Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment, today outlined ABC’s plans for next season and announced the network’s new 2005-06 fall schedule. The network will add 12 new series to a slate of returning programs that this season produced the largest season-to-season audience growth for any major network in the coveted Adult 18-49 demographic in at least 25 years.
Scheduled to join the fall schedule are two new comedies and three new dramas. An additional three new comedies, three new dramas and one new alternative series were announced for midseason.
Mr. McPherson spoke before ABC affiliates and representatives of the advertising and media communities at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
The new fall schedule includes new comedy series “Freddie” and “Hot Properties” and dramas “Commander-in-Chief,” “Invasion” and “The Night Stalker.”
For midseason, the three new comedies are “Crumbs,” “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” and “Sons & Daughters.” The three new midseason dramas are “The Evidence,” “In Justice” and “What About Brian.” The new midseason alternative series is “The Miracle Workers.”
In addition to the returning series that have already been announced, the new fall schedule will also see the return of “George Lopez,” “Hope & Faith,” “Rodney,” “Supernanny” and “Wife Swap,” with “The Bachelor,” “Jake in Progress” and “Less than Perfect” to return midseason.
Mr. McPherson also announced that the new season episode order for “Grey’s Anatomy” has been upped to 22. With four episodes unaired from this season’s order, ABC will have 26 original episodes of “Grey’s” available to air in 2005-06.
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. McPherson said: “Through strong development and strategic marketing, we were able to make valuable strides this season. Our responsibility next season and beyond is to continue that forward movement. We’re grateful to all of the people at ABC, as well as those in the creative community who are contributing to our promising first steps.”
DAY TIME SERIES MONDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Wife Swap” (through January. New night and time) 9:00 p.m. “Monday Night Football” (through January) (the following will premiere after MNF) 8:00 p.m. “The Bachelor” (new time) 9:00 p.m. “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” (new comedy series) 9:30 p.m. “Jake in Progress” (new night and time) 10:00 p.m. “What About Brian” (new drama series) TUESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “According to Jim” (new time) 8:30 p.m. “Rodney” (new time) 9:00 p.m. “Commander-in-Chief” (new drama series) 10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal” (new night) WEDNESDAY: 8:00 p.m. “George Lopez” (new night and time) 8:30 p.m. “Freddie” (new comedy series) 9:00 p.m. “Lost” (new time) 10:00 p.m. “Invasion” (new drama series) THURSDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Alias” (new night and time) 9:00 p.m. “The Night Stalker” (new drama series) 10:00 p.m. “Primetime Live” FRIDAY: 8:00 p.m. “Supernanny” (new night and time) 9:00 p.m. “Hope & Faith” 9:30 p.m. “Hot Properties” (new comedy series) 10:00 p.m. “20/20” SATURDAY: 8:00 p.m. “ABC Movie of the Week” SUNDAY: 7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” 8:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” 9:00 p.m. “Desperate Housewives” 10:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
Descriptions of the 12 new entertainment series joining ABC’s primetime schedule next season, listed in alphabetical order, follow (all times are Eastern):
“Commander-in-Chief” (one-hour drama, Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., ET) — Mackenzie Allen has a lot on her plate… She has twin teenagers and a six-year-old at home, an ambitious husband at the office, and she is about to become the first female President of the United States.
Before that happens, however, Mackenzie, who serves as Vice President, has to decide whether or not to go against the dying wishes of the current President, who has asked her to step down and let someone “more appropriate” fill his shoes in the Oval Office. Not only does the President want her to resign, so does the entire party that elected her in the first place.
But when the moment of truth arrives, Mackenzie isn’t willing to be a mere footnote in history. Instead of allowing her detractors to keep her down, she decides to trust her instincts and accept the most powerful job in the world.
“Commander-in-Chief” stars Academy Award®-winner Geena Davis and comes from Rod Lurie, acclaimed writer/director of the Oscar-nominated film “The Contender,” and creator of the critically acclaimed ABC series, “Line of Fire.”
