Depending on where you live, it's hard to believe that spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. But in case you have any doubt that summer is coming, this should seal it — ABC has confirmed a majority of its revamped schedule for the off-season months.
Kicking off in May, the Alphabet network's summer schedule features two new scripted series, a new reality show, and a slew of returning favorites like Rookie Blue, Wipeout, and The Bachelorette. With a total of three scripted summer series, ABC is relying less on unscripted fare than in years past, which could be a good sign if the new shows are decent and attract an audience.
While there are still a couple of slots available on the schedule, they are expected to be filled shortly. Let's take a look at the new shows first.
- Motive — Tuesday, May 21, 10:00 PM. Back in January, ABC picked up the U.S. broadcast rights to this Canadian crime drama, which premiered to record ratings up north on CTV last month. Created by Daniel Cerone, former executive producer on Dexter and The Mentalist, Motive flips the traditional procedural formula on its head by identifying the killer and the victim at the beginning of each episode. Their connection and the reasons behind each murder-of-the-week are explored through stylized flashbacks as Motive details not just who the criminal is, but why they committed the crime in the first place.
Kristin Lehman (The Killing) and Louis Ferreira (SGU Stargate Universe) star as the detectives on the hunt for clues that will lead them to the killer. The cast includes a number of other recognizable TV faces including Lauren Holly (NCIS), Roger Cross (24), Brendan Penny (Supernatural), and Cameron Bright in his first TV role since starring as Alec in The Twilight Saga. After premiering on May 21 immediately following the finale of Dancing With The Stars: The Results Show, Motive shifts to its regular timeslot on Thursdays at 9 PM two days later on May 23.
- Mistresses — Monday, June 3, 10:00 PM. Based on a popular British series, Mistresses is a thrilling and provocative drama that stars Alyssa Milano in her first regular series role since the ABC sitcom Romantically Challenged was canceled after four episodes in 2010. The former Who's The Boss star plays Savannah, a successful career woman known as "Savi" to her group of sexy and sassy girlfriends, including free-spirited baby sister Josslyn (Jes Macallan), recent widow April (Rochelle Aytes), and thriving therapist Karen (Yunjin Kim). Bound by the complex relationships they have created, the four women find support and guidance as they weather the turbulent storms of excitement, secrecy, and betrayal in their scandalous lives.
Brett Tucker (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), Jason George (Grey's Anatomy), and Erik Stocklin (The Vampire Diaries) round out the cast for the project written by former Gossip Girl producer K.J. Steinberg. Evoking the aura of ABC's departed Desperate Housewives, Mistresses received a straight-to-series order a year ago targeted for this summer.
- Whodunnit? — Sunday, June 23, 9:00 PM. From CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, Whodunnit? is a mystery reality competition pitting 13 amateur sleuths against each other in a quest to solve a series of puzzling murders. Over the nine episodes, the contestants will employ a variety of crime scene investigation techniques to uncover evidence that will ultimately reveal who among them is the killer. While residing on a glamorous estate, the participants can choose to form alliances or go it alone as they must solve a new crime each week in order to advance to the next round. Once the field has been whittled down to three, one player will unmask the killer in the final episode to take home the grand prize of $250,000.
On the slate of shows returning this summer, the Canadian export Rookie Blue is the lone scripted series. The police drama will return for its fourth season on Thursday, May 23, at 10:00 PM following ABC's other Canadian acquisition, Motive.
Serving as Motive's lead-in, the sixth season of the popular obstacle course reality competition Wipeout will spring into action on Thursday, May 9 at 8:00 PM. Season 9 of The Bachelorette will premiere in the post-Dancing With The Stars timeslot on Monday, May 20 at 9:00 PM before reverting back to its usual 8 PM start time one week later.
Just in time for swimsuit season, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is back beginning Tuesday, May 28 at 8:00 PM, while the hidden-camera series Primetime: What Would You Do? returns on Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 PM and continues to stretch the bounds of believability. After airing three fresh episodes in March, the six remaining new episodes of Celebrity Wife Swap will run on ABC over the summer starting on Sunday, June 23 at 8:00 PM.
These shows will air in place of traditionally low-rated repeats of serialized programming like Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Revenge, Castle, and Once Upon A Time. Will you be watching any of them?