Category: ABC

Upfronts 2012: ABC unveils 2012-13 schedule

  ABC is adding four comedies and five dramas to its slate next season, including the soap "Nashville," which is set in the capital of country music
ABC is adding four comedies and five dramas to its slate next season, including the soap "Nashville," which is set in the capital of country music.

ABC executives will officially unveil the network's fall prime-time schedule Tuesday afternoon in New York City. Here is a look at the lineup:

(All times are Eastern/Pacific, and new shows are in bold)

MONDAY:           

                           8 p.m.                     “Dancing with the Stars”

                          10 p.m.                   “Castle”

TUESDAY:           

                            8 p.m.                     “Dancing with the Stars, the Results Show”

                           9 p.m.                     “Happy Endings”

                           9:30 p.m.                     “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” 

                           10 p.m.                   “Private Practice”

 WEDNESDAY:     

                            8 p.m.                     “The Middle”

                           8:30 p.m.                     “Suburgatory” 

                           9 p.m.                     “Modern Family”

                           9:30 p.m.                     “The Neighbors”

                           10 p.m.                   “Nashville”

 THURSDAY:        

                             8 p.m.                     “Last Resort”

                            9 p.m.                     “Grey’s Anatomy” 

                            10 p.m.                   “Scandal”

FRIDAY:               

                            8 p.m.                     “Shark Tank”

                            9 p.m.                “Primetime: What Would You Do?”

                            10 p.m.                   “20/20”

                            In November:

                            8 p.m.                     “Last Man Standing”

                           8:30 p.m.                     “Malibu Country

                           9 p.m.                     “Shark Tank”

                           10 p.m.                   “20/20”

SATURDAY:        

                           8 p.m.                     “Saturday Night College Football”

SUNDAY:             

                            7 p.m.                     “America’s Funniest Home Videos”

                            8 p.m.                     Once Upon a Time

                            9 p.m.                     “Revenge”

                            10 p.m.                   “666 Park Avenue”

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Photo: The cast of ABC's new fall show "Nashville." Credit: Craig Sjodin / ABC 

'The Bachelorette' recap: Single-mom Emily Maynard meets her men

"Bachelorette" Emily Maynard

Heading into this season of "The Bachelorette," host Chris Harrison warned fans that the show featuring Emily Maynard would be "drastically different" than any that have come before.

Indeed, there are plenty of obvious changes: Emily, who broke off her engagement to former "Bachelor" Brad Womack last year, didn't head to the show's gaudy mansion in Hollywood to kick off her season. Instead, the program's producers allowed the blond to stay in her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. as to not uproot her 6-year-old daughter, Ricki. Emily, of course, is the first single mother ever to be at the center of "The Bachelorette"; Ricki's dad, a NASCAR driver, died in a tragic accident only days before Emily found out she was pregnant with their child.

Despite those shifts, there were still plenty of standard "Bachelorette" conventions during the show's first episode Monday night. Of course, we had a handful of contrived, gimmicky entrances from Emily's 25 would-be husbands. Lots of awkward, forced chatter at the introductory cocktail party, followed by way-too-early declarations of love for Emily after mere hours of meeting her. And just a lot of hideous facial hair.

As for Emily, even after watching her on Brad's season, I'd forgotten how drop-dead this chick is. She's like some genetically perfect Southern-belle, beauty-queen Barbie that I'm still not sure can actually exist in real life. And let's just say I thought the guys equaling her attractiveness level were, well, scant.

While Emily may have the dudes beat on the hotness scale, the majority of the men seemed far more at ease socially than she. Though the initial meetings are always slightly uncomfortable to watch, I found this season's introductions particularly excruciating. I'm sure she was nervous, but Emily barely offered up any personality while greeting the men, dropping the phrases "Awesome!" and "Gaw-lee!" three-zillion-and-a-half times.

In general, the whole vibe of the show was far less fun than usual. Listen, I get that Emily's a single mom, so we're not going to get the montage of her running on the beach and flaunting her body. But how about showing her with some friends or something? Isn't she supposedly 26 years old? The program painted her out to be a total spinster. 

