ABC Shakes Up Prime Time

Big shifts, lots of laughs in 2012-13 schedule

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.)

On the drama front, ABC is battening down the hatches with Last Resort, an Andre Braugher thriller about the crew of a nuclear sub that establishes its vessel as an independent nation-state. Last Resort bows Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Also in the works is the supernatural drama 666 Park Avenue, which stars Lost alum Terry O’Quinn, and Nashville, a countrified musical drama that’s a bit like Smash with steel guitars and twangy vocals. Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere star.

ABC officially unveils its 2012-13 prime-time lineup on Tuesday afternoon. The fall roster is listed below; new series are in bold:

MONDAY           
8-10 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars
10-11 p.m. — Castle

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars (results show)
9-9:30 p.m. — Happy Endings
9:30-10 p.m. — Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
10 p.m. — Private Practice

WEDNESDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — The Middle
8:30-9 p.m. — Suburgatory
9-9:30 p.m. — Modern Family
9:30-10 p.m. — The Neighbors
10-11 p.m. — Nashville

THURSDAY
8-9 p.m. — The Last Resort
9-10 p.m. — Grey’s Anatomy
10-11 p.m. — Scandal

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — Shark Tank
9-10 p.m. — Primetime: What Would You Do?
10-11 p.m. — 20/20

SATURDAY
8 p.m. — Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY
7-8 p.m. — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8-9 p.m. — Once Upon a Time
9-10 p.m. — Revenge
10-11 p.m. — 666 Park Avenue