ABC to Add 13 New Series

Expands to a second night of comedies

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.

In total, 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 spin-off 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 built a lineup that is both aggressive and consistent, with 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 bolded in caps).

Monday

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

10:00 p.m. Castle

Tuesday

8:00 p.m. LAST MAN STANDING

8:30 p.m. MAN UP

9:00 p.m. Dancing With the Stars Results Show

10:00 p.m. Body of Proof

Wednesday

8:00 p.m. The Middle

8:30 p.m. SUBURGATORY

9:00 p.m. Modern Family

9:30 p.m. Happy Endings (new time)

10:00 p.m. REVENGE

Thursday

8:00 p.m. CHARLIE’S ANGELS

9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Private Practice

Friday

8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (new day)

9:00 p.m. Shark Tank (new time)

10:00 p.m. 20/20