The Good: Where do we begin? Despite what many insiders predicted would be a disappointing Fall for the Alphabet Network thanks to an aging roster of shows (See: GREY’S ANATOMY, PRIVATE PRACTICE and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), newly-minted ABC President Paul Lee’s quirky mix of quality scripted dramas and comedies paid off in a big way. On the dramatic front, both REVENGE and ONCE UPON A TIME defied the odds by reviving the Primetime Sudser and Family Drama genres, both of which were long thought to be past their prime. While on the comedy front, ABC continued to steal the spotlight from NBC’s Thursday night with a Wednesday lineup of top to bottom belly-laughs (See: HAPPY ENDINGS, MODERN FAMILY, SUBURGATORY and THE MIDDLE). Also of note were better than expected ratings for Tim Allen’s triumphant return to the medium which made him a household name in LAST MAN STANDING and CASTLE, the latter of which continued to hold its own despite a weakened lead-in.
The Bad: Did you see CHARLIE’S ANGELS or MAN UP!? Neither did the rest of the country, which is why you won’t be seeing them on ABC come 2012. Also hurting for viewers was PAN AM, the 60’s set drama which failed to generate much, if any interest until the recent announcement that had ABC grounding the costly series after its initial 13 episode order. More worrisome still is the slight downtick in audience share for the once unstoppable ratings juggernaut that was DANCING WITH THE STARS, in addition to BODY OF PROOF, which will seriously have to step up its game if it hopes to see a third season. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the lack of timeslot for COUGAR TOWN, which brings us to…
The Future: Having made the curious decision to hold many of their most interesting shows until midseason, ABC’s future looks, well, crowded. Which is our polite way of saying that for every WORK IT! (A cross-dressing comedy that we’re convinced is expat Paul Lee’s revenge on American for how Hollywood treats many of his former UK countrymen’s adaptations), edition of WIFE SWAP (Groan!), and THE BACHELOR (Double Groan!) are a handful of must-see-shows patiently waiting in the wings including GCB (Formerly GOOD CHRISTIAN B*TCHES), THE RIVER (Think Blair Witch Project on a boat), DON’T TRUST THE B—- IN APT. 23 (Starring the artist formerly known as Dawson Leery, James Van Der Beek) and COUGAR TOWN (Which as of this posting still has yet to get a premiere date)