The Programming Insider: The Upfronts, Day Two

ABC unveils 2011-12 programming plans

In Today's Issue

Prime-Time Metered Market Monday Ratings: Easy Victory for ABC
ABC in 2011-12: Seven New Fall Series, Changes on Five Nights
Fox in 2011-12: Five New Fall Series, Changes on Five Nights
On the Air Tonight: Prime-Time Programming Options
TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest
TV Trivia Time: A Real Shark


Easy Victory for ABC

Monday 5/16/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.  All times are ET/PT.

Household Rating/Share
ABC: 12.8/20, CBS: 5.5/ 8, Fox: 5.1/ 8, NBC: 3.0/ 5, CW: 1.3/ 2

Note: The year-to-year comparisons are not available today.

Yesterday’s Winners:  
Dancing With the Stars (ABC), Castle (ABC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS)

Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
Chuck (NBC), Mad Love (CBS), 90210 (CW), The Event (NBC), Gossip Girl (CW), Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)

Note: The fast affiliate results for Monday will be posted at PIFeedback by 12 p.m. ET.  Go to the website, click on Ratings Box (the first category), then Last Night’s Results, and Monday, May 9, 2011.  

Ratings Breakdown:
ABC danced its way to another overnight Monday victory care of Dancing With the Stars, which stood well above anything else last night with a 14.8 rating/22 share from 8-10 p.m. The half-hour breakdown was as follows: 13.6/21 – 14.8/22 – 15.6/23 – 15.4/23.  My pick to bid adieu tonight: Ralph “The Karate Kid” Macchio.

Next on ABC was the season finale of Castle at a dominant 8.6/14 at 10 p.m.  Comparably, however, retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of Dancing With the Stars was only 56 percent.

In series-finale news, CBS sitcom Mad Love, which the viewers were never mad about, earned its cancellation stripes with a third-place 3.9/ 6 at 8:30 p.m.  Comparably, that dipped from the season finale of demo friendly lead-in How I Met Your Mother (#3: 5.2/ 8 at 8 p.m.) by 25 percent.  Next was a repeat of Two and a Half Men (#2: 4.6/ 7 at 9 p.m.), which will feature new cast member Ashton Kutcher next season, followed by the season finales of Mike & Molly (#2: 5.7/ 8) and Hawaii Five-O (#2: 6.7/11) from 9:30-11 p.m.  Worth noting for sure-to-be renewed Hawaii Five-O was the 18 percent overnight growth out of Mike & Molly.

Elsewhere, Fox had nothing unusual to report with its combination of House (#2: 6.0/ 9), which moves to Mondays at 9 p.m. out of new Steven Spielberg drama Terra Nova next fall, and canceled The Chicago Code (#3: 4./3/ 6).  NBC was out of the competitive loop as always with its lineup of the season finale of Chuck (#4: 2.9/ 5), which heads to Fridays at 8 p.m. next fall, and new episodes of canceled The Event (#4: 2.8/ 4) and Law & Order: Los Angeles (#3: 3.3/ 6).  And The CW aired the season-finale episodes of 90210 (#5: 1.4/ 2) and Gossip Girl (#5: 1.2/ 2), which should have been series-enders.

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

ABC in 2011-12:
7 New Series, Changes on 5 Nights

Mirroring NBC, ABC will expand to a second night of comedies, with new Tuesday scripted half hours Last Man Standing and Man Up leading into the returns of the live Dancing With the Stars Results Show and sophomore crime solver Body of Proof.  ABC will add seven new series this fall (three comedies, four dramas), with changes impacting five nights of the week.  Monday’s combination of Dancing With the Stars and Castle, and Saturday Night College Football will remain intact.

We had two goals in mind when we set up our lineup: stability for returning hits and real ambition for the new shows,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group.  “But we are just as ambitious in midseason as we are in the fall and recognize this is a 52-week business.”

