Looking at the fall schedules announced so far by the networks, you may well be wondering: Where have all the dramas gone? ABC has them, adding three strong ones in September, with three more waiting in the wings.
In other news, Dancing with the Stars will for the first time feature an all-star edition, with fan favorites from the previous 14 rounds returning. The network will roll out only one new sitcom in September, one in November, and two more in January.
ABC lost Desperate Housewives to age and pulled the plug on GCB, Missing, The River, and Cougar Town (which will gain a second life on TBS). But its new schedule, announced Tuesday to advertisers in Avery Fisher Hall at New York's Lincoln Center, creates the kind of chemistry on several nights that will make it harder to reach for the remote.
Take the Tuesday night pairing of Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23, two sitcoms that ABC's Entertainment President Paul Lee called "edgy, sophisticated, and incredibly inappropriate" at a news conference earlier in the day.
Sunday's prime-time lineup will now consist of Once Upon a Time (which the network gave a big, not-so-subtle push on Tuesday), Revenge and 666 Park Avenue, a dark, new supernatural series. Lee said, "Sunday will be a battle between good and evil from 8 all the way through 11."
Here are descriptions of the new series:
The Neighbors is a sitcom starring Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito, who have been trying to move into a gated community in New Jersey for years. When they finally do get a house, they find out why the place is so exclusive. All the other residents come from the planet Zabvron. So there's a little culture shock.
Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) is an aging country singer in Nashville. Her label makes her open on tour for a young emerging superstar, Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), who offstage is a nasty, scheming little monster. Meanwhile, Connie's husband is running for mayor of Nashville, an ambition she strongly opposes. Powers Boothe, Eric Close, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten, and Jonathan Jackson costar.
Last Resort follows the officers and crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine as they seek refuge on a tropical island, accused of treason. Can they survive and clear their names? It stars Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Jessy Schram, Dichen Lachman, Daisy Betts, Sahr Ngaujah, and Camille de Pazzis.
666 Park Avenueis a storied old Manhattan building. But most of those stories are nightmares. The building's sinister owners, Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams, give to their wealthy tenants. But they also taketh away. And the spooky edifice seems to have an agenda of its own. The cast includes Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor, Helena Mattsson, Samantha Logan, Robert Buckley, and Mercedes Masöhn.
Did you know country star Reba McEntire now goes simply as Reba? She's in Malibu Country, a sitcom that joins the schedule in November. She plays a newly divorced woman who moves with her mom (Lily Tomlin) and two kids from Tennessee to the ritzy beach town on the Pacific. In this strange new world, Reba decides to kick-start the singing career she put off years ago in order to raise a family. Sara Rue, Justin Prentice, Jai Rodriguez, and Juliette Angelo costar.
Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_tv. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.