ABC, the number two network in all the land (and only behind FOX because of the Super Bowl and American Idol), had its upfront presentation early this morning.  The network unveiled its Fall schedule, and it’s pretty hard to get excited about it.  Nothing against ABC – the schedule is good, probably the best, top to bottom, of any network – it’s just that there weren’t many openings this time around.  Last season ABC launched eight new shows in the Fall, the most of any network.  For the most part, ABC hit a homerun with Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Samantha Who?, and Eli Stone in the mid-season.

Networks rarely have so many returning second-year shows.  Because of this, ABC had very little work to do this pilot season.  There are only two new shows on the Fall schedule, with two more targeted for the mid-season.  Continue reading for a detailed description of the schedule and new shows.

8pm: Dancing with the Stars
9:30pm: Samantha Who?
10pm: Boston Legal

8pm: Opportunity Knocks
9pm: Dancing with the Stars – Results Show
10pm: Eli Stone

8pm: Pushing Daisies
9pm: Private Practice
10pm: Dirty Sexy Money

8pm: Ugly Betty
9pm: Grey’s Anatomy
10pm: Life on Mars

8pm: Wife Swap
9pm: Supernanny
10pm: 20/20

8pm: Saturday Night College Football

7pm: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8pm: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9pm: Desperate Housewives
10pm: Brothers & Sisters

New Fall Show:

Life on Mars
Life on Mars is a BBC import.  This Americanized version is executive produced by David E. Kelley and stars Jason O’Mara as a present day police detective who, after a car crash, wakes up as a detective in the 70’s.  Colm Meaney, Lenny Clarke and Richard Benjamin co-star.

Opportunity Knocks
A new reality series/game show from the Punk’d team of Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg.  Host J.D. Roth and a team in a decked-out semi truck will roam the country looking for families to compete on the show.  The mobile series will air from the front yards of families all across the country – using objects in the house, the Knocks team will ask family members questions about each other, finding out how well they really know each other.  Prizes are awarded.

Returning Mid-Season Shows:
According to Jim
The Bachelor


New Mid-Season Show:

The Goode Family
A new animated series from Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butthead) about a family who attempts to do nothing but good in their lives.  Hilarity ensues.  This show and Scrubs will be paired on Tuesday nights at 9pm while Dancing with the Stars takes its hiatus between seasons.

Technically it’s not new, but it’s new to ABC.  After being mistreated by NBC for seven years, Scrubs is making its way to ABC as a mid-season replacement to finish up with a 13-episode season.

Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks
Quick, give it a name! What did this unholy union create?  “A beauty pageant unlike any you’ve ever seen.”  Uh-oh.  The show will replace Dancing with the Stars on Monday nights during the early mid-season.

ABC has really gotten into the Ashton Kutcher business for next season.  Half of their new series have Kutcher as an executive producer.  That’s probably a little frightening, though maybe it’s the network’s way of apologizing for canceling the scripted show he produced, Miss Guided.

The schedule is about as expected, I think.  ABC will see if anything besides Lost can do well in the post-Grey’s time slot – new series Life on Mars will inhabit that spot in the Fall. 

Speaking of Lost, with the schedule as is, you have to assume that ABC sees Lost keeping their current Thursday 10pm slot when the series returns in 2009.  I don’t see Private Practice or Dirty Sexy Money going anywhere on Wednesdays. 

Opportunity Knocks
sounds terrible.

Stephen McPherson confirmed that this fifth season will be the last for Boston Legal, and that it will be a shortened 13-episode season.

Also Read:
FOX Fall 2008 Schedule
FOX Spring 2009 Schedule
CBS Fall 2008 Schedule
The CW Fall 2008 Schedule
NBC Fall 2008 Schedule

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: TheFutonCritic
(Image Courtesy of ABC)

Oscar Dahl

Senior Writer, BuddyTV