert: Everyone in the place is an alien.)

In departing Wednesday night, Apt. 23 will form a power couple with like-minded sitcom Happy Endings. Both quirky, slightly risqué series failed to hold onto Modern Family’s incredible ratings, but together the two should offer a unique voice in a Tuesday 9-10 p.m. hour that’s wall-to-wall comedy. (Fox counters with New Girl and its freshman comedy The Mindy Project, while NBC has a pair of new projects lines up in Go On and The New Normal.)

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