Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne, chairman and president, respectively, of ABC
Entertainment, downplayed expectations for the struggling network's new fall
season, which will feature five-and-one-half new hours of prime time comprising
four one-hour dramas and three half-hour comedies.
In addition the network will add two more new dramas in January after the end
of Monday Night Football.
Not surprisingly, Lyne said, ABC's goal was "to stop the downward trend in our
Braun said the network has tried to develop shows more aligned with the
"traditional ABC footprint," which includes strong family comedies and a broad
mix of dramas.
Every weeknight on the ABC schedule has been reworked. The Saturday movie
returns, as does the Sunday-night lineup.
A night-by-night breakout follows:
The Drew Carey Show at 8 p.m., followed by Whose Line Is It
Anyway and Monday Night Football until January, after which Dick
Wolf's remake of Dragnet will air from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., followed by Miracles,
described by Lyne as "part detective story, part thriller, part spiritual
A new comedy, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, with John
Ritter and Katy Segal, leads off at 8 p.m., followed by the returning According to
Jim. Two new comedies, Life with Bonnie, with Bonnie Hunt, and
Less than Perfect, a workplace comedy with Eric Roberts, follow from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
NYPD Blue returns at 10 p.m.
Three returning shows air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.: My Wife and
Kids, The George Lopez Show and The Bachelor (II). At 10 p.m., it's
a new medical drama, Meds.
Dinotopia, May's high-profile miniseries,
returns as a series that will kick off the night. That will be followed by a
quirky new drama (likened by Lyne to Twin Peaks) from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
called Push, Nevada. PrimeTime Thursday returns at 10 p.m.
America's Funniest Home Videos returns for a 14th
season to lead off the night, followed by That Was Then at 9 p.m., described
as a drama with a Back to the Future sensibility. 20/20 returns at
The familiar lineup leads off with The Wonderful World of Disney,
followed by Alias and The Practice.
In addition to Dragnet and Miracles, midseason pickups are comedy My
Second Chance, about a workaholic dad, and Veritas, a drama about a
father-son archeological team.
ABC also confirmed that a new late-night show starring Jimmy Kimmel of Comedy
Central's tongue-in-cheek, politically incorrect and proud of it The Man
Show, will debut in January replacing the canceled Politically
Incorrect with Bill Maher. In the interim, ABC -- which once contemplated shelving
Nightline for David Letterman -- is doubling up on the show.
The Nightline team will create a half-hour program five nights per week
to follow Nightline.
The show, with the working title Nightline Close-Up, will focus on a "single
compelling personality" and be anchored by Ted Koppel and Chris Bury.
It's scheduled to premiere this summer and run through Jan. 24, when Kimmel's