Network Reports Cards: ABC

As is my wont at the end of the TV season, over the next five days I'll be presenting the report cards for each of the networks, what they did right and wrong and an overall grade.

Going alphabetically, we'll start with ABC.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: It was a pretty solid year for the Alphabet, as "Dancing With The Stars" had another good year ratings-wise, as did "Desperate Housewives." "Lost" continues to reach new creative heights. "Grey's Anatomy" had creative and ratings slippage, but still draws big numbers. ABC still gets solid numbers across a broad range of demographics.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Three of ABC's most critically acclaimed shows, "Pushing Daisies," "Eli Stone" and "Dirty Sexy Money," got yanked from the schedule early and are burning off their episodes during the summer. "Grey's" went through yet more backstage drama and is no longer the sure bet it once was. "The Unusuals," despite some clever writing, failed to deliver an audience, as did "Better Off Ted," arguably the best sitcom ABC delivered in years. "Ugly Betty" has seen a major audience drop.

ALSO OF NOTE: After years of being yanked around on NBC, "Scrubs" finally found a home on ABC. In fact, that's kind of a problem. After creator Bill Lawrence wrote a great finale, now ABC is bringing it back, in danger of turning a once great series into a dead horse, a' la NBC with "ER."

OVERALL: It was a little bit up and down for ABC, but mostly up. It doesn't quite have the young viewer pull of Fox, nor the consistency of CBS, but it's a good mix of the two. It's got some intriguing new shows lined up for the fall, such as the reboot of "V" and the reimagining of "Witches of Eastwick" that should prove interesting.


MONDAY'S BEST BETS: How good was Showtime's "Nurse Jackie?" It was the highest-rating series premiere in the network's history, so good that Showtime has already ordered Season 2. You can catch the second episode of Season 1 tonight (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.) following a new "Weeds."

"The Bachelorette" (ABC, 8 p.m.) is all-new tonight, followed by "The Newlyweds" at 10 p.m.

On cable, "The Closer" (TNT, 9 p.m.) is new, as is "Raising The Bar" at 10 p.m., while ABC Family airs a new "Greek" at 8 p.m.

Finally, HBO airs the new sports talk show "Joe Buck Live" beginning at 9 p.m.