There she was, telling little Ricki Tick to "get all the sugar buds" out while brushing her teeth. Playing with Ricki in the park. And then tucking Ricki in when she went to bed at 7:30. (Do kids really go to bed at 7:30?!? Golly.) Plus, all we learned about her hopes and dreams for herself is that she wants a "minivan full of babies." It just seemed a tad one-dimensional, and I wish we could have seen some of her job, or any evidence that she has a life outside of her daughter.

The guys, too, seemed even more earnest than average. Sure, there were the requisite attention-seekers — Kalon, some Richie Rich who arrived at the mansion in a helicopter, and rock-star wannabe David, whose song for Emily consisted of only one lyric: "Emily." But the majority of the men seemed relatively serious, repeatedly telling Emily how she was gorgeous and beautiful and strong and made of rays of golden sunshine. 

In a huge surprise, Emily gave the evening's first-impression rose to single-dad Doug, after he handed Emily a letter his son "wrote" for her. Yes, I am sure your 11-year-old penned an opus extolling the virtues of a woman he's never met. Doug probably has a pretty good shot of making it far this season, as does Chris. A corporate sales director from Illinois, Chris dropped numerous religious references upon meeting Emily, and when he gave her bobble heads of the two of them he'd somehow procured, she found the gag cute instead of creepy. 

Another dude Emily seemed to like was Jef, a guy with a pompadour who gets clean water to Third World countries who arrived on a skateboard. I wanted to hate this man with his terrible hair, but he actually seemed pretty sweet. My only hesitation about him for Emily is that he's relatively scrawny, and Emily seems to like the more strapping Brad-types. Like Ryan, a former professional football player. While Ryan was also having some hair problems — his locks were kind of spiked up in the middle of his head — he pulled a relatively cute stunt upon arriving: He told Emily he wrote out some notes, and then pulled a paper that read "You're so beautiful" on one side and "I'm so nervous" on the other. 

Meanwhile, I was inclined to dislike Arie, a race-car driver, because it seemed all too convenient that the show's producers would set Emily up with someone who has the same job as her late fiancé. But Arie was pretty down-to-earth, expressing his nerves and telling Emily up front about his job.

As is typical for me after the first episode of a season, I'm still not sold on our newest protagonist. While Emily may be perfectly sweet and a great mother, she didn't exactly dazzle me with her wit and charm. Still, I'm holding out hope that she isn't actually as fake as her impeccable veneers. 

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— Amy Kaufman

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Photo: "The Bachelorette," Emily Maynard, greets her suitors on the first night of the season. Credit: ABC

'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Semifinal shake-ups and breakdowns

William Levy and Cheryl Burke

We’re down to the semifinals, ballroom fans. Four remaining couples are jockeying for a position in the “Dancing With the Stars” Season 14 finale and a shot at the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

Each couple had to dance two full dances this time around. And because all the stars are pretty much evenly matched at this point, it could be anyone’s game. The judges seemed a bit more nit-pickier than usual, but we still ended up with two couples earning perfect 30 scores, as well as an injury that could put a former leading scorer’s position in peril.

Here’s how they ranked our four remaining stars.

Continue reading »

'Desperate Housewives' finale: How were the ratings for ABC?

The two-hour series finale of "Desperate Housewives" drew 11.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen
The final goodbye wave to Wisteria Lane gave "Desperate Housewives" one last brush with glory.

The two-hour series finale of ABC's suburban soap drew 11.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen. That enabled the network to tie with CBS among total viewers and pull out a win among adults age 18 to 49, the main demographic for advertisers.

But let's face it, Eva Longoria and her pals were nowhere near as popular as days of yore, when "Desperate Housewives" was a reliable top-10 performer. More recently, the show's fate has been rockier than Bree's personal life.

