ABC has been a little late to the game in terms of announcements for the 2013-2014 TV season. While the other four major networks have revealed almost all of their renewals, cancellations and new pick-ups, ABC has been completely silent. Until now.
The network has officially renewed many returning shows, including freshman hit Nashville and bubble comedy Suburgatory. Sadly, it also cancelled one of the funniest shows on TV, the low-rated Happy Endings, as well as five other shows. It has also picked up the high-profile series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. produced by Joss Whedon, the Rebel Wilson comedy Super Fun Night and more.
ABC has renewed dramas Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Castle, Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Nashville for next season. On the comedy side, Suburgatory was picked up for a third season, as was Emmy-winning Modern Family, The Middle, Last Man Standing and the alien sitcom The Neighbors (Zabvronians rejoice!).
Nashville has averaged under 5.5 million viewers in recent weeks, which isn’t particularly huge, but it’s far and away the top new drama for the network this season. ABC cancelled all its other new dramas, Last Resort, 666 Park Avenue, Zero Hour and Red Widow..
The renewal for The Neighbors is a bit of a surprise since it’s been off the air for a while and didn’t have huge ratings, but I’m pleased because it turned into one of the most enjoyable shows on TV. It might help that it’s replacements, Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) didn’t take off.
Happy Endings has been cancelled after three seasons. The show never had strong ratings and a move to Friday nights at the end of this season was definitely a bad sign. Still, it’s a damn shame, especially because it means the long-awaited Dave/Penny romance will never happen. However, all hope is not lost as USA has expressed a possible interest in saving it, much like TBS did for Cougar Town. USA may not be known for comedies, but with the syndication of Modern Family coming up this fall, the network has an interest in moving into the half-hour world.
Additionally the Reba McEntire comedy Malibu Country was cancelled after one season, as was the last new drama Red Widow. In a somewhat surprising move, Body of Proof was also cancelled after being retooled and coming back with surprisingly solid ratings.
Finally, late arrival comedies Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) were both cancelled. How to Live has only aired six episodes and Family Tools just two, so it’s obvious ABC never really expected them to get renewed.
You might think 11 renewals, not to mention Dancing with the Stars, wouldn’t leave a ton of room for new shows. But ABC is going hog-wild, ordering seven new dramas and five new comedies.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Coming from Joss Whedon (who went from beloved cult TV creator to director of The Avengers), this show takes the organization featured in The Avengers and brings it to television. The hero drama stars Clark Gregg, reprising his role of Agent Phil Coulson from The Avengers. It will also feature Ming-Na Wenn. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. marks Whedon’s fifth television series. He achieved iconic status with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, created a beloved cult phenomenon with the very short-lived Firefly and then brought us Dollhouse.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: A spin-off of the popular Once Upon a Time centered in Alice and her adventures in Wonderland.
Betrayal: A woman begins having an affair with a lawyer, but her lover is defending a murderer being prosecuted by her husband.
Mind Games: The latest attempt for creator Kyle Killen (Lone Star, Awake) to have a show, this drama is about a bipolar psych genius and his ex-con brother who run an agency to solve problems. It stars Steve Zahn and Christian Slater.
Lucky 7: A drama about seven people whose lives are changed when they when a huge lotto jackpot. NBC aired a similar show called Windfall in the summer of 2006 about a group of people in a small town who won a $400 million jackpot, but it was cancelled after 13 episodes.
Killer Woman: This show centers on a bad-ass woman working with the male-dominated Texas Rangers, starring Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer and Michael Trucco as well as Marc Blucas (Necessary Roughness).
Resurrection: The dead suddenly come back to life as if nothing has happened on this drama starring House‘s Omar Epps.
Super Fun Night:This new comedy about a trio of girls who vow to spend every Friday evening together and make it, well, you can probably guess from the title. The show’s main draw is star Rebel Wilson, whose popularity from Pitch Perfect and hosting the MTV Movie Awards has made her a hot commodity.
The Goldbergs: Set in the ’80s, this coming-of-age family comedy features the overbearing parents (Wendi McClendon-Covey and Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Jeff Garlin) of three kids.
Back in the Game: A former softball player (Psych‘s Maggie Lawson) whose father (James Caan) also played baseball, realizes her son has no talent and agrees to coach his Little League team of losers.
Trophy Wife: A young woman (Malin Akerman) becomes the third wife of an older man (The West Wing‘s Bradley Whitford) and must deal with his two ex-wives and the children he has with them.
Mixology: A comedy set at a bar in Manhattan with sexy singles looking for love, with the entire series taking place over a single night. It features Glee‘s Vanessa Lengies.
(Image courtesy of ABC)