ABC rolls out 10 new TV series, bets big on drama
By Paul Thomasch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - ABC introduced a prime-time TV schedule for next season that will feature 10 new shows, overhauling a lineup that has suffered ratings declines and will soon be without the hit supernatural thriller "Lost."
The majority of ABC's new programs are dramas, ranging from gritty police show "Detroit 1-8-7" to "My Generation," which centers on a group of fictitious high-school students from Austin, Texas, who reunite a decade after graduation.
In all, ABC, a division of Walt Disney Co will premiere six new dramas in 2010-11. ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson is formally presenting the schedule to advertisers and affiliates at a planned upfront event at Lincoln Center on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, ABC's sister network, ESPN, also owned by Disney, announced at its upfront presentation that it plans to roll out its 3D network on June 11. The launch will feature the first of 25 World Cup matches ESPN 3D aims to broadcast, including games involving favorites Brazil, Germany, Italy and Spain.
It is the second year in a row that ABC will make major changes to its schedule, after rolling out 11 new shows during last year's upfronts -- the period each May when U.S. broadcast networks introduce their lineups, then start negotiating with advertisers over billions of dollars in commercial time.
While last year's crop of programing resulted in some strong ABC comedies -- including the breakout hit "Modern Family" -- many of the dramas failed to find an audience and will not return, including "Flash Forward" and "Eastwick."
The result is that ABC, even with the success of "Modern Family" and "Dancing with the Stars," is battling with NBC for last place among the major networks in the ratings race. Adding to its headaches, "Lost" will soon run its final episode.
Hoping to retain some of the "Lost" audience, ABC will introduce a new supernatural show on Tuesdays this fall called "No Ordinary Family." It tells the story of a family that survives a plane crash, and, upon returning home, finds they possess special powers. Continued...