Fall 2011 TV Preview: ABC Previews, Trailers and Premiere Schedule
In an era where reality TV rules, this year ABC is more heavily invested in creating new dramatic and comedic series than most any other network.
ABC's fall schedule is packed with promising new offerings like "Pan Am," a "Charlie's Angels" redux, a return to TV for Tim Allen in "Last Man Standing" and a family-friendly fantasy offering in "Once Upon a Time."
"Modern Family" is back (with a new Baby Lilly!), the "Desperate Housewives" are making their last stand with a final season, and "Dancing with the Stars" is already stirring up controversy before it's even hit the air.
Read out entire rundown of ABC's Fall lineup and check out some preview highlights below.
ABC's New Shows:
Charlie’s Angels –September 22 at 8PM EST
There's no Lucy Liu or Cameron Diaz around this time, but Drew Barrymore is producing this remake of the remade "Charlie's Angels." Derek Jeter's ex Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor all look good enough to keep any audience interested, but will audiences find another Angel's rehash too stale?
Karaoke Battle USA – August 8 at 10 PM EST
It's hard to imagine willingly sitting through hours of amateur singing to find out who wins the Karaoke World Championships U.S.A., but karaoke is wildly popular in some circles and it wouldn't be surprising to see this show succeed. Besides, that's exactly what drinking games are for, right?
Last Man Standing –October 11 at 8PM EST
In order to balance out the largely female demo ABC has garnered with "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy," the network put the electric paddles on Tim Allen's chest and brought him back to life for this story of a man trying to stay manly while in a home with four daughters. As Tim Allen himself told TV critics this summer, "this isn't rocket science," and it doesn't sound like the results are going to be too explosive either.
Man Up! – October 18th at 8:30PM EST
Sort of a younger follow-up to Tim Allen's "Last Man Standing," "Man Up" features three men who are trying to redefine what being a "real man" is by getting in touch with their inner tough guys. That apparently means lots of video games and little sex with their wives. The show is directed by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" director Bryan Gordon (think the "Black Swan"episode), so it can't be all bad.
Once Upon A Time – October 23rd at 8PM EST
Ginnifer Goodwin from "Big Love" plays a Snow White character in this tale of a neighborhood where the real world and fantasy combine. Starring Beverley Elliott and little Bobby Draper from "Mad Men" (Jared Gilmoure), the show is bound to be a slightly more family-friendly lead-in to the last season of "Desperate Housewives."
Pan Am – September 25th at 10PM EST
ABC's more feminist-friendly answer to "Mad Men," "Pan Am" is about the lives of the pilots and flight attendants in New York at the peak of Pan Am Airline's success, in the 1960's. Christina Ricci stars, so that's at least one one very, very attractive argument for watching.
Revenge – September 21st at 10PM EST
This new ABC series is reportedly based loosely on "The Count of Monte Cristo." The show centers on Emily Thorne, a mysterious woman who moves to the Hamptons seeking revenge with apparently very deep pockets to do so. The production value on this one is high, and the cast includes Madeline Stowe and Emily VanCamp from WB's "Everwood."
Suburgatory – September 28th at 830PM EST
With a cast including Cheryl Hines from "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Rex Lee (Lloyd from "Entourage") and Jeremy Sisto from "Six Feet Under," this comedy about life in the burbs for a city girl has one of the most promising trailers of the fall's new comedy offerings. The name is lame, but we've got high hopes for this one.
Apartment 23 – Midseason
Things to know about "Apartment 23": The show used to be called by a much better name - "Don't Trust The Bitch in Apartment 23" - and it was one of eight shows in the Most Exciting New Series category at the Critics' Choice Television Awards this year. Oh, and James Van Der Beek is in it. Looks like it may run in January.
GCB – Mid-season
Once known as "Good Christian Bitches," then changed to "Good Christian Belles," now changed to "GCB," this series is based on Kim Gatlin's book of the same title (the first one), and it features Amanda Vaughn, a recently divorced mother of two who relocates back to her hometown of Dallas hoping for a new life and fresh start, but finds something very different.