Although the finale drew more viewers than this season's overall average (10.4 million, when you toss in DVR numbers), the tally was actually lower than that of any of the show's previous seven seasons. In its first, most-watched season, "Desperate Housewives" averaged more than 23 million viewers. The first-season finale drew more than 30 million viewers.

What did you think of the finale? Did ABC end the show at the right time?

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Photo: Eva Longoria and Scott Bakula in the series finale of "Desperate Housewives." Credit: Ron Tom / ABC

ABC cancels 'GCB,' adds more series to lineup

ABC cancels 'GCB'
All the prayers in the world can't help "GCB" right now. ABC has canceled the freshman series, along with "The River" and "Missing."

It seemed destined to take over the void that was to be left when "Desperate Housewives" ended its run. But the coyly titled soap was a middle-of-the road performer, averaging less than 6 million viewers and a 1.93 in the 18-49 demo in its Sunday slot -- and must now pack its bags. Though the network hasn't officially said it has axed the series, tweets from its stars suggest it has.

"To all u #GCB fans & Amanda lovers, thx 4 the <3," said Leslie Bibb, who plays Amanda. "Appreciate it & just wait, we'll get 2 go on a new fun ride somewhere else! #lifeisperfect"

Costar Kristin Chenoweth apparently got wind of the cancellation pre-concert: "Onstage. Sound check. Bad timing abc. San Fran will get a great show tho!"

Other newbies didn't fare so well, either: "The River" and the midseason drama "Missing" are out. Reports are out that "Pan Am" has also been scrapped, but a source close to production said the network hadn't yet canceled it.

But ABC is quickly filling its newly emptied slots, announcing a heap of pickups Friday. The latest to join the bunch: "The Neighbors," which boasts Dan Fogelman ("Crazy Stupid Love") as an executive producer, is a comedy about a family who moves into an upscale New Jersey community only to discover all their neighbors are aliens; "How To Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life" is a comedy starring Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs") as a divorcee who moves back in with her parents. “Malibu Country,” written by and starring the country music star Reba McEntire, centers on a woman who moves her children away from her cheating husband in Nashville and seeks to revive her singing career in Malibu.

On the drama front, the network is also picking up Shawn Ryan's "Last Resort," which takes place in the near future and follows the crew of a U.S. submarine that refuses to fire their nukes when ordered and ends up taking shelter on an island and declaring themselves an independent nation. "666 Park Ave." also got a series order. Based on a novel by Gabriella Pierce and from "Fringe" co-executive producer David Wilcox, it centers on a couple who agree to manage a historic New York City apartment complex with supernatural oddities owned by another couple, played by "Lost" alum Terry O’Quinn and "Desperate Housewives" alum Vanessa Williams.

Also getting some good news is "Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23," which got a second season renewal, "Private Practice" and "Body of Proof."

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Photo: Kristin Chenoweth in a scene from "GCB." Credit: ABC

ABC renews 'Scandal,' picks up five new series

ABC renews Scandal

No damage control needed here: ABC is bringing back "Scandal" for a second season.

From "Grey's Anatomy" overlord Shonda Rhimes, the D.C.-set drama about a political fixer premiered with a solid 7.3 million viewers and has performed well for the network since then with the help of its "Grey's" lead-in. 

“Am super proud to say that @ScandalABC has been picked for a 2nd season!!!” Rhimes tweeted of the series, which is based on crisis manager extraordinaire Judy Smith. “Am doing a little dance of joy." The network previously announced the renewal of "Grey's Anatomy." No word yet on whether Rhimes' other show, "Private Practice," will return.

The network is also getting into the musical business, announcing a series order for "Nashville." The soap is set in the Nashville music scene and features Connie Britton ("American Horror Story," "Friday Night Lights") as a country star at her peak and another singer, played by Hayden Panettiere, on the rise.

Additionally, it announced pickups for dramas: "Red Widow," previously "Penoza," which is based on a Dutch series and revolves around the widow of an assassinated criminal, played by Radha Mitchell ("Finding Neverland"), who finds herself taking on the same profession in order to protect her family; "Zero Hour" centers on Hank Foley, played by "ER" alum Anthony Edwards, who becomes involved in a conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped; "Mistresses," based on the BBC One series of the same name, focuses on four women and their scandalous love lives.

