2012-13 Up-Fronts: ABC (needs more shows by the guys who wrote Lost)

In the fourth of these up-front pieces, I’ll be going through ABC’s roster of shows.

I don’t really have much to gripe about with the alphabet network, unlike the other three who have made some seriously dumb ass decisions over the last few years.

Then again, ABC has more than its fare share of prime time soap operas with audiences that skew towards women, so I tend to stay away. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Revenge don’t hold much with me: too many people with too much money and too much time on their hands spending too much time worrying about who is spending too much time banging who. An overabundance in too many areas, if you ask me.

ABC does have a few fun shows; it was home to Lost (and I actually LOVED the ending, thank you very much) and has done far more with Once Upon a Time than anyone could have expected (those Lost writers again).

It also combined the quirky, no-laugh-track sitcom format pioneered by NBC’s Thursday night shows with the classic family laugher to create a new genre of family comedy now seen in The Middle and Modern Family. It was also hugely brave of the network to launch an entire new night of shows anchored by the two programs three years ago; a move the net is still profiting from.

So all of this is to say ABC is a completely mixed bag, as you’ll see from the list of their shows below:

Bachelor Pad – Sounds like a bad reality show. On this summer, apparently.

The Bachelor – When will this just die? Awful concept. Disgusting.

The Bachelorette – See above.

Castle – This isn’t a bad show, though I stopped watching it because I got jammed up at the Monday 10:00pm timeslot. I really wish that someone would find a better vehicle for Nathan Fillion; if not the resurrection of Firefly, then the new Rockford Files would be a start.

Dancing With the Stars – People seem to like this show. Don’t know why.

Grey’s Anatomy – This one has to be just about winding down. Only so many combinations of people to sleep with.

The Middle – This is a good show, in many ways better than Modern Family, but will always be the less attractive sister. They should move Modern Family up to an 8pm timeslot with The Middle backing it. Would expect the ratings of both to improve, but The Middle would be of a large benefit. Then back out the night with different kinds of comedies.

Modern Family – Would be a fit on any network at just about any time. Hope the writers can keep it fresh.

Once Upon a Time – One of the top new shows of the season, got its second order just last night.

Revenge – As Grey’s Anatomy winds down and Desperate Housewives shuts down, this is the new it soap opera on the net. It will be back, mark it down.

Secret Millionaire – Another of the random summer wasteland of reality television.

Shark Tank – Political thriller or god-awful reality show? I tend to think the latter.

Suburgatory – This got boring for me, but apparently it has found an audience.

Wife Swap – More crappy reality shows.

Wipeout – …and another.

Happy Endings – This never looked very good, but it has found something of a cult following.

Last Man Standing – Will probably hang around due to Tim Allen’s presence. Oddly been paired with Cougar Town this spring…this didn’t help either show.

Private Practice – Just has never developed the audience of Grey’s. Early word has this possibly getting a 13 episode order, showing its lack of confidence.

Scandal – Not getting the best reviews; but the Shonda Rhimes factor is making it likely to hang around for year two

Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 – Yeah, I wrote out the word. This show is as lame as its censored title. Mean spirited and boring.

GCB – Speaking of lame, censored titles, this one is supposed to be called Good Christian Bitches. That’s all I needed to know about this show.

You Deserve It – I don’t know what this is, but doesn’t this sound like a reality show based on Park’s and Recreation’s “Treat Yo Self?” This could very well be a likely plot line in the series finale of the show (which hopefully isn’t for a few years yet).

Body of Proof – Yeah, this looked pretty lame from the start.

Missing – This never looked like a show…should have been a mini-series.

Pan Am – This show had better potential, but should have been on a cable net to begin with. Too many compromises on a big net, especially with The Mouse in charge. Many websites have already reported its cancellation, but no official word has come. Pan Am’s only real shot would be if ABC had a hole in their schedule somewhere, and it would certainly only be a 13 ep order.

The River – Ditto Missing. The ghoul/evil curse of the week combined with the shaky hand cam style (hello 1999!) got real old, real fast.

Charlie’s Angels – I watched this 60 minute show for exactly 11. God awful.

Cougar Town – I didn’t have a category for Cancelled-at-ABC-but-now-on-TBS, but that’s the case here. Abed can rejoice.

Desperate Housewives – It had a good run for a primetime soap. Series finale just around the corner.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – Seems like it should be on HGTV, doesn’t it?

Man Up! – This was ill advised from the start.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King – Anyone hear about this show? Was Chloe a cat?

Work It – Never saw an episode. Never knew when it was on. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.