2013-2014 Network Upfronts: ABC

It is day three of our look at the network upfronts and today we move onto ABC .

I’ve made a lot of big changes to the schedules for FOX and NBC, and despite ABC needing to make those big changes (they’ll place fourth this season) I don’t see them going all out.  You may see one or two big changes, but other than that, the major holes from this season will simply be filled.

MONDAY
8 – Dancing with the Stars
10 – Betrayal (new)
Analysis: As much as I want ABC to trim down Dancing with the Stars, they probably will not do it.  Why? Who knows, but they keep pushing it and will do so until its dead.  At 10, I’d go with something new.  Castle has done well on the night, but give Betrayal a shot and see how it does.

TUESDAY
8 – Shark Tank (new night)
9 – Dancing with the Stars (results)
10 – Castle (new night)
Analysis: Tuesdays have been a struggle for ABC and if anything, this night will see the most changes.  I went back and forth of where to put Shark Tank and Dancing with the Stars.  Ultimately, I think the network will keep its dancing show at 9, more so to avoid The Voice.  Shark Tank has done a solid job on Friday, and if ABC doesn’t keep it on Friday, I think it could hold up okay against The Voice.  A 1.5-1.6 would be a couple ticks lower than Friday, but it’d be an improvement on the night.  ABC has had problems with 10 o’clock, so bring Castle to the night.  It gets to keep its Dancing with the Stars lead in and its timeslot, just on a new night.  I think it could do well and win the hour for ABC.

WEDNESDAY
8 – The Middle
830 – How to Live with Your Parents (new time)
9 – Modern Family
930 – Super Fun Night (new)
10 – Nashville
Analysis: No doubt ABC will keep The Middle and Modern Family where they are right now.  At 830, I’d go with How to Live with Your Parents.  In the past, ABC has thrown its post-Modern Family comedies to the wolves, so why not try it earlier in the night?  The show isn’t huge, but I think it could be a nice bridge between the two tentpole series.  Rebel Wilson is big now and I could see ABC giving Super Fun Night a big push, especially behind Modern Family.  As much as Nashville should be cancelled (or at least moved) I don’t see ABC doing it.

THURSDAY
8 – S.H.I.E.L.D. (new)
9 – Grey’s Anatomy
10 – Scandal
Analysis: I know, another new series at 8?  This show has a built-in brand and I expect ABC to advertise it more so than any other new show on their lineup.  I don’t see ABC putting it on Sunday, just because of how tough the cable competition is right now (especially when similar male-skewing Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead return).  Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are doing very well together, so no point in touching them.

FRIDAY
8 – Last Man Standing
830 – Divorce (new)
9 – What Would You Do? / Big Thunder (new)
10 – 20/20
Analysis: ABC passed on King John (one of the bigger surprises) so that leaves Divorce or current-series Malibu Country to get the 830 timeslot.  ABC could also simply cancel Last Man Standing and abandon its TGIF lineup, but I don’t see that happening.  What Would You Do? is an easy option for a few weeks and then debut Big Thunder.  I think it would work well with the TGIF lineup.  End the night with 20/20, as has been done for decades now.  The night obviously will not be as strong without Shark Tank, though.

SUNDAY
7 – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 – Once Upon a Time
9 – Revenge
10 – Lucky 7 (new)
Analysis: I’ve seen many schedules for ABC and nearly all of them feature big changes on Sunday.  I, however, am going to do the opposite and leave it mostly the same.  The results aren’t great this season, but perhaps next season will be different.  I could see ABC simply premiering a new show after Revenge and in my mind, Lucky 7 would fit best (from the options they have left).

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