May is the month when hope springs eternal for broadcast TV.
Following a season when almost nothing new bore fruit for ABC, the network announced Tuesday afternoon an ambitious palette of freshman series for 2011-12.
Seven shows will join the fall lineup, including a sitcom with Tim Allen and a glamorous remake of that '70s sensation, Charlie's Angels.
ABC has six more series in the wings for midseason, including an international thriller starring Ashley Judd and a catty soap set in Dallas with Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, and Annie Potts.
As expected, Body of Proof and Castle will return. Surprisingly, Happy Endings, the underwhelming sitcom with Elisha Cuthbert and Zachary Knighton, will be getting a second shot. Courteney Cox's Cougar Town is slated to start up again later in the season.
Alas, the Walker family has been given their walking papers with the cancellation of Brothers & Sisters. That means the next time you see Sally Field on TV will probably be in a Boniva commercial.
One of the younger B & S cast members, however, will be back in prime time immediately. Emily VanCamp stars in the self-explanatory Revenge, a curiously sinister capstone to ABC's Wednesday night comedy block.
Monday will remain stable for the Alphabet Network thanks to the ratings-blessed Dancing With the Stars. Sunday is the most tumultuous night, with Desperate Housewives bracketed by two newcomers.
The new fall shows:
Charlie's Angels. Three attractive young women who can handle themselves no matter how hairy the situation gets team up for daunting cases. It's the formula (and the title) originally exploited by Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Farrah Fawcett-Majors on ABC 35 years ago.
Now based in Miami, the new angels are played by Annie Ilonzeh, Rachael Taylor, and Minka Kelly. How could you resist a show that features Parenthood's Kelly as "Eve, a street racer with a mysterious past"?
Last Man Standing. Tim Allen as a manly man in an ABC sitcom leading off Tuesday night's schedule? The network must be hoping it can make Home Improvement strike twice.
Allen plays a pickup-truck-driving executive for a famous sporting goods chain. But he's outnumbered and overruled at home by his wife (Nancy Travis) and three daughters (Alexandra Krosney, Molly Ephraim and Kaitlyn Dever).
Man Up. Three guys - one married, one divorced, and one single - struggle with what constitutes modern masculinity in this sitcom.
Mather Zickel, Teri Polo, Christopher Moynihan, Dan Fogler, and Amanda Detmer star in this less-than-macho comedy of manners.
Suburgatory. Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order) stars as a single dad who thinks his daughter (Jane Levy) is growing up way too fast in Manhattan.
So he loads up his stuff and they move to commuterville. Parent and child, both born-and-bred city dwellers, find the suburbs a strange and rather alarming setting in this sitcom.
Revenge. A mysterious young woman (Emily VanCamp) moves into an expensive property in the exclusive Hamptons portion of Long Island.
Her rich neighbors find the new resident charming. Little do they suspect this isn't her first time in town. Or that she's returned with an agenda. Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann, and Henry Czerny costar.
Once Upon a Time. A boy (Jared Gilmore) has a fanciful explanation for why his mother (Ginnifer Goodwin) gave him up as a baby. It's a fairy tale she ain't buying.
Until they move together to a curious New England village called Storybrooke. The people there all seem to be caught in the same Snow White dream.
Robert Carlyle, Jennifer Morrison, and Raphael Sbarge costar.
Pan Am. Coffee, tea, or me? This period drama is set in the '60s in the high-flying world of aviation, a world where gorgeous airline stews (don't call them flight attendants) mix and mingle with dashing businessmen and chiseled pilots.
Remember to buckle up because a pretty face can hide some ugly lies.
Kelli Garner, Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, and Jonah Lotan star in this retro flight of the imagination.
New shows in bold
7, America's Funniest Home Videos; 8, Once Upon a Time; 9, Desperate Housewives; 10, Pan Am
8, Dancing With the Stars; 10, Castle
8, Last Man Standing; 8:30, Man Up; 9, Dancing With the Stars Results Show; 10, Body of Proof
8, The Middle; 8:30 Suburgatory; 9, Modern Family; 9:30, Happy Endings; 10, Revenge
8, Charlie's Angels; 9, Grey's Anatomy; 10, Private Practice
8, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; 9, Shark Tank; 10, 20/20
8, Saturday Night College FootballEndText