As rumored, recent low-rated comedy Happy Endings made the cut, inheriting the Wednesday 9:30 p.m. half hour out of Modern Family (and in place of Cougar Town, which returns in midseason).  The Middle will remain the Wednesday 8 p.m. anchor, leading into new sitcom Suburgatory.  At 10 p.m., drama Revenge inherits the perennially troubled time period, which housed two failed dramas this past season: The Whole Truth and Off the Map.  Also like NBC, ABC has wisely trimmed back its current three-hour midweek comedy block to two.

The much talked about revival of Charlie’s Angels will open Thursday, leading into the return combination of Grey’s Anatomy and spinoff Private Practice.  Veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which lost noticeable steam this season, moves into the Friday 8 p.m. time period, followed by relocated Shark Tank and long-running newsmagazine 20/20.  Sunday caps off the week with two new scripted dramas: Once Upon a Time at 8 p.m. (out of America’s Funniest Home Videos) and Pan Am at 10 p.m. (out of Desperate Housewives).  Highly touted new entry Good Christian Belles, which was expected to inherit the Sunday 10 p.m. hour, has been pushed back until midseason.

Other midseason entries on ABC are dramas Missing, The River, and Scandal; and sitcoms Apartment 23 and Work It.  Combined with midseason, ABC has 13 new series on the agenda.

That said, ABC has architected a lineup that is both aggressive and consistent, which the majority of returning series remaining intact.  But the network’s biggest obstacle remains aging hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, which are unlikely to stop the bleeding anything soon.   Like anyone else, it is all about finding the next big hit.  At first glance, that could be an uphill battle for ABC in 2011-12.

Not returning on ABC are dramas Brothers & Sisters, Off the Map, V, Detroit 1-8-7, and No Ordinary Family, and freshman comedy Better With You.

Here is ABC’s fall 2011 lineup (with new shows in caps).

8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars (two hours)
10:00 p.m. Castle

8:30 p.m. MAN UP
9:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars Results Show
10:00 p.m. Body of Proof

8:00 p.m. The Middle
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. Happy Endings (new time)
10:00 p.m. REVENGE

9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Private Practice

8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (new day)
9:00 p.m. Shark Tank (new time)
10:00 p.m. 20/20

8:00 p.m. Saturday Night College Football

7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. ONCE UPON A TIME
9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00 p.m. PAN AM

The new program descriptions are as follows:


Apartment  23 (Midseason)
Originally called The Bitch in Apartment 23, a sweet and optimistic girl from the heartland is forced to move in with a sexy, trouble-making party-girl roommate.  Dreama Walker, Krysten Ritter, and James Van Der Beek star.

Last Man Standing
Former Home Improvement star Tim Allen is back as a so-called manly man working at a sporting goods store with wife who is now a top corporate executive, a 22-year-old daughter who works multiple jobs, and a slacker son who spends the majority of the day playing videogames.

Man Up
Three modern-day men search for their identities and try to prove that there is also a sensitive family-driven side to “real men.”  Mather Zickel, Christopher Moynihan, Henry Simmons, and Teri Polo star.

A New York City-based single father (Jeremy Sisto) raising a 16-year-old girl (Jane Levy) heads to the suburbs, where life is not as innocent and simple as he thinks.

Work It (Midseason)
Shades of Bosom Buddies, two recently unemployed men (Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco) play out-of-work car salesmen who dress as women to work as pharmaceutical reps.


Charlie’s Angels
An update of the classic 1976-1981 campy crime solver (and recent theatrical series) about three women who work for a private investigation agency, this time set in Miami.  Robert Wagner is the voice of Charlie.

Good Christian Belles (Midseason)
Based on the book of the same name and executive-produced by Darren Starr (Sex and the City), a recently divorced mother of two (Leslie Bibb) moves back to the affluent Texas neighborhood where she grew up and discovers a malicious group of women in the Christian community.

Missing (Midseason)
After a woman (Ashley Judd) learns her son is missing while studying abroad, it’s a race against time as she rushes to Europe to track him down and protect her family.