On the comedy front, the network has picked up: "Family Tools" (previously "Red Van Man"), which is based on a British series, revolves around a man who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father.

On the reality front, the network earlier Friday announced returns for "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Wife Swap" and "Celebrity Wife Swap."

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Photo: Kerry Washington as crisis manager Olivia Pope. Credit: ABC

ABC renews 'Happy Endings'

ABC renews Happy Endings

ABC has renewed "Happy Endings" for a third season.

This season, the comedy experienced a bit of a windfall, nabbing the post-"Modern Family" slot on Wednesdays and getting an additional six-episode order in the fall.

The ensemble comedy centers on a a group of six friends -- played by Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr., Eliza Coupe, Zach Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert and Adam Pally -- who must adjust after two of them break up. It made its debut to more than 7 million viewers back in 2011 -- but things dipped from there. It ended its second season with 3.7 million viewers.

It joins "Modern Family," "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" in the network's laugh factory renewal camp.

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Bristol Palin slams Obama's ABC interview, defends Hillary Clinton

Bristol Palin comments on Obama and Hillary Clinton
Former "Dancing With the Stars" contestant Bristol Palin seems to be two-stepping toward a new career — as a political pundit.

On her personal blog, Palin — daughter of former Alaska Gov. and GOP star Sarah Palin — ripped into President Obama for his ABC interview this week announcing his support for gay marriage. Then she turned around Friday with another post defending Obama's secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton — for not wearing makeup.

What seemed to irk Palin about the Obama interview were his remarks about how talking with his two daughters about equality had changed his mind on the subject of gay marriage. She argued that when Christian women run for high office, critics worry that they are overly submissive to their husbands. So it's a double standard for Obama to claim that his family helped him evolve on an issue, Palin believes.

"Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking," Palin wrote Thursday. "In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of 'Glee.' "

So a slam not just against the commander in chief but "Glee" as well. As Jon Stewart might say, "Well played."

But just to show that she's not a total hater of all things Democratic, Palin followed up Friday with a blog post wagging a finger at Clinton critics who said the secretary of State looked "tired and withdrawn" after she was photographed wearing chunky glasses and minimal makeup.

"When I was on Dancing with the Stars, I was only nineteen years old. I was active and fit, but I did gain five to ten pounds over the course of the show," Palin confided. "I’ve been the brunt of jokes, speculation, and criticism about my appearance, and it’s not fun.

"Plus, Hillary looks good! I think we should give her credit for not having a make up artist following her around and for being comfortable in her own skin."

What do you think of Palin's musings on family, equality and foundation makeup?

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Photo: Bristol Palin has come out swinging against President Obama over gay marriage. Credit: Charles Sykes/Associated Press.

 

 

 

 

 

ABC renews 'Dancing with the Stars,' 'The Bachelor,' 'Shark Tank'

ABC has renewed reality staples "Dancing with the Stars" "The Bachelor" and "Shark Tank"
Because seven re-ups just wasn't enough for a Thursday night, ABC has, unsurprisingly, decided to renew reality staples "Dancing with the Stars," "The Bachelor" and "Shark Tank" too.

"Dancing with the Stars," currently in its 14th season, will make a glittery return next season -- but there's no word yet on whether there will be the usual two installments. The veteran hoofer show has been a proven ratings hit for the network, but has experienced some dips this season.

The younger "Shark Tank" has performed well in its Friday slot. Now in its third season, it will get a 22-episode order for its fourth.

And host Chris Harrison might be experiencing some personal woes with his recent split from wife, but "The Bachelor" maintains a strong relationship with the network and will return for a 17th cycle.

