ABC is shaking things up in a big way. With Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor running shorter seasons than most reality shows, the network needs to fill in those empty time slots by the end of November. Thus, today ABC announced the premiere dates for the second seasons of October Road and Notes from the Underbelly, while also setting a date for Dance War, the Drew Lachey-hosted competition from the producers of Dancing with the Stars.

Dance War will premiere Monday, January 7 at 8pm, occupying the time slot currently held by Dancing with the Stars. After it’s final performance show on November 26, the network will fill the hour during December with various holiday specials.

Scheduled to run for six weeks (likely until the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars is ready to go), Dance War will pit judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba against each other as they lead dance teams into combat with one another. The show is hosted by Drew Lachey, who won the second season of Dancing with the Stars and, earlier this season, proved to be a fan favorite as a co-host.

Also on tap for ABC are the premieres of two midseason shows from last year. Notes from the Underbelly and October Road both were met with lukewarm critical reaction, but due to the fact that they were given the plum post-Grey’s Anatomy time slot, they scored high enough ratings to get renewed.

That pattern will continue for October Road, which gets a second season premiere boost on Thursday, November 22 at 10pm. Afterwards, the soapy melodrama will move to Mondays at 10pm on November 26 for it’s duration. The show stars Bryan Greenberg (One Tree Hill), as a successful writer who returns to his rather unwelcoming hometown. The half-hour parenting comedy Notes from the Underbelly will premiere November 26 as well, filling in at 9:30pm while one of this year’s biggest hits so far, Samantha Who?, gets pushed up to 9pm.

If all this ABC premiere info and time shifting wasn’t enough, the network also announced that starting next Friday, Men in Trees and 20/20 will swap places, meaning the Anne Heche series will air at 8pm instead of 10pm. If that news seems unrelated, it isn’t – much like October Road and Notes from the Underbelly, Men in Trees benefited from the post-Grey’s Anatomy time slot last season. It seems as though in order to fail after Grey’s, a show needs to be not just bad, but exceptionally bad (see: Six Degrees).

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.