Most of your favorite ABC shows will return for the 2008-09 season in their familiar time periods, as the network's Tuesday (May 13) scheduling announcement included very few major changes.
In total, ABC's upfront presentation showcased only five new shows, three of which won't premiere until midseason and one of which is the long-running "Scrubs," making its endlessly rumored journey across the dial from NBC.
ABC's only new drama and the network's only new scripted fall series is "Life on Mars," which sees the "October Road" team of Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg taking the reins on the adaptation of the BBC format focusing on a modern day police detective (Jason O'Mara) mysteriously transported back to 1973. ABC has given "Life on Mars" its finest available time slot, putting it at 10 p.m. on Thursday nights after "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy."
The remaining new show on ABC's fall docket is the Ashton Kutcher produced traveling game show "Opportunity Knocks," which will kick off Tuesday nights, leading into "Dancing with the Stars" results and the transplanted legal drama "Eli Stone."
From there, viewers will notice an awful lot of stability on ABC's schedule.
Fridays will be "Wife Swap," "Supernanny" and "20/20," college football will air and Saturdays and Sunday's "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" remaining untouched.
"We're returning our dominant core group of shows from last fall," says ABC President Stephen McPherson in the morning's programming statement. "The few openings we had we've filled with the kind of quality programming viewers have come to expect from ABC, and we have a very strong bench. As always, our focus is on delivering the best stories and most memorable characters on TV every day of the week, every week of the year."
Also for midseason, ABC will find a place for the new animated comedy "The Goode Family," from Mike Judge, a beauty pageant from Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks, plus "Scrubs," as the ABC Studios comedy swaps networks.
Of course, in order that new life might bloom, there must be casualties. ABC's cancelled shows include "October Road," "Men in Trees" and "Miss Guided," as well as the less bubble-worthy comedies "Carpoolers" and "Cavemen."