Cast: Geena Davis (“Thelma and Louise”): Mackenzie Allen Donald Sutherland (“M*A*S*H”): Nathan Templeton Harry J. Lennix (“Ray”): Jim Gardner Ever Carradine (“Once and Again”): Kelly Ludlow Kyle Secor (“Homicide: Life on the Street”): Rod Allen Julie Ann Emery (“Line of Fire”): Joan Greer Andrew James Allen: Horace Allen Caitlin Wachs: Rebecca Allen Jasmine Anthony: Amy Allen
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Rod Lurie (“Line of Fire”) Executive Producer: Marc Frydman (“Line of Fire”) Director: Rod Lurie Production Company: Touchstone Television, Battle Plan Productions
“Freddie” (half-hour comedy, Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., ET) — Four women to every man are great odds when you’re a single guy out on the town, but not ideal when it comes to your living situation. Freddie is a young, successful chef with his own restaurant, a stylish bachelor pad and a trust fund baby for a best friend. The world should be Freddie’s oyster at this stage in life, but bachelorhood isn’t working out exactly as he envisioned.
Freddie loved growing up in a house full of women. He loved the energy of everyone running around, loved cooking for them all, but now he’s finally realizing why his father used to lock himself in the bathroom just for some peace and quiet. Still, Freddie believes family always comes first, which is why he insisted his sister, sister-in-law, niece and grandmother come live with him after his brother passed away. Slowly but surely they are taking over his domain, and voicing their many opinions about his love life. Freddie will have to learn to balance his role as provider, brother, grandson and uncle, all while trying to enjoy what should be his swinging single days.
The creative forces behind “The Drew Carey Show” and “George Lopez” serve up a comedic dish based on the raucous femme-filled real life of star Freddie Prinze, Jr. (“She’s All That,” “Scooby Doo”).
Cast: Freddie Prinze, Jr. (“Scooby Doo”): Freddie Jacqueline Obradors (“NYPD Blue”): Sofia Brian Green (“Beverly Hills, 90210”): Chris Jenny Gago: Grandma Chloe Suazo: Zoey
Credits: Executive Producers/Writers: Bruce Helford (“The Drew Carey Show,” “George Lopez”), Freddie Prinze, Jr., Bruce Rasmussen (“The Drew Carey Show”) Producer/Writer: Conrad Jackson Executive Producer: Deborah Oppenheimer (“The Drew Carey Show,” “George Lopez”) Production Companies: Warner Bros. Television, Mohawk Productions, The Firm
“Hot Properties” (half-hour comedy, Friday, 9:30 p.m., ET) — In a Manhattan real estate office, four very different women cater to high-end clients while coping with their own personal predicaments. Married to a handsome 25-year-old, fortysomething Ava Summerlin wants to start a family, while self-improvement junkie Chloe would settle for any guy who can remember her the next day. Recently divorced after being married ten years to a gay man, voluptuous Lola dreads jumping back into the dating pool, and the latest addition to this eclectic work group is rich girl Emerson Ives, who instantly bonds with the women upon learning that her supposedly virginal fiancé was anything but. And the ladies’ office neighbors from down the hall, therapist Dr. Sellers Boyd and plastic surgeon Dr. Charlie Thorpe, help keep things lively around the water cooler.
In the tradition of “Designing Women,” “Golden Girls” and “Sex and the City” comes an uninhibited comedy with real career women trying to have real relationships. One of the Emmy Award-winning producers of the mega-hit “Frasier” reveals just how exciting the world of New York real estate can be.
Cast: Audra Blaser: Emerson Stephen Dunham (“Monster-in-Law”): Charlie Evan Handler (“Sex and the City”): Sellers Gail O’Grady (“NYPD Blue”): Ava Nicole Sullivan (“King of Queens”): Chloe Sofia Vergara (“Chasing Papi”): Lola
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Suzanne Martin (“Frasier”) Production Company: Interbang Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
“Invasion” (one-hour drama, Wednesday, 10:00 p.m., ET) — For centuries man has searched the skies for signs of intelligent life… but to no avail.
What if the explanation lay in the fact that aliens were already here… already among us? And what if all of the natural disasters we’ve been experiencing of late were smokescreens designed to mask something far more ominous?
When yet another devastating hurricane threatens Florida, temporarily cutting off a small town at the edge of the Everglades, U.S. Park Ranger Russell Poole takes heroic measures to keep both the town’s citizens and his family safe. In the middle of the violent storm, his young daughter is the only one to see small lights floating towards the water, seemingly unaffected by the vicious winds. At the time he thinks nothing of her claim, but begins to suspect that something may indeed be amiss when his missing ex-wife is found naked, with no memory of what happened during the storm.
