Did ABC Make the Grade? We Hand Out its Mid-Season Report Card

The Good: If this TV Addict’s Twitter feed is any indication, ABC biggest success this Fall amounts to continuing to provide a home for some of the most buzzed about shows on television. On the dramatic front, the CASTLE writing staff successfully avoided the pitfalls that come with bring a show’s central couple together thanks to the perfect mix of thematically relevant and fun stories, GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL’s countless on-no-they-didn’t-esque cliffhangers continued to solidify Shonda Rhimes’ status as one of the best in the biz, while ONCE UPON A TIME and REVENGE avoided the dreaded sophomore slump… albeit by a hair. On the comedic side of things, the laughs just got louder for the likes of THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY SUBURGATORY, HAPPY ENDINGS and DON’T TRUST THE B… Unfortunately, as the cancelations of shows such as EVERWOOD and VERONICA MARS have so clearly illustrated, our Twitter feed isn’t much of an indication of anything. Which brings us to…

The Bad: Ratings for comedies outside of ABC’s Wednesday night lineup are no laughing matter! Neither was ABC’s new offerings. Seriously. Had you asked us three months ago if newcomers LAST RESORT and 666 PARK AVENUE would be amongst the Fall’s biggest flops, we’d have answered with some variation of the phrase “Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis?” More disturbing still, ABC’s once unstoppable juggernaut that is DANCING WITH THE STARS continued to spiral downward ratings wise thanks to (or is it no thanks to?) increased competition from NBC’s THE VOICE (finishing the season down 20%).

The Future: Isn’t looking good… and we mean that literally having already previewed the Network’s midseason slate of shows. And while we’re not quite ready to write off ABC President Paul Lee’s tumultuous tenure just yet — after-all, when he isn’t green-lighting unwatchable crimes against the small screen such as WORK IT, he’s championing favorites like HAPPY ENDINGS — it may behoove the big boss man to settle on just who his Network is trying to target. Because nights that feature DANCING WITH THE STARS and LAST RESORT segueing into HAPPY ENDINGS and/or GREY’S ANATOMY are simply doing much more harm than good.

Grade: C+

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