While the other networks are splashing around in the kiddie pool, ABC jumped into the shark tank at its upfront presentation Tuesday at New York's Avery Fisher Hall.
The network will launch eight prime-time series, an even split of dramas and sitcoms, in the fall. It also made some major programming moves, including an all-new Tuesday night lineup, and a significant revision of Dancing With the Stars.
As ABC president Paul Lee said, "We are taking some big swings . . . this season."
Here are descriptions of the new shows:
Betrayal, a Sunday companion piece to Revenge, stars Hannah Ware (Boss) and Irish actor Stuart Townsend as two people, married to others, who begin a torrid affair. But a high-profile murder case becomes a big impediment. With Henry Thomas (E.T.) and James Cromwell (24).
An ensemble cast (you can probably guess how many) plays the employees at a gas station in the drama Lucky 7. Then a shared lottery ticket changes all their lives. With Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Rubicon) and Matt Long (Mad Men).
The action series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. carries high expectations because of its comic book origins and its executive producer, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Still having trouble accepting Clark Gregg (Julia Louis-Dreyfus's ex on The New Adventures of the Old Christine) as the tough leader of an elite assault group. Nick Fury, he ain't.
Once Upon a Time In Wonderland is an Alice-centric spinoff of ABC's fractured-fairy-tale series Once Upon a Time. English-born, Aussie-raised Sophie Lowe plays the girl who goes underground. John Lithgow provides the voice for the White Rabbit who has no time to say "Hello."
In The Goldbergs, a vigilant 11-year-old boy with a video camera captures all his family's mishigas. Jeff Garlin, George Segal, and Wendi McLendon-Covey co-star in the series, an autobiographical effort from producer Adam F. Goldberg (Breaking In), a Jenkintown native.
Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) stars in Trophy Wife as a man whose third marriage (to Malin Akerman of Couples Retreat) is comically complicated by his exes, who still play active roles in his life.
Aussie sensation Rebel Wilson (Pain & Gain) finds her longtime weekly recreational ritual with her besties imperiled by circumstance in Super Fun Night. Kellen Coleman (The Newsroom) and Brit Kevin Bishop costar in the series, which scored the coveted post-Modern Family slot.
Maggie Lawson (Psych) and James Caan play battling daughter and father in the sitcom Back in the Game. To encourage her ungainly son, Lawson, a single mom and former athlete, coaches a team of bad-news cubs.
The network's biannual ballroom bonanza, Dancing With the Stars, is being compressed to a single two-hour installment on Mondays. So put the show's voting lines on your speed-dial, or else Len wins.
ABC granted reprieves to a few shows that were on the bubble, notably Nashville, Suburgatory, and Neighbors. But sadly for lovers of laughter, it canceled Happy Endings.
No yenta-love from Barbara Walters next year, either. But America's Funniest Home Videos will be back, so all's right with the world.
Next, on Wednesday, it's CBS's turn to flip the cards.
ABC Fall Lineup
New programs in bold
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
8:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00 The Goldbergs
9:30 Trophy Wife
10:00 Lucky 7
8:00 The Middle
8:30 Back in the Game
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Super Fun Night
8:00 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
8:00 Last Man Standing
8:30 The Neighbors
9:00 Shark Tank
8:00 Saturday Night College Football
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Once Upon a Time