As the tiny town struggles to recover while his nemesis, the Sheriff, quarantines the entire area, Poole begins to investigate the strange goings on, unwittingly beginning a fight for the survival of the human race.
Veteran writer/producer Shaun Cassidy and celebrated director Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”) bring you the suspenseful tale of a blended family that finds itself at the center of a conspiracy to mask an alien takeover that is happening one neighbor at a time.
Cast: William Fichtner (“Black Hawk Down”): Sheriff Underlay Eddie Cibrian (“Third Watch”): Russell Kari Matchett: Mariel Lisa Sheridan: Larkin Tyler Labine (“That Was Then”): Dave Alexis Dziena: Kira Evan Peters (“The Days”): Jesse Ariel Gade: Rose
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Shaun Cassidy (“American Gothic”) Pilot Executive Producer/Director: Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”) Production Company: Warner Bros. Television, Shaun Cassidy Productions
“The Night Stalker” (one-hour drama, Thursday, 9:00 p.m., ET) — There are things in the dark, things adults deny but children are right to fear…
When a pregnant woman is snatched from her home, the shocked citizens of L.A. believe it’s an act of domestic violence. But crime reporter Carl Kolchak suspects that the truth is far more complicated. That’s because 18 months ago Kolchak’s wife was killed in a bizarre fashion and he has been the FBI’s no. 1 suspect ever since.
Kolchak’s determination to find the truth behind his wife’s mysterious murder has led him to investigate other crimes that seem to have some kind of supernatural component. But he’s trying to piece together a puzzle that keeps changing shape. Who or what is committing these crimes? How are they all related? And why do some victims end up with a strange red mark on their hands in the shape of a snake? With sidekick Perri Reed, a sexy if skeptical fellow reporter in tow, Kolchak will go to any lengths to answer these questions. But when he does discover the truth – will anyone believe him?
Cast: Stuart Townsend (“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”): Carl Kolchak Gabrielle Union (“Something the Lord Made”): Perri Reed Eric Jungmann (“Not Another Teen Movie”): Jain McManus Cotter Smith (“X2”): Tony Vincenzo
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Frank Spotnitz (“The X Files”) Executive Producer/Director: Daniel Sackheim (“The X Files”) Production Company: Touchstone Television
“Crumbs” (half-hour comedy) — Family is enough to drive anyone a little crazy. Children keep secrets from their parents so they won’t upset them, dads leave for other women and moms try to run over dads with the car. Actually, that was the point that the Crumb family realized Mom was crazy.
Estranged brothers Mitch and Jody Crumb reunite in their small hometown to deal with their mother, Suzanne, who is being released from a psychiatric country club and has yet to discover that her ex-husband, Billy, is about to have a baby with his new girlfriend. They have issues… major issues. Central to everything is the dynamic between these two brothers: Mitch is the prodigal son who is returning home after a failed Hollywood career, and Jody is the older brother who has stayed in the confines of their small New England town to run the family business. Together for the first time as adults, this family will have to stick by one another despite their combustible relationships.
The creator of “Caroline in the City” mines his own WASP family for comedy that’s smart, funny and surprising. The series stars Fred Savage (“The Wonder Years”) and Jane Curtin (two-time Emmy Award winner for “Kate & Allie,” “SNL,” “3rd Rock from the Sun”) and is from the producers of “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill.”
Cast: Fred Savage (“The Wonder Years”): Mitch Eddie McClintock (“The Sweetest Thing”): Jody Maggie Lawson (“Pleasantville”): Andrea William Devane (“Knot’s Landing”): Billy Jane Curtin (“SNL,” “3rd Rock From the Sun”): Suzanne
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Marco Pennette (“Caroline in the City”) Executive Producers: Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola — (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) Production Company: Touchstone Television
“Emily’s Reasons Why Not” (half-hour comedy, Monday, 9:00 p.m., ET – after “Monday Night Football”) – Emily Sanders is a successful young woman with terrific taste, great friends and a fabulous job in publishing. She didn’t get to this place in life by accident. She worked hard and always followed a set of self-imposed guidelines referred to as the “Reasons”… reasons why not to take that new job offer, reasons why not to tell a vacation fling to look you up if he’s ever in Los Angeles, reasons why not to trust your crafty, back-stabbing former assistant, Glitter Cho. However, when Emily crosses professional lines and gets involved with the roguishly handsome, two-timing author of their new bestseller, there’s no denying that somewhere along the way her internal GPS system crashed. She’s got to get back on track, and once again be heedful of the trustworthy reasons that help her navigate her way through life.
