Upfront Central

Upfronts 2013: ABC Shrinks 'Dancing With the Stars' to One Night, 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' to Lead Off Overhauled Tuesday

Updated: Network to schedule select dramas in batches of 12 episodes to reduce repeats 5/14/2013 12:00:00 PM Eastern

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2013

VIDEO: ABC Pilot Trailers
RELATED: Upfronts 2013: ABC Joins Nielsen Mobile Ratings Trial
Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET

ABC will reduce its aging Dancing With the Stars franchise
to one night in the fall, combining its performance and results show into one Monday broadcast and completely remaking Tuesday with Joss Whedon's anticipated
new drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and trying again for a comedy block at 9 p.m.

Two new comedies, nostalgic family sitcom The Goldbergs
and Trophy Wife starring Malin Akerman will air on Tuesdays where ABC
failed to create a block with Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B----
in Apartment 23
this season (both series were canceled). On a conference
call with reporters Tuesday, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said he
wasn't turned off by relaunching the night because the network "made sure we
put shows that we knew were going to get behind and market," pointing to
confidence in S.H.I.E.L.D. and Goldbergs. "It's key if you open a
night now you do that."

Though ABC is still planning two cycles of Dancing With
the Stars
next season, it hopes combining the results into a two-hour Monday
show "can really build a sense of occasion to that night," Lee said. He noted
the network would also look to casting that can age down the older-skewing
reality series.

ABC will add two new comedies to its Wednesday lineup with Back
in the Game
, about a single mom who moves back in with her estranged father
(James Caan), and Super Fun Night starring Bridesmaids breakout
Rebel Wilson will get the coveted 9:30 p.m. slot after Modern Family.
Despite the failure of young adult comedy Happy Endings, Lee said that
the female friendship-themed Super Fun Night and midseason's Mixology,
about a group of 30-somethings at a bar, are "much broader shows that can bring
in wider audience."

Thursday at 8 p.m., which has been a problem timeslot for
the network the last few seasons (R.I.P. Last Resort, Zero Hour, Charlie's
Angels
) will go to the spinoff drama Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
Lee billed the night as a "powerful night of powerful women" and predicted the
spinoff would create better flow for the night than past attempts as well as
bring an existing franchise audience.

Two others dramas bowing in the fall will get 10 p.m. time
periods, with Lucky 7, about a group of gas station employees who win
the lottery, to air on Tuesday, and Betrayal, a limited series about an
unhappily married female photographer who begins an affair with a high-powered
attorney, will cap off Sunday.

In order to reduce repeats in its serialized drama-heavy
lineup, ABC will schedule some of its dramas in two batches of 12 episodes next
season, with limited series filling the gap between the fall and spring runs.
The bridge series will be both scripted and unscripted -- the network has
ordered new fantasy reality competition series The Quest to fill in for Once Upon a Time
on Sundays, while new supernatural drama Resurrection starring Omar Epps
will likewise be saved for a shortened midseason run.

Lee said the strategy would be employed for a "select group"
of dramas (to be announced) though it's "not impossible that limited series can
run on" to another season of 12-13 episodes. The idea is to "make for better
storytelling this year" saying that series could "benefit from that focus" to
make each of its limited episodes as good as the pilot. Other unscheduled
midseason dramas that could be used as bridges include Killer Women from
executive producer Sofia Vergara and Mind Games starring Steve Zahn and
Christian Slater as brothers who solve problems with psychological
manipulation.

The rest of ABC's schedule remains mostly intact, except for
The Neighbors, which moves to Friday to create a comedy block with the
returning Last Man Standing. Returning comedy Suburgatory also
remains unscheduled.

In reality The Bachelor and cooking
competition series The Taste have both been renewed for later in the
2013-14 season. The network also picked up the Pixar special Toy Story of
Terror
starring the original voice cast from the film franchise.

ABC's fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times
listed are Eastern); new shows in UPPERCASE:

MONDAY

8:00 p.m.       
"Dancing with the Stars"
10:00 p.m.      "Castle"

TUESDAY

8:00 p.m.       
"MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D."
9:00 p.m.        "THE GOLDBERGS"
9:30 p.m.        "TROPHY WIFE"
10:00 p.m.      "LUCKY 7"

WEDNESDAY

8:00 p.m.        "The
Middle"
8:30 p.m.        "BACK IN THE GAME"
9:00 p.m.        "Modern Family"
9:30 p.m.        "SUPER FUN NIGHT"
10:00 p.m.      "Nashville"

THURSDAY

8:00 p.m.        "ONCE
UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND"
9:00 p.m.        "Grey's Anatomy"
10:00 p.m.      "Scandal"

FRIDAY

8:00 p.m.        "Last
Man Standing"
8:30 p.m.        "The Neighbors"
9:00 p.m.        "Shark Tank"
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.        "Once Upon a Time"
9:00 p.m.        "Revenge"
10:00 p.m.      "BETRAYAL"

March