ABC takes 11 new shows into 2009-2010 season

Courteneycox_cougartown_290 ABC will be overhauling the look of its 2009-2010 season quite a bit considering it's going with a hefty 11 new shows, including six high-concept dramas, four comedies and a reality show. The biggest change is the creation of a new, midweek comedy block.

On the lighter side of its dramas is the bewitching "Eastwick," based upon the John Updike novel "The Witches of Eastwick" that was later made into a Jack Nicholson-starring movie. Rebecca Romijn stars in the ensemble series and will anchor Wednesday nights following four brand-spanking-new comedies: the multi-camera "Hank" starring Kelsey Grammer, family comedy "The Middle" starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, "Modern Family" about three types of suburban families (traditional, multi-ethnic and gay) and "Cougar Town," about a recently divorced single mom (Courteney Cox) reentering the dating world.

"Flash Forward" -- about humanity's glimpse at its future after everyone blacks out temporarily -- will go to Thursdays, effectively bumping "Ugly Betty" to the Friday-night death slot. "Flash's" time-bending plot will hopefully fill the audience's need for puzzling, sci-fi mysteries until "Lost" returns to the schedule.

"Shark Tank," executive produced by Mark Burnett of "Survivor" fame," is the network's sole new foray into the unscripted world. On the show, desperate but ambitious entrepreneurs will compete to curry favor and funding for their dream projects from five tough tycoons.

The premiere in the summer after a following the special 10th anniversary primetime return of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and will then move to Tuesday nights. The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "The Forgotten" about amateur sleuths who work tirelessly to solve crimes after the police have given up will also join it on Tuesdays.

All the other new dramas -- legal drama "The Deep End," murder mystery "Happy Town" and "V" based on the '80s alien miniseries -- will be held for midseason.

"Our focus is always on delivering the best stories with the most memorable characters on TV, whether that's established audience favorites or innovative new shows," says ABC chief Steve McPherson. "This year we've got the best of both. We're headed into the season with a strong slate of returning series as well as great new shows from one of our best development seasons ever."

"Scrubs" will indeed be back, which means Neil Flynn's time will be limited since he's appearing on "The Middle." Also returning from their first year on the network are "Better Off Ted," "Castle" and Ashton Kutcher's reality show "True Beauty."

Veterans returning to the ABC fold are "America's Funniest Home Videos," the never-ending "The Bachelor" franchise, "Brothers & Sisters," "Dancing With the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Grey's Anatomy" and its spinoff "Private Practice," "Lost," "Supernanny," the aforementioned "Ugly Betty," "Wife Swap" and "20/20."

Shows that were on the bubble but didn't make the cut were freshman series "The Unusuals," "Cupid," "Surviving Suburbia," "In the Motherhood" and sophomore comedy "Samantha Who?"

Related:

ABC's night-by-night fall schedule
2008-2009 Canceled TV shows
POLL: Which ABC canceled show will you miss the most?
Zap2it fall TV preview 2009: FOX's new shows
Zap2it fall TV preview 2009: NBC's new shows

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