Missing - Midseason
While he is studying abroad, Becca Winstone's son, Michael, is reported missing. Becca (played by Ashley Judd), a former CIA Agent, sets off to Europe to put the pieces together and find her son. So this is pretty much a female version of the Liam Neeson film "Taken," only presumably with a smidgen less gratuitous violence.
The River – Midseason
From Steven Spielberg comes this mockumentary tale of Emmet Cole, a wildlife expert and TV personality who set out to journey around the world with his wife, Tessa, and son, Lincoln, filming what would be one of the most watched shows on TV, only to mysteriously go missing.
Work It – Midseason
Are you kidding me? This is totally a remake of "Bosom Buddies." Remember, the show from the 80's with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari? It's still the best thing Tom Hanks has ever done. Anyway, in "Work It," two men who are out of work dress as women to land jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they get away with it, but (of course) they somehow learn how to be better men because of it.
ABC's Returning Shows:
Body of Proof - September 20 at 10PM EST
The first season of "Body of Proof" averaged 13.68 million viewers, making it one of the most widely watched shows on ABC. The show follows Dana Delany as Dr. Megan Hunt, a "no-nonsense doctor-turned-medical examiner who deals with the daily struggles of balancing her work and personal life while being an unorthodox crime-solver."
Castle - September 19 at 10PM EST
Last season, "Castle" ended with a cliffhanger, as Detective Beckett got shot and Castle expressed his feelings for her. Expect things to start with a bang, as he hunts down the shooter and deals with his own powerful guilt issues.
Dancing With the Stars – September 19 at 8PM EST
The controversy over Chaz Bono's transgendered sexuality has almost overshadowed this season's rather disappointing cast. Nonetheless, with reality drama-dude Rob Kardashian in the mix, newsie shock-jock Nancy Grace around and the recently rehabbed David Arquette in the mix, anything can happen.
Desperate Housewives - September 25 at 9PM EST
When negotiations fell through earlier this year, the producers of "Desperate Housewives" announced this will be the last season. The show's creator has said that the final season would “harken back to the roots” of the show, mainly the death of Mary Alice. Rumors also have it that given the final season timeline, they're pretty much doing what they please, which should make for interesting watching.
Grey’s Anatomy - September 22 at 9PM EST
Rumors have this as likely being Patrick Dempsey (aka McDreamy) and Sandra Oh's last season of the show, and there's still negotiating to do on Ellen Pompeo's contract. While the show will likely go on at least another season, it's safe to assume that things will never be the same after this one.
Happy Endings - September 28 at 9:30PM
"Happy Endings" fills a role similar to "How I Met your Mother" over on CBS - a good quality late-20s-to-early-30's sex romp. There's plenty of dating, drinking and trying to get it on, and in the new season, the cast promises a ridiculous Halloween to boot.
The Middle - September 21 at 8PM
"Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton has found her niche in the world as a sitcom mom, and in this one she's the mother of a nutty family in the middle of Indiana.The show was nominated for Best Comedy Series at the first annual Critic's Choice TV Awards, and Patricia Heaton and Eden Sher were both also nominated for their work on the show.
Modern Family - September 21 at 9PM
The crown jewel in the ABC lineup, "Modern Family" returns after garnering a mind-boggling 17 Emmy nominations. The show doesn't require much of an introduction, but suffice it to say it's one of the smartest, funniest shows on television and we can't wait for the return.
Private Practice - September 29 at 10PM
"Private Practice," the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff focused on surgeon Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) returns for a fifth season. At the end of last season, Addison's relationship with partner Sam and "Law & Order" alumni Benjamin Bratt came into the picture. Expect more Bratt in the upcoming season.
Cougar Town – Mid-season
There's no telling what this show will be called when the new seaosn begins, as the show's creators and stars have been promoting the idea of changing the name. There's also no date yet on the suprisingly funny Courteney Cox vehicle, but odds are on November thus far.
The Bachelor – Mid-season
There's no premiere date for the latest installation of "The Bachelor" yet, but we do know it will be "Bachelorette" contestant Ben Flajnik.
Watch trailers for some of ABC's biggest new series' below: