ABC officially announced its fall lineup this morning and as expected the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice, starring Kate Walsh, was amongst the eleven new shows ABC has on its roster. The alphabet has boldly scheduled this unproven quantity in the hotly contested Wednesday, 9pm est time slot. Tomorrow will bring word of what FOX intends to place in the slot during American Idol’s off season, but for the fall lineup Private Practice will be going head to head with police procedural juggernaut Criminal Minds, and NBC’s Science Fiction offering, Bionic Woman.
Private Practice is targeted at a different breed of television viewer than it’s progenitor, Grey’s Anatomy; a fact evidenced by largely negative buzz generated when ABC cut the pilot for Private Practice into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Most people were unable to follow the shift from one segment to the other. What was meant as a clever way to expose audiences to Private Practice’s unique tone came off as a study in clashing narratives.
Those that were able to look beyond the cinematic failings of the experiment occupied the quieter voices in the room once all was said and done. What remains to be seen is how much this negative pre-buzz is going to impact the shows premiere this fall. Since the show obviously is not designed to mimic the Grey’s Anatomy tone, it will largely need to develop its own audience to augment whatever padding it DOES get from the cross over.
Given the challenge of the negative pre-buzz, it is likely that ABC will give Private Practice the pre-release push it gives to all of its new shows via pre-release screeners to the press as well as perhaps making the first few episodes available to potential viewers ahead of the shows debut.
– Jon lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Copyright © 2007 ABC)