ABC announced several renewals for next season, including "Brothers & Sisters," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "Lost" and "Ugly Betty."
Reality shows renewed include "Dancing With The Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Supernanny," "Wife Swap," "The Bachelor" and "America's Funniest Home Videos."
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No real surprises here, except maybe "Ugly Betty," which was considered by some as on the bubble. For other ABC shows not listed, some may still come back but the network hasn't made it official.
Meanwhile, NBC is looking at bringing back "Heroes" but at a reduced number of episodes. It's a bit ironic that NBC is following the idea I laid out here a couple of months ago -- not run 22-episode seasons anymore -- but for different reasons. In this case, it's to save money.
If NBC goes ahead with this plan, I'm encouraged to think they might try similar plans with bubble shows like "Life" and "Chuck." Hey, I'd rather have 13 episodes of those series than none.
Cable series have gone mostly with 13-episode runs (with "Rescue Me's" 22 episodes this year on FX being a notable exception), and no one can argue with the quality of the results: "The Shield," "Burn Notice," "Mad Men," "Damages" etc. I think 13 episodes is the perfect number for several reasons -- it keeps costs down, it allows a series to tell a story without dragging it out and it could mean attracting high-profile actors to TV who might not normally do it, such as Glenn Close on "Damages."
"Lost" has been running 16-episode seasons the past couple of years, and I don't think its fans are complaining about the length. Some might think more is better, but I think the producers have everything planned out perfectly.
Maybe the rest of the networks will start looking at this plan.
OBAMA ON THE AIR: The White House has requested the 8 p.m. hour this Wednesday for a news conference marking President Obama's first 100 days in office. This one will be an hour long (and in the middle of sweeps), but expect more shuffling around by the networks because of it.
WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: As a sportswriter, I covered the NFL draft a few times and let me tell you, you can't imagine a more boring event. I covered the 1996 draft at the Carolina Panthers headquarters the year the team had the No. 8 pick, and it took hours -- literally -- to get to it.
For some reason, though, most people like to watch for the draft musings of Mel Kiper Jr., so tune in this Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN, where at least UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford will be the likely No. 1 pick, while tailback Knowshown Moreno should be going somewhere in the first round.
Tonight is a special two hour "20/20" (ABC, 9 p.m.) about a woman who poisoned her husbands and framed her daughter for it. NBC counters with a two-hour "Dateline."
CBS is all new with "Ghost Whisperer," "Flashpoint" and "Numb3rs."
Fox brings new episodes of "Prison Break" at 8 p.m. and "Dollhouse" at 9 p.m. The CW is new with "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game" from 8-9 p.m.
On Saturday, it's the season finale of "Ashes To Ashes," (BBC America, 9 p.m.)
On Sunday, "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) is down to four teams. You know that team must be really nasty if I'm pulling against a team with a deaf person on it. But c'mon, the kid threw an elbow at one box and ran into her at the second clue box. I'm still going for the redheads, not a surprise to anyone who knows me. It's followed by new episodes of "Cold Case" and "The Unit."
Fox has new episodes in its animation block. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with "Sit Down, Shut Up" considering its "Arrested Development" connections.
ABC has new episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" beginning at 9 p.m. "Masterpiece" (PBS, 9 p.m.) features the conclusion of the five-part "Little Dorrit."
On cable, "The Tudors" (Showtime, 9 p.m.) is brand-new. HBO has new episodes of "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" at 8 p.m. and two new episodes of "In Treatment" beginning at 9 p.m.
On Sci-Fi, Famke Janssen and Bobby Canavale star in the movie "100 Feet."
It's a new "In Plain Sight," (USA, 10 p.m.) while the pick of the night is always going to be "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 10 p.m.)