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The 2009 Network Upfronts: ABC Goes for Laughs

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Today ABC announced its new lineup for the fall 2009-2010 season. The network also announced that after two seasons Samantha Who? will not be returning. However, fans of comedy neat not fear, the network is launching a new two-hour Wednesday night comedy block and will even be bringing back Scrubs and Better off Ted midseason. It should be noted though that Scrubs will feature even fewer episodes in the new season with the original cast than it did this past season. Midseason will also feature a new take on the classic 1980s’ miniseries V.

The schedule announced today looks like this:


 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wed. Thursday Friday Saturday
7:00 America's Funniest
Home Videos
           
7:30
8:00 Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition
Dancing with
the Stars
Shark Tank Hank Flash
Forward
Supernanny College
Football
8:30 The Middle
9:00 Desperate
Housewives
DWTS:
Results Show
Modern Family Grey's
Anatomy
Ugly Betty
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 Brothers &
Sisters
Castle The Forgotten Eastwick Private
Practice
20/20
10:30

The new Wednesday night comedy block features some big names and is anchored at 8pm by the Kelsey Grammer led comedy Hank, which follows a “titan of industry” who finds himself out of work and at home with his family. That’s followed by Patricia Heaton’s new comedy The Middle about a middle class family in the middle of the country. The series also stars Neil Flynn (the Janitor on Scrubs). Ed O’Neill’s new comedy, Modern Family, airs after that and is shot Office-style as a documentary. That is followed by a new Courteney Cox series, Cougar Town, about a recently divorced mother.

It’s certainly an ambitious new night for ABC, particularly in recent years when comedies haven’t fared well. And the night ends with Eastwick, which is an updated look at The Witches of Eastwick and stars Rebecca Romijn.

As for ABC’s other new series, Shark Tank is a Mark Burnett production and is based on a format already successful in other countries featuring start-up companies seeking money from a group of venture capitalists. Flash Forward features a bleak look at the possible future of humanity following a worldwide blackout.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.