Based on the bestselling novel of the same title, Heather Graham stars in this comedy about one independent woman’s adventures in life, friendship, love and their infinite possibilities…
Cast: Heather Graham (“Scrubs,” “Boogie Nights”): Emily Nadia Dajani (“Ned and Stacey”): Reilly Khary Payton: Josh Smith Cho: Glitter
Credits: Writer: Emily Kapnek (“As Told by Ginger”) Executive Producers: Gavin Polone (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Vivian Cannon (“Thief”), Robin Schiff (“The Bad Girls Guide”) Production Companies: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Pariah
“The Evidence” (one-hour drama) — People lie. The evidence doesn’t. It’s the foundation of every conviction – with evidence, justice is possible; without evidence, guilty men walk free.
Acclaimed producer John Wells, (“ER,” “The West Wing,” “Third Watch”) and director Gary Fleder (“Blind Justice,” “Runaway Jury”) put a twist on the standard police procedural. At the top of each episode, all of the clues (a locket, a phone, a severed finger) are revealed in a videotaped evidence log. The show then flashes to the day the crime was committed and invites viewers to play along with the heroes as they find each clue, determine its meaning, put the pieces of the puzzle together and figure out who done it.
No one knows the importance of evidence more than Inspector Sean Cole. After he lost his wife in a brutal murder, the only evidence the cops had was accidentally destroyed, and it ruined his faith in the system. Fortunately his partner and best friend, Bishop, is there for him, pulling him back to work, pushing him forward, as they both try to solve these complex cases set against the beautiful streets of San Francisco.
Cast: Orlando Jones (“Mad TV,” “Runaway Jury”): Cayman Bishop Nicky Katt (“Boston Public”): Inspector Sean Cole Martin Landau (“Ed Wood”): Dr. Sol Gold
Credits: Executive Producers/Writers: Sam Baum, Dustin Thomason Executive Producer/Director: Gary Fleder (“The Shield,” “Runaway Jury”) Production Company: John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television
“In Justice” (one-hour drama) — There are a lot of procedurals on the air that focus on putting people in jail. This is a show about getting them out.
Every year, hundreds of innocent men and women get convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. Sloppy police work. False testimony. Biased juries. In the blink of an eye an innocent man can lose his life to the mistakes of an imperfect system. And every year the number of innocents who live without hope behind bars multiplies, while the real criminals walk free.
The innocent have finally found a champion in a blustery but charismatic attorney named David Swayne. A legendary litigator, Swayne is the head of the Justice Project, a high-profile, non-profit organization made up of hungry young associates who fight to overturn wrongful convictions, liberate the falsely accused and discover the identity of those really to blame. Whether the ego-driven Swayne is doing this in the pursuit of justice or publicity remains to be seen. Thank goodness he has his partner, crackerjack investigator and ex-cop Charles Conti, to keep him honest. He’s the serious to Swayne’s swagger, and together they work to rectify the mistakes of the justice system one case at a time.
Using real life stories as inspiration, the producers of “life as we know it” have created a legal drama reminiscent of “Reversal of Fortune,” in which clients who are presumed guilty must ultimately be proven innocent.
Cast: Jason O’Mara (“The Agency”): Charles Conti Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks,” “Sex and the City”): David Swayne Constance Zimmer (“Good Morning, Miami”): Brianna Daniel Cosgrove (“Beverly Hills, 90210”): Jon Larissa Gomes: Tina
Credits: Executive Producers/Writers: Robert King and Michelle King Executive Producer: Stu Bloomberg (“life as we know it”) Production Company: Touchstone Television
“The Miracle Workers” (one-hour alternative series) — “The Miracle Workers” are an elite team of physicians who embrace revolutionary medical treatments that many of us never knew existed. Each week the show will focus on a single patient with a serious medical condition and follow as this dream team of medical professionals changes his or her life forever through treatment. The team will utilize their extraordinary expertise in cutting edge medical technology to restore not only the health but also the hope of the patient. Each episode will feature some of the world’s most renowned medical experts performing breakthrough procedures to heal those who need it most. For individuals who otherwise would never have access to elite medical specialists or the ability to afford costly procedures, “The Miracle Workers” will make possible what was previously thought impossible.
