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May 14, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 14, 2008 |

A while back, I told you all about NBC’s new schedule. Well yesterday, it was ABC’s turn to unleash the new fall and, turns out, it’s not so much with the “new.” More like same old, same old; a smidge of new; and a dash of sloppy seconds. But let’s break it down and see what we got.

Sundays. I am amazed — shocked! — that “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is still on, at 7 p.m., on Sundays nights. Man hit in the groin with a football truly doesn’t ever get hold, huh? And I guess folks still like the treacly “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” because it’s sitting tight at 8 p.m. The nine and ten slots remain unchanged, with “Desperate Housewives” followed up by “Brothers & Sisters.” Anyone watching “Desperate Housewives?” I know it went through a bit of a resurgence a while back, and I’m wondering if it’s still good (for what it is), or if it’s fallen back down to watchable crud. As for “Brothers & Sisters,” I am still watching that show. I don’t love it, by any stretch. But it’s the perfect show to end my weekend on, allowing my brain to fade into the dully numb state it needs to be in for yet another work week.

Mondays. For me, this is just one big night of “who cares.” While I stoop to low levels with a lot of the reality TV I watch, I will never, not ever ever, watch “Dancing with the Stars.” But if you want it, ABC at 8 p.m. is the place to be. I’ll be on ESPN watching “Monday Night Football” if you need me. At 9:30, “Samantha Who?” gets a second season. I’ve never seen Christina Appelgate’s little comedy, but I’ve actually heard that it’s ok, so for those that dig it, good new I guess (but I would’ve much rather have seen “Miss Guided” here and, sadly, Judy Greer’s cute little comedy is dead as the dodo). And then at 10 p.m., “Boston Legal” is back for another season. Word is that this show was originally on the fence, but ABC cut a deal with David E. Kelley, agreeing to renew “Legal” and, in return, he backed out from producing the Americanized “Life on Mars” to focus on “Legal’s” last season. But that “Life on Mars” remake is still on the schedule — more on that below.

Tuesdays. At 8 p.m., it’s “Opportunity Knocks,” one of only two new shows on the fall schedule. And it’s … well, it’s not good. I’ve not seen it, of course. And it probably hasn’t started filming yet. But trust me on this. Not. Good. So here’s what this turdblossom is — it’s a reality show helmed by Ashton Kutcher’s production company, where the producers go to folks’ homes with lots of money and prizes, and they give the people lots of money and prizes if they answer questions about their family right, showing how well they know their family. For lots of money and prizes. Family trivia night, on ABC at 8 p.m. Get some!

Nine p.m. is the “Dancing with the Stars Results Show,” and it’s followed by a second season of “Eli Stone.” I couldn’t make it through the premiere of “Eli,” but I know there’s a small little fan base that digs the hell out of this show. And while that fan base is surely happy about the show’s renewal, since it was very much in the bubble, they shouldn’t be too optimistic. “Eli” only made it back because the writers’ strike pushed the new pilots out of whack. So shows like Rob Thomas’ “Cupid” reboot don’t even have pilots yet, and can’t drop earlier than mid-season, giving “Eli” its reprise. But if it doesn’t have strong fall ratings, I’d wager it’ll get yanked for something new by the end of the year.

Wednesdays. This is basically reboot night for ABC, with all three hours being filled by sophomore shows that had strike-shortened first runs. At 8 p.m. it’s the brightly colored “Pushing Daisies.” I really enjoyed the hell out of the show when it first started, but found myself becoming ever-so-slightly bored as time went on, although I can’t really identify a particular problem I was having with it. In any event, I’m still glad to see it back because it’s better than much of the rest of the crap. Such as 9 p.m.’s “Private Practice,” about which I couldn’t care less. Did anybody watch this show? Anyone? But congrats to Tim Daly and Taye Diggs, notorious show-killers both, for finally having a show make it to a second season. Granted, you both lucked out with a severely shortened first season, but still. Kudos to you. I wouldn’t count on getting a third season, though, so save up those pennies.

Ten p.m., meanwhile, remains the home to my favorite ABC show, “Dirty Sexy Money.” It’s cheesy and campy and silly, but I really dig the hell out of it. I’m a little bummed that Samaire Armstrong isn’t coming back, but I’ll live. However, I’m really bummed out about the fact that “Cashmere Mafia” is nowhere to be seen on ABC’s schedule because word was that Lucy Lui would likely be joining “Dirty” if “Cashmere” got canceled. And … yup, looking at ABC’s press release, there’s Lui listed as a “Dirty” cast member. Dang.

Thursdays. Thursdays remain the toughest night in TV, and ABC has done well enough with it’s 8 and 9 p.m. shows that it’s not going to change things now. So it’s “Ugly Betty” followed by “Grey’s Anatomy.” I’m still watching both of these shows, and I’m beyond being able to explain why. The only thing I can figure is this. I don’t watch them live — rather, I watch them while I’m in the office doing work. And since they both happen to be less boring than most of the legal work I do, they’re still on my radar. But as soon as I find that I would rather be reading the statutory history of section 1252 of Title 8 of the United States Code than be even mildly distracted by Betty’s shenanigans or the latest McRomance crap, those shows will be dead to me. And I suspect that’s coming soon.

In the 10 p.m. slot, we find ABC’s only other new show of the season, the aforementioned “Life on Mars” remake. I never saw the British original, which is about a police detective who wakes up from a car crash to find himself in the 70’s, but I know it’s highly regarded by many. Which, naturally, means that folks are down on this remake. And if they were unhappy when it was being produced by David E. Kelley, they’re going to be really unhappy now that he’s out, because he’s been replaced by the producers of the recently canceled “October Road.” In fact, the only good thing I can say about this remake is that Colm Meaney is the star, and I love the shit out of him. Having never seen the original, I can come at this show fresh, and so I’ll likely give it a shot. But let’s just say my expectations are less than good, and I imagine this will become another one of those “well, it’s a good distraction from reading Compagnie Francaise d’Assurance Pour le Commerce Exterieur v. Phillips Petroleum Company” shows.

Fridays. “Wifeswap” at 8 p.m. Meh. “Supernanny” at 9 p.m. Meh meh. “20/20” at 10 p.m. Good that it’s still around, but I never watch it, so meh some more.

Saturdays. College football. Here’s hoping Notre Dame has another season like last year!

Now I know what you’re saying. First, you’re saying, “dude, where the fuck is ‘Lost?’” It’ll be back in the midseason, so its 17-episode run can get a straight shot through the February and May sweeps period. The midseason is also when we’ll likely see “The Goode Family,” Mike Judge’s new animated comedy about a family that tries to do the right thing, with the results usually turning out less than right. Some time in the midseason is also when you’ll hear about (but not see, because there’s no way you’ll watch) the untitled reality show about some type of beauty pageant, produced by Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks.

Second, you’re saying, “dude, where’s those sloppy second you mentioned?” As we all knew, ABC has picked up NBC’s discarded “Scrubs,” which will get one last season. But it’s not on the schedule yet, as the network is holding onto it as another midseason sub. If “Samantha Who?” tanks in the 9:30 Monday slot, I could see ABC yanking it and plugging “Scrubs” in there but, otherwise, I guess it’ll show up January-ish.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He’s baffled — baffled! - by the fact that “According to Jim” is coming back again (as a midseason show). For its eighth season! What does it take to kill that motherfucking show?

Meh As It Ever Was

ABC's 2008 Fall Schedule / The TV Whore
May 14, 2008

Industry | May 14, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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