Once Upon a Time 
A young bail bonds collector (Jennifer Morrison), who is contacted by the 10-year-old child she gave up years ago, finds herself in a town where fairy tales are real.

Pan Am
Described as Mad Men meets Grey’s Anatomy, Addams Family star Christina Ricci leads the ensemble cast in this 1963 set soapy tale of a group of pilots and stewardesses at Pan Am Airlines.

Set in the Hamptons and described as a modern day retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo from a female perspective, a beautiful young woman (Emily Van Camp) goes on a mission to seek revenge on the people who took everything from her years earlier.

The River (Midseason)
A missing adventurer (Bruce Greenwood) and the family that heads into the Amazon to try to find him is the focus of this action/adventure.

Scandal (Midseason)
Kerry Washington plays a professional fixer who makes problems go away before anyone knows they exist in this new drama from Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.  Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), and Tony Goldwyn co-star.


Fox in 2011-12:
5 New Fall Series, Changes on 5 Nights

Fox will introduce five new series this fall, one drama, three sitcoms, and highly publicized singing competition The X Factor, with changes on five nights of the week.  Friday and Saturday will remain intact.  The comedies are New Girl, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and animated Allen Gregory, while long-awaited drama Terra Nova from Steven Spielberg will anchor Mondays at 8 p.m., leading into relocated House.  New Girl inherits the Glee lead-out spot at 9 p.m. Tuesday, into relocated returnee Raising Hope.  I Hate My Teenage Daughter is positioned out of the 90-minute X Factor performance show on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. (with the X Factor results show airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. into Bones).  And animated Allen Gregory is scheduled out of The Simpsons and into Family Guy on Sunday.

Fox, which also announced its midseason lineup, will add returning American Idol (in place of The X Factor) plus three additional new series: dramas Alcatraz and Bones spinoff The Finder, and animated Napoleon Dynamite.  Based on the theatrical of the same name, Napoleon Dynamite will step in for Allen Gregory on Sunday.  Alcatraz will air Mondays at 9 p.m. out of House, which moves back to 8 p.m., while The Finder is scheduled Thursday at 9 p.m. in place of Bones, which is due back in the spring.  There is another new midseason drama in development, Touch, with Kiefer Sutherland, but no official time period has been announced.  Two more short-flight comedies—Family Album and Little in Common—will be added to Tuesday when Glee takes a six-week hiatus.   And a new version of animated classic The Flintstones is on the horizon for 2013.

Since Fox in midseason is subject to how the fall occupants perform, keep in mind that nothing is etched in stone.  As it stands, however, the network is poised for its highest rated fourth quarter historically thanks to the arrival The X Factor (which will, no doubt, benefit by the reteaming of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul).

Not returning on Fox next season will be sitcoms Breaking Out and Running Wilde, and dramas The Chicago Code and Lie to Me.

Here is Fox’s fall 2011 lineup (with new shows in caps).

8:00 p.m. TERRA NOVA
9:00 p.m. House (new time)

8:00 p.m. Glee
9:00 p.m. NEW GIRL
9:30 p.m. Raising Hope (new time)

8:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR (Performance Show)

8:00 p.m. THE X FACTOR (Results Show)
9:00 p.m. Bones

8:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 p.m. Fringe

8:00 p.m. Cops (original and repeat)
9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted

7:00 p.m. The OT
7:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (new time)
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. American Dad

Here is Fox’s midseason lineup (with new shows bolded in caps).

8:00 p.m. House
9:00 p.m. ALACATRAZ

8:00 p.m. Glee
9:00 p.m. New Girl
9:30 p.m. Raising Hope

8:00 p.m. American Idol (Performance Show)
9:30 p.m. I Hate My Teenage Daughter

8:00 p.m. American Idol (Results Show)
9:00 p.m. THE FINDER / Bones (spring)

8:00 p.m. Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 p.m. Fringe

8:00 p.m. Cops (original and repeat)
9:00 p.m. America’s Most Wanted (quarterly specials)

7:00 p.m. Animated repeats
7:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show
8:00 p.m. The Simpsons
9:00 p.m. Family Guy
9:30 p.m. Bob’s Burgers (return)

New Program Descriptions


Allen Gregory (Animated)
A 7-year-old celebrity boy embarks on the greatest challenge of his life by attending elementary school with regular kids.