Credits: Executive Producers: Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, co-heads of DreamWorks Television; David Garfinkle and Jay Renfroe from Renegade 83 Entertainment Co-Executive Producer: Bill Guttentag Production Companies: Dreamworks Television and Renegade 83 Entertainment
“Sons & Daughters” (half-hour comedy) — Family is always unpredictable, so why write a family comedy when you can live dangerously and improvise instead? Like real families, you never know what will happen when you give characters total freedom.
Adult siblings Cameron, Sharon and Jenna have many years of shared history in this small town. Like every other family on the planet, their history includes many mistakes. This is proven by the multiple marriages and many children in their close extended clan. Sharon has postponed her mid-life crisis for the sake of her kids, but her sexless marriage, slacker son and nosey daughter don’t make things easy for her. Jenna, the youngest, wanted to be a singer, but instead is a single mom who still lives at home. Luckily her parents love babysitting their grandson. Middle child Cameron, despite having kids from two marriages and a difficult relationship with his oldest son, Henry, is the glue that holds the family together. With all the messy interpersonal relationships, rivalries and religious differences, everyone needs someone to be the family’s designated driver.
Leading this three-ring family circus is executive producer Lorne Michaels, the comedy veteran behind the long-running “Saturday Night Live.”
Cast: Fred Goss (“Significant Others”): Cameron Walker Gillian Vigman (“Mad TV”): Liz Walker Alison Quinn: Sharon Fenton Jerry Lambert: Don Fenton Desmond Harrington (“Taken”): Wylie Blake Corri English: Jenna Halbert Dee Wallace (“ET, the Extra Terrestrial”): Colleen Halbert
Lois Hall: Aunt Rae Noah Applebaum: Ezra Walker Alexandra Gold Jourden: Marni Walker Trevor Einhorn (“BASEketball”): Henry Eden Sher: Kerry Greg Pitts: Tommy White Max Gail (“Barney Miller”): Wendal Halbert
Credits: Executive Producers/Writers: Fred Goss, Nick Holly Executive Producer: Joanne Alfano, Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live”) Production Companies: Broadway Video in association with NBC Universal Television Studio Director: Fred Goss
“What About Brian” (one-hour drama, Monday, 10:00 p.m., ET – after “Monday Night Football”) — Brian is the guy everyone wants as a best friend. He’s the guy who’ll stand by you at your wedding, drive you to the hospital, cheer your kids on at their little league game… the guy whom every wife dotes on and every husband wants to either grab a beer with or live vicariously through. But as all of his friends pair off and Brian emerges as the last bachelor standing, questions begin to arise in his head: Is there such a thing as Mr. or Mrs. Right? Why does love have to be so complicated? What is his problem with commitment? And the most pressing question of all — could all of his problems stem from the fact that he is harboring a crush on his best friend’s girl?
At 34, Brian is the last single guy in his group of friends: his best friend, Adam, was going to break up with picture-perfect Marjorie, but proposed instead. Brian’s sister, Nic, and her boy-toy husband, Angelo, are trying hard to have kids. The bohemian Dave and Deena have three little girls and no sex life. And, like all married people, they can’t wait for Brian to join their “club,” though they’re not exactly sure why. As for Brian, well, he’s a serial monogamist but still holds out hope that one day he’ll open the door and be blinded by love.
“What About Brian” is from the producers of “Lost” and “Alias” and the screenwriter of “City of Angels” and “For Love of the Game.”
Cast: Barry Watson (“7th Heaven”): Brian Matthew Davis (“Legally Blonde”): Adam Polly Shannon (“Street Time”): Marjorie Rick Gomez (“Band of Brothers”): Dave Amanda Detmer (“Kiss the Bride”): Deena Raoul Bova (“Under the Tuscan Sun”): Angelo Rosanna Arquette (“Pulp Fiction”): Nic
Credits: Executive Producer/Writer: Dana Stevens (“City of Angels”) Executive Producers: J.J. Abrams, Thom Sherman, Bryan Burk (“Alias,” “Lost”) Executive Producers/Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (“Arrested Development”) Production Company: Touchstone Television, Bad Robot