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Photo: Telenovela star William Levy performs with Cheryl Burke on 'Dancing with the Stars.' Credit: ABC

ABC renews 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Revenge,' 'Once ..." and more

ABC renews seven series, including fairytale drama 'Once Upon a Time'
ABC has renewed seven of its series: "Grey's Anatomy," "Revenge," "Once Upon a Time," "Suburgatory," "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Castle."

Quite a mouthful, eh?  

"Modern Family," though experiencing a dip in viewers, will come back for Season 4, and "Grey's Anatomy" will enter its ninth. "Castle" has been a steady performer in its Monday slot; its renewal will take the crime dramedy into its fifth season, helping it reach the 100-episode benchmark. 

"The Middle" has held its own on the network in the Wednesday comedy block -- helping to pass the viewer baton as a lead-in for freshman series "Suburgatory." 

"Suburgatory" has some fellow rookies with which to revel in the renewal elation: The fairy-tale drama "Once Upon a Time" had an impressive debut last fall, with 13 million viewers and a 4.0 in the 18-49 demo, and it has continued to perform well for the network, helping the show to land a spot next season. The devilishly soapy "Revenge" also will get a sophomore season.

The renewals come on the heels of news that "Cougar Town" is moving from ABC to TBS.

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Photo: Ginnifer Goodwin, left, and Lana Parrilla in "Once Upon a Time." Credit: ABC

Time magazine cover: TV networks blur breast image

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

[This post has been corrected. See bottom for details.]

TV programs love talking about the controversial new Time magazine cover. They're just a little shy about showing the whole thing. 

For a story about "attachment parenting" — whose leading proponent, Dr. Bill Sears, advocates such extreme parenting techniques as "extended breast-feeding" — the magazine photographed 3-year-old Adam Grumet with his mouth over the partly exposed breast of his mom, Jamie Lynn Grumet.

Time editors have made no apologies, arguing that the point of a magazine cover is to get attention. And attention it got across the TV dial on Thursday — although the image proved a little too much for many.

"I'll tell you why that bothers me," said Mika Brzezinski, cohost of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, who appeared irritated by the image. "It's a profile of Bill Sears, and that's a young, attractive woman." The cable news network — which has a weekly segment with Time to talk about stories — blurred out Grumet's breast and showed the entire cover only from a distance.

ABC's "The View" likewise lavished attention on the cover but felt compelled to cover up Grument's breast with a black circle.

But not everyone is following that approach. A Fox News spokeswoman told Show Tracker the network — which hasn't yet covered, so to speak, the story — doesn't plan to restrict the image if a segment does materialize - at least on any entertainment or opinion-oriented show (a news piece might be a different matter). A spokeswoman for CNN did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

What do you think of Time's new cover? Should the TV networks edit or avoid showing it?

[11:12 p.m.: This post was updated to include additional clarification from Fox News that it would be opinion or entertainment shows that would not tamper with the image - not necessarily news coverage.]

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— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

'Cougar Town' gets a new ZIP Code in move from ABC to TBS

"Cougar Town"

"Cougar Town" is packing up and moving to a new address.

The ABC sitcom starring Courteney Cox, which has a loyal fan base but has never drawn a huge audience and may have been close to getting axed, has been given new life by TBS. The series is moving to the cable network for its fourth season.

In addition, TBS has also acquired the encore rights for the first three seasons of "Cougar Town" that originally aired on ABC.

" 'Cougar Town' is a smart, whimsical sitcom that draws its humor from likable, relatable characters," said Michael Wright, head of programming for TBS. "We are thrilled to have 'Cougar Town' moving to the TBS neighborhood as the network continues to expand its slate of original comedy series."

The show stars Cox as Jules Cobb, a recently divorced mother starting a new phase in her life.

Fans were starting to get nervous when ABC delayed the return of the show's third season. It finally came back Feb. 14, and show runner/co-creator Bill Lawrence organized viewing parties around the country hoping to boost support for the series. He even flirted with changing the title of the show in the hope of improving its poor ratings.

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Photo: Josh Hopkins, left, and Courteney Cox in "Cougar Town." Credit: Adam Rose / ABC

 

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