Returning to the schedule are "Boston Legal," for a final season; "Pushing Daisies"; "Private Practice"; "Dirty Sexy Money"; "Ugly Betty"; "Grey's Anatomy"; "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"; "Brothers & Sisters"; "Desperate Housewives"; "Dancing with the Stars"; and "Samantha Who." ABC will launch two new programs in the fall: "Life on Mars" focuses on a police detective who is mysteriously transported to 1973 after a car crash, and is based on a concept from the BBC. "Opportunity Knocks" is a reality/game-show hybrid that offers cash and prizes to families that find themselves in a contest before their friends and neighbors.
Stability may appeal to marketers
The stability will likely help ABC going into the upfront marketplace, when marketers typically commit between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion in ad spending to broadcast TV's fall prime-time schedule. Many of the networks have little in the way of new scripted fare to show off, due to the recent writers strike, which limited the ability to develop pilots and new series concepts.
ABC also announced some mid-season pickups. "The Goode Family" is a new animated series from "King of the Hill" creator Mike Judge, while "Scrubs" is familiar to many TV fans. The series, produced by ABC Studios but having aired on NBC for many years, marks ABC's attempt to bolster the well-known comedy. During a presentation to reporters this morning, Stephen McPherson, president-ABC Entertainment, said NBC had switched "Scrubs" into many different time slots and did not promote it well.
ABC said "According to Jim," "Lost," "The Bachelor" and "ABC News' Primetime: What Would You Do?" will also return.
ABC also unveiled what it called an "Advertising Value Index" to help marketers judge how well their ads would perform on the network. Mike Shaw, president-sales and marketing, ABC Television Network, said marketers were looking for more than just the demographic information provided by Nielsen when trying to determine who their ads were reaching and how effective commercials were in driving consumers to make purchases.
16-25 data points
The index, he said, would allow advertisers to select from between 16 and 25 different data points, including information about audience education, household data, commercial ratings and consumer-recall information from IAG Research, a New York firm that is to become part of Nielsen.
"You know who you are trying to target, so we want to take a deeper dive into the audience information," Mr. Shaw said about advertisers, suggesting they want "a one-to-one relationship with the unit you are buying."