Media Money with Julia Boorstin

ABC's TV Lineup For 2008--Mostly Building On Current Hits


On day two of the upfronts, ABC presented its lineup, which is primarily about building on current hits. It makes sense: ABC grabs some of TV's best ratings with the likes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives."

The ABC presentation wasn't the glam affair it was last year, instead much more low key, with a quiet presentation on a stage. In fact, network president Steve McPherson joked that CW was providing the afterparty-- this year CW's upfront was after. But more on the CW later, first to ABC's programming.

In contrast to ABC's introduction of 12 new shows last year, this year it's bringing back most of the shows from last year. The flashiest new launch is a new audience measurement tool will allow advertisers to pick ad placement on shows based on detailed criteria including viewer education or income. And ABC is introducing some new shows.

The one new scripted show for ABC's fall lineup is "Life on Mars," based on a BBC series about a modern day police detective who finds himself transported back to the 1970s. The network's big new game show, "Opportunity Knocks," comes from Ashton Kutcher. There will be a taste of "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" when the midseason animated show "The Goode Family" launches. And ABC is also bringing over NBC's "Scrubs," so it'll be interesting to see how that show does on a new network.

ABC is aggressively developing shows for mid-season. One that it's hoping will be ready is the online web series "In the Motherhood" that currently airs on MSN and has attracted more than 20 million viewers. After NBC's attempt to bring web series "Quarterlife" to TV failed (pulled after just one episode) I bet that ABC will be sure to totally redo the web series, tailoring it to TV.

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