ABC unveiled its schedule this morning for the upcoming TV season.
Not too many surprises, since the return of "Scrubs" has been rumored for the past couple of months despite the show's seeming finale last week. As much as I had enjoyed "Scrubs" over the years, creator Bill Lawrence (who is exiting the show) had written a note-perfect finale. But "Scrubs" is basically a license for the network to print money, since it owns the show directly and makes a lot of money off it, especially through syndication rights.
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The show returns in the midseason, paired once again with "Better Off Ted," a clever comedy that survived low ratings.
Here's the schedule for the fall season:
MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (two-hours)
10:00 p.m. "Castle"
TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Shark Tank"
9:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars the Results Show"
10:00 p.m. "The Forgotten"
WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Hank"
8:30 p.m. "The Middle"
9:00 p.m. "Modern Family"
9:30 p.m. "Cougar Town"
10:00 p.m. "Eastwick"
THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Flash Forward"
9:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"
10:00 p.m. "Private Practice"
FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Supernanny"
9:00 p.m. "Ugly Betty"
10:00 p.m. "20/20"
SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. "Saturday Night College Football"
SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"
8:00 p.m. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
9:00 p.m. "Desperate Housewives"
10:00 p.m. "Brothers & Sisters"
ABC doesn't set its midseason lineup until the midseason is here, so shows like "Lost" and "Dancing With The Stars" aren't on the schedule but will be back.
Of the new shows: "The Deep End" is four young lawyers joining a prestigious LA law firm.
"Eastwick" is based upon the novel and movie, "Witches of Eastwick," the second time a network is trying to make a TV show based on this source material.
"Flash Forward," perhaps the most-anticipated of ABC's new dramas, is a sci-fi thriller in which everyone in the world sees two minutes of their future and attempt to change it. It was co-created by David Goyer, the co-writer of "Batman Begins," and is based on a novel by Robert Sawyer. Joseph Fiennes heads the cast.
"The Forgotten" also has some promise, about a group of amateur sleuths who try to solve cold cases after the police abandon their investigations.
"Happy Town" is one of those mysterious places where there are a lot of kidnappings and secrets.
"V" will appear on the midseason schedule. It's a remake of the old NBC sci-fi series, re-imagined a' la "Battlestar Galactica." Elizabeth Mitchell ("Lost") leads a very solid cast.
Among the comedies, Courtney Cox returns to TV in "Cougartown," a series created by Bill Lawrence. It also stars Christa Miller and Busy Philipps.
Kelsey Grammer is another big-name comedy star returning to the tube in "Hank," about a powerful business executive who loses his job.
"The Middle" stars Patricia Heaton as the mom of a middle class family just trying to keep its head above water. It also stars Neil Flynn of "Scrubs."
"Modern Family" is a mockumentary style show about an average American family, starring Ed O'Neill ("Married With Children").
Among the reality offerings are: "Shark Tank," from Mark Burnett, about young entrepreneurs trying to convince five millionaires to partner with them. It's based on the BBC series "Dragon's Den." My guess is that it won't be nearly as good. ABC is also bringing back "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" with Regis Philbin, capitalizing on the success of "Slumdog Millionaire."
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Some of the "NCIS" (CBS, 8 p.m.) travel to Israel with Ziva in the wake of last week's shooting. It's followed by the season finales of "The Mentalist" and "Without A Trace."
ABC delivers three hours of "Dancing With The Stars," beginning at 8 p.m.
"American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) has the showdown between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, followed by a sneak preview of the new Fox series "Glee," set to debut next season.
"Law & Order: SVU" (NBC, 10 p.m.) wraps up tonight, as do "Reaper" (CW, 8 p.m.) and "90210" at 9 p.m.
On cable, there are new episodes of "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.) and "My Boys" (TBS, 10:30 p.m.)