ABC said it would introduce a bevy of soapy dramas and several sitcoms over the course of the 2012-13 season. It's part of an effort by the Disney-owned network to restock its programming grid after the departure of "Desperate Housewives" and to counter the aging of "Grey 's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."
The network has had some promising starts in the current season, including the launch of campy drama "Revenge" on Wednesdays and fantasy-centered "Once Upon a Time " on Sundays. At the same time, ABC has had only limited success in capturing audiences ages 18 to 49. Thanks to "The Voice" and its broadcast of the Super Bowl in the TV season now ending, NBC is breathing down ABC's neck.
"We've made a good start, but we've got a lot of work to do," said Paul Lee, ABC's entertainment chief, in a conference call with journalists Tuesday.
With the aim of generating more viewers, ABC will move "Revenge" to 9 p.m. on Sundays and introduce an offbeat comedy to follow "Modern Family" on Wednesdays. The network has also canceled some dramas, including "The River," "Missing" and "GCB."
ABC left Monday night untouched, stocking the evening with "Dancing with the Stars" at 8 p.m. this fall and "Castle" at 10 p.m., with "The Bachelor" moving into the 8 p.m. slot in January.
Tuesdays will start off with "Dancing with the Stars" at 8 p.m., followed by two returning comedies, "Happy Endings" at 9 p.m. and "Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23" at 9:30 p.m. Drama "Private Practice," once a Thursday mainstay, has moved to the 10 p.m. Tuesday slot.
Two new comedies will take over the 8 p.m. slot on Tuesdays once "Dancing" ends its fall season. "How to Live Life With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)," featuring Sarah Chalke as an uptight single mother forced to move back in with her freewheeling parents, will premiere at 8 p.m. "The Family Tools," at 8:30 p.m., focuses on an underachiever who must take charge of his father's handyman business.
Wednesdays, already known as a comedy night for the network, remains largely the same, with "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" filling the 8 p.m. hour, and "Modern Family" at 9 p.m. "Neighbors," a new comedy at 9:30 p.m., focuses on a family who moves into a gated community only to discover that all the residents are members of the alien Zabvronian race.
ABC will use the 10 p.m. hour on Wednesdays to introduce a drama, "Nashville," featuring Connie Britton from "Friday Night Lights" as a fading country star working furiously to keep her fame from slipping away.
ABC is shaking up Thursdays slightly by adding a drama called "The Last Resort" at 8 p.m. The series, starring Andre Braugher, tells the story of U.S. submarine crew members who find themselves branded as rogue because of circumstances not of their own making. "Grey 's Anatomy" returns at 9 p.m., while "Scandal" is back for its sophomore year at 10 p.m.
Fridays will initially see "Shark Tank" at 8 p.m, "Primetime: What Would You Do" at 9 p.m., and "20/20" at 10 p.m. In November, the 8 p.m. hour will be filled with comedies: the returning "Last Man Standing," followed by newcomer "Malibu Country." That sitcom star Reba McIntyre and Lily Tomlin and centers on a middle-aged country singer who moves to southern California. "Shark Tank" will be moved to 9 p.m., but "20/20" will continue at 10 p.m.
Mr. Lee said he hoped to revive a tradition of family-oriented comedy on Fridays. ABC was once known for its "TGIF" slate, which included "Boy Meets World," "Family Matters," "Perfect Strangers" and "Full House." The strategy was in place from 1989 to 2000, with a brief return in 2003 and 2004. "I think it's time again for Friday night to be a destination again for broad family entertainment," he said.
As usual, Saturdays will be devoted to college football.
ABC's Sunday lineup features "America's Funniest Videos" at 7 p.m., "Once Upon A Time " at 8 p.m. and "Revenge" at 9 p.m., with a newcomer, "666 Park Avenue," at 10 p.m. Based on a book by Gabriella Pierce, the drama concerns residents of a strange New York building that maintains a dark hold on everyone who lives there.
The network has reserved several programs to add at mid-season, along with a 13-episode order of "Body of Proof." ABC said it had prepared three new dramas as well. "Zero Hour" stars Anthony Edwards, best known for his role in "E.R.," as the publisher of a paranormal-enthusiast magazine who is drawn into a mystery when his wife is abducted. "Red Widow" tells the tale of a mother who must defend herself and her three children from gangsters. And "Mistresses" stars Alyssa Milano in a drama about a group of female friends and their complex relationships.