ABC Sets 'Dancing with the Stars' Return

On the heels of announcing three new dramas for its spring lineup, ABC has also booked the return of its biggest show -- which will presumably help deliver viewers to a couple of those new shows.

The network says that the next cycle of "Dancing with the Stars" will premiere Monday, March 9. The results show will come back on Tuesday, March 17, allowing for two performances before the first celeb is eliminated.

As was the case this fall, the performance shows will run for two hours for the first three weeks, then scale back to 90 minutes on March 30. The results show will stay in its 9 p.m. Tuesday spot.

The premiere of the new "Dancing" season -- the show's eighth -- falls on the same night as the debut of the Nathan Fillion crime drama "Castle," meaning the new show should have a lead-in of 20 million viewers or so (the fall season averaged about 19.3 million viewers). The results show -- which drew 16.5 million viewers in the fall -- will lead into another new show, "Cupid," which premieres Tuesday, March 24.

Here's a full rundown of ABC's midseason plans (all times Eastern, new shows in bold):

Monday, Jan. 5

8 p.m. "The Bachelor" (two hours)
10 p.m. "True Beauty"

Tuesday, Jan. 6

8 p.m. "According to Jim" (new timeslot, back-to-back episodes)
9 p.m. "Scrubs" (back-to-back episodes)
10 p.m. " Primetime: What Would You Do?"

Thursday, Jan. 8

10:01 p.m. " Private Practice" (new timeslot)

Wednesday, Jan. 21

8 p.m. "Lost" clip show
9 p.m. "Lost" (two-hour season premiere)

Wednesday, Jan. 28

10:02 p.m. " Life on Mars" (new timeslot)

Monday, March 9

8 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (two hours)
10:02 p.m. "Castle"

Tuesday, March 17

9 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" results

Tuesday, March 24

10 p.m. "Cupid"

Wednesday, April 8

10:02 p.m. "The Unusuals"

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