* ABC adding 10 new shows, heavy on dramas
* Stars include Michael Imperioli, Dana Delany
* One new romantic comedy planned: "Better Together"
* Sister network ESPN 3D to launch June 11
(Adds details from ESPN presentation)
By Paul Thomasch
NEW YORK, May 18 ABC introduced a prime-time TV
schedule for next season that will feature 10 new shows,
overhauling a lineup that has suffered ratings declines and
will soon be without the hit supernatural thriller "Lost."
The majority of ABC's new programs are dramas, ranging from
gritty police show "Detroit 1-8-7" to "My Generation," which
centers on a group of fictitious high-school students from
Austin, Texas, who reunite a decade after graduation.
In all, ABC, a division of Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) will
premiere six new dramas in 2010-11. ABC Entertainment President
Stephen McPherson is formally presenting the schedule to
advertisers and affiliates at a planned upfront event at
Lincoln Center on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, ABC's sister network, ESPN, also owned by
Disney, announced at its upfront presentation that it plans to
roll out its 3D network on June 11. The launch will feature the
first of 25 World Cup matches ESPN 3D aims to broadcast,
including games involving favorites Brazil, Germany, Italy and
It is the second year in a row that ABC will make major
changes to its schedule, after rolling out 11 new shows during
last year's upfronts -- the period each May when U.S. broadcast
networks introduce their lineups, then start negotiating with
advertisers over billions of dollars in commercial time.
While last year's crop of programming resulted in some
strong ABC comedies -- including the breakout hit "Modern
Family" -- many of the dramas failed to find an audience and
will not return, including "Flash Forward" and "Eastwick."
The result is that ABC, even with the success of "Modern
Family" and "Dancing with the Stars," is battling with NBC for
last place among the major networks in the ratings race. Adding
to its headaches, "Lost" will soon run its final episode.
Hoping to retain some of the "Lost" audience, ABC will
introduce a new supernatural show on Tuesdays this fall called
"No Ordinary Family." It tells the story of a family that
survives a plane crash, and, upon returning home, finds they
possess special powers.
ABC will also roll out two more crime dramas. The first,
"Detroit 1-8-7," the Detroit cop show starring Michael
Imperioli of "The Sopranos," will appear on Tuesday nights.
"Body of Proof" is planned for Fridays and features Dana
Delany, previously of "Desperate Housewives," as a
crime-solving medical examiner.
"The Whole Truth," a legal drama that examines cases from
two angles -- the prosecution's side and the defense's side --
will also appear on ABC's autumn lineup. At midseason, "Off the
Map," a medical drama set in an isolated rain forest, will
ABC will try to bolster its Wednesday comedy schedule with
"Better Together," a romantic comedy about three different
couples sorting through relationships.
Two other comedies are due to arrive midseason. "Happy
Endings" is about a group of friends, two of whom break up just
as they are about to get married, while "Mr. Sunshine" stars
Matthew Perry of "Friends" as the manager of a second-rate
sports arena who is facing a mid-life crisis.
Fox, a division of News Corp (NWSA.O), and NBC, in which
Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) is about to buy a majority stake from
General Electric Co (GE.N), have already unveiled their 2010-11
schedules. [ID:nN14222040] [ID:nN13146597]
CBS Corp (CBS.N) will announce its programming plans on
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Maureen Bavdek and
Gerald E. McCormick)