Family Album (Midseason)
An overly enthusiastic former jock (Mike O’Malley) returns home from a family vacation determined to reconnect with his family.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Two women realize their children have turned out to be the same type of unlikable wretches that made high school insufferable.

Little in Common (Midseason)
Three diverse middle-class families become involved with each other when their children play on youth sports teams together.  Rob Corddry stars.

Napoleon Dynamite (animated)
Based on the theatrical of the same name and voiced by the film’s original actors, the misadventures of an awkward high school teenager and his quirky friends as they struggle to navigate life in rural Idaho is the focus.

The New Girl
After splitting with her boyfriend, a quirky elementary school teacher (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three unruly guys (Jake M. Johnson, Max Greenfield, and Damon Wayans Jr.).


From Lost creator J.J. Abrams, guards from famous prison Alcatraz mysteriously reappear in present day to help a team of FBI agents track down the disappearance of a group of prisoners 30 years earlier.  Sam Neill and Jorge Garcia star.

The Finder
Based on The Locator book series and spun-off from Bones, an outspoken former military man (Geoff Stults) who can find anyone is the focus.

Terra Nova
From executive producer Steven Spielberg, the focus is on an ordinary family on an incredible journey back to prehistoric earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race.  Jason O’Mara and Shelley Conn star.

Touch (Midseason)
From Heroes creator Tim Kring, the father of an autistic boy (Kiefer Sutherland) discovers his son can predict future events.


The X Factor
Based on the hit U.K. singing competition, contestants audition for the judges in front of a packed audience, with the finalists mentored by a judge, who aids the contestant with the song selection and style.  Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid are the judges; Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones host.


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options

Tuesday 5/17/11

8:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars: Freestyle Edition
9:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars
10:00 p.m. Body of Proof

8:00 p.m. NCIS (season finale)
9:00 p.m. NCIS: Los Angeles (season finale)
10:00 p.m. The Good Wife (season finale)

8:00 p.m. The Biggest Loser (two hours)
10:00 p.m. The Voice

8:00 p.m. Glee
9:00 p.m. Raising Hope
9:30 p.m. Traffic Light

8:00 p.m. One Tree Hill (season finale)
9:00 p.m. Hellcats (series finale)


Notes of Interest

Upfront Update:
Three of the five network schedules—ABC, NBC, and Fox—are in.  CBS announces tomorrow and The CW on Thursday.

Executive Shuffle:
Neal Sabin, currently evp of Weigel Broadcasting Company, has been named president of Content and Networks.  Sabin will be responsible for all programming for Weigel stations and owned and affiliated networks, the development of local and national multiplatform content, content marketing on all Weigel platforms, the generation of revenue and integration opportunities related to such multiplatforms, and strategic planning and the development of business opportunities for the company.

Also at Weigel, John R. Hendricks has been upped to the newly created position of evp sales, where he will be responsible for all sales personnel and sales operations.  And Robert J. Ramsey will become vp and general manager of WCIU-TV in Chicago.


A Real Shark

Note: To respond to the trivia, please click HERE . Do not click Reply

Who played Deputy Sebastian Shark in CBS legal drama Shark?

a) David James Elliott
b) Mike Farrell
c) John Larroquette
d) Chi McBride
e) James Woods

Which one of the following five series never spun-off a series

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following five series has yet to be officially renewed for next season?

a) Chuck
b) Cougar Town
c) One Tree Hill
d) Raising Hope
e) Rules of Engagement

Is: c) One Tree Hill, which will probably get picked up by The CW for a ninth season on Thursday.

Current kudos goes to:
Matt Biscuiti, Gerry Bixenspan, Lisa Menin, Aaron Paquette, Greg Phelan, Gordon Purcell, David Ruckman