ABC Gets its Mid-Season Report Card

The Good: ABC took a fairly substantial leap of faith with their brand-new Wednesday night comedy block, and as luck would have it, the leap paid off. What could have been an epic disaster of HANK-esque proportions single-handedly transformed ABC’s once troubled Wednesday night into a ratings force to be reckoned with thanks to the success of freshman newcomers THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY and COUGAR TOWN. On the drama front, Shonda Rhimes — when she’s not busy conversing with crazy passionate fans via twitter (Seriously, love ya @shondarhimes) has weathered the not-so-perfect-storm of including: Ellen Pompeo’s real-life pregnancy, T.R. Knight’s exit and Katherine Heigl’s wish to work when it suits her schedule with a very savvy hospital merger, all the while continuing to build on the momentum from PRIVATE PRACTICE’s thrilling season finale. Plus, the Alphabet’s patience in CASTLE seems to have paid dividends, with the Nathan Fillion vehicle continuing to attract a loyal following even without the help of the reality TV juggernaut that is DANCING WITH THE STARS.

The Bad: And while we’re on the subject of DANCING WITH THE STARS, like veteran dramas BROTHERS & SISTERS and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, the once unbeatable reality TV show is slowly starting to show its age in the form of declining viewership and interest. While high profile, pricey and star-studded newcomers such as EASTWICK, FLASHFORWARD and V failed to live up to expectations in both the ratings and creative department…

The Prognosis: …Which is one of the reason why ABC may have been so anxious to announce that their new legal series from David Hemingson (KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL) entitled THE DEEP END featuring TV Addict favorites Matt Long (JACK & BOBBY) Tina Majorino (VERONICA MARS) will bow earlier than expected, getting FLASHFORWARD’s highly-coveted Thursday at 8PM slot starting this January 21, 2010. While UGLY BETTY (a series which by the way is enjoying its most entertaining season to-date) gets a stay of execution thanks to a January 2010 move that has it escaping its dreaded Friday night time slot for EASTWICK’s now vacant Wednesday at 10PM slot.

The Grade: B+ (Note: ABC was this close to an ‘A’ only to lose credit thanks to HANK. Really people, who thought that show was a good idea?)

Tune in tomorrow when we give FOX their midseason report card.

• NBC gets its Mid-Season Report Card
• CBS gets its Mid-Season Report Card

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • Jennifer

    I’m thrilled that Castle is hanging on. That show cracks me up and I love the leads’ chemistry. I bought the first season on DVD to catch up on what I missed. A terrific show!

  • BizarroP

    Creatively, ABC is the best network station. All their shows have a crisp sheen that no other network has. Just look at, the vibrant colors of Ugly Betty, CougarTown, Desperate Housewives and of course, the late great Pushing Daisies… Lost has an amazing cinematic feel that very few shows on other networks have… ABC all the way!

  • Manju

    ABC has always been one of my favorite networks, even though as a teenage guy I’m the opposite of their demotarget. Ugly Betty, Grey’s and even Desperate Housewives (I quit after season 4 but this year’s premiere sucked me back in) are on creative high points even now they are long running show’s. Newbie comedy block is hilarious! And well competes with the Monday and Thursday comedy nights of CBS and NBC. Lost is heading into its final season and this year certianly seems to do good for the alphabet network, there’s just one thing; they canceled Pushing Daisies. And for that creativity-killing decision I will never forgive them.

  • Susan P.

    I am disappointed about Eastwick as I do think it is pretty terrific show, but I also adored the Sarah Connor Chronicles and it got passe don for that lump of a show called Dollhouse.

  • Ace

    ABC and FOX are my most watched networks, so I agree with your assessment. I wish that they had started Better Off Ted on Wednesdays this fall instead of Hank. I liked Eastwick, but I can’t blame them for canceling it w/ its horrible numbers and I’m glad that Ugly Betty is getting its spot.

  • Robert

    Although ABC showed signs of aging for a while, their new sitcom night is wonderful and the oldies still have staying power (Grey’s, Desperate). Not to mention the monster that is Lost coming in the Spring and I think the network is plenty safe from my complaints.

  • Megan

    Modern Family is a work of genius.

  • Naf

    ABC is easily the best network for me. Lost, alone, would be enough for me to give ABC the thumbs up, but pair that with the comedy lineup of Modern Family, The Middle, Better Off Ted and Cougar Town, and Greys Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters and Desperate Housewives back to their best. I’m even kind of enjoying the Scrubs revamp, althought it has a lot of issues, but none which I can’t see being fixed. Only FlashForward isn’t working for me.

  • TxGal

    My husband and I enjoy Cougar Town it’s so funny. I like also Modern Family at first my husband didn’t but now he likes it. Sorry to hear about Flashforward. I was wondering about Sarah Connor I liked that show and Dollhouse for some reason I can’t get into it.

  • Bgirl

    Unless they’ve improved The Deep End from the pilot, ABC better not be pinning their hopes on it, it was not good.

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