ABC Reveals 2009 Fall Lineup, Renews Scrubs and Castle
ABC is expected to formally announce tomorrow that they'll air six new dramas and four new comedies as part of their 2009 fall lineup, with high concept genre ensemble Flash Forward, science fiction remake V and John Updike adaptation Eastwick, as well as several crime and legal series.

They'll be joined by some familiar favorites. After setting expectations that this past year would be Scrubs' final season, ABC has picked up the medical sitcom for next year after all. Corporate warfare satire Better Off Ted and crime-show-with-a-twist-of-lime Castle also made good impression in the two months they've been on. They both got picked up for next year. 

ABC is cultivating Flash Forward to carry the economic burden that Lost will unload when it concludes at the end of next season. The tent pole series of the 2009 fall lineup has an amazing, credibility building genre fiction pedigree. It's created by executive producers David Goyer, the screenwriter of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and Marc Guggenheim, the comics guru associated with Green Lantern and The Amazing Spider-Man and it's based on a book by Robert Sawyer. In the story, everyone on the planet blacks out at the same time and sees their future. When they wake up they have to go about their lives knowing already what's going to happen. It's an ensemble drama starring Joseph Fiennes, Pirates of the Caribbean's Jack Davenport and Star Trek's John Cho.

V is a reboot of a pair of mini series that aired in 1983 and 1984, a short lived prime time drama from 1984 and later novels, comics and video games. It concerns alien invaders who pretend to be our friends but bring an agenda, and a counterculture rebellion who seeks to expose them. Elizabeth Mitchell, who plays Juliet on Lost, will team with Alan Tudyk, Alpha from Dollhouse, as leaders of the resistance movement against an alien played by Morena Baccarin, Inara from Firefly.

Eastwick is based on the John Updike novel, The Witches of Eastwick and it's produced by show runner David Nutter of The X-Files. It's about three rivaling suburban wives in a small seaside town who become friends after an encounter with the new charismatic bad boy millionaire in town, Daryl Van Horne (Paul Gross), leads them to discover that they're all witches. Rebecca Romijn (X-Men), Lindsay Price (Beverly Hills 90210) and Jamie Ray Newman (General Hospital) star as the mysterious wives.

The network will also promote Happy Town, about the aftermath of the first crime to occur in a small Minnesota town in years, The Deep End, about wet behind the ears legal associates in LA, Copper, about rookie police officers, and The Forgotten, a Jerry Bruckheimer-linked series about a club of amateur detectives.

Meanwhile, even though Scrubs has been renewed it may not look much like you remember it. The series will return for a ninth season but a lot of the original cast won't. All indications are that J.D., Elliot and Carla are on their way out. Zach Braff has agreed to do a six episode arc to ease the transition from the old cast to the new. But Sarah Chalke hasn't signed yet and Judy Reyes reportedly hasn't been asked. Instead the series will focus on the new residents moving forward, likely dividing the series fans between the purists and those who've already connected with the season eight additions.

With several fixtures of genre television - including Lost and Supernatural - expected to end next year it will be especially interesting to see what new favorites prevail among fans of the genre. Will one of these series by the next Lost or Supernatural? We'll know in about six months.

-Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)