ABC has unveiled its slate of midseason programming, overhauling its schedule with changes to the current lineup on four nights.
For the second year in a row, ABC's midseason plans to build a two-hour comedy block on Tuesdays have been scrapped. Beginning in the fall, the Alphabet network created half of that block by slotting Happy Endings and Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 in the 9–10 PM hour, with new comedies How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life) and Family Tools scheduled to join them in January from 8–9 PM. However, due to the poor ratings performance of Happy Endings and Don't Trust The B----, the network brass have decided to insert the two new shows into the Wednesday night lineup instead, ensuring a better chance of finding an audience. This move complicates the schedule since all four of ABC's current Wednesday comedies have full-season orders. Starting in early January, The Neighbors will air a full run of new episodes in its current timeslot at 8:30 PM until its freshman season is completed at the end of March. On April 3, the network will uproot Suburgatory from its current 9:30 slot back to 8:30, where it debuted last year, to give the prime post-Modern Family real estate to How To Live With Your Parents. When Suburgatory finishes up its sophomore run, Family Tools will premiere at 8:30 on May 1.
Comedy will disappear entirely from Tuesday evenings on March 19, as ABC will debut its reality series Celebrity Diving in the 8 PM hour, followed by the Dancing With The Stars results show at 9:00. From January 22 until March 12, cooking competition The Taste starring Anthony Bourdain will inhabit the 8 PM timeslot. Unfortunately for fans of the current Tuesday comedies, there has been no word on the fate of the unaired episodes of Happy Endings and Don't Trust The B----.
The remaining changes are largely a result of ABC's recent cancellations. Following the end of Private Practice, the revamped Body of Proof will return to its 10:00 PM timeslot on Tuesday beginning February 5. The challenging 8 PM berth on Thursday—last occupied by Last Resort—will go to another male-skewing drama entitled Zero Hour, debuting February 14 to capitalize on the key demographic of lonely dorks (like me) home alone on Valentine's Day. Mob drama Red Widow will inhabit the former home of 666 Park Avenue on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM, kicking off with a two-hour series premiere on March 3.
I have to say, this is a very uninspiring midseason schedule. Seriously, Celebrity Diving? A whole show based around the results from another reality show? While I'll likely watch the new comedies because they'll be on Wednesday, the only new series that really sparks my interest is Zero Hour. How about you?