ABC has firmed up the bulk of its summer lineup, which will feature three original scripted series — Canadian crime imports Motive and returning Rookie Blue as well as homemade soap Mistresses. That is more than the 1-2 scripted originals each of the broadcast networks has offered in the last couple of summers. Motive, from The Mentalist‘s Daniel Cerone, is getting a boost with a special premiere after the Dancing With The Stars The Results Show finale on May 21 before the thriller drama moves into the high-profile Thursday 9 PM slot, leading to Rookie Blue. Also joining ABC’s summer schedule is Whodunnit?, a new mystery reality competition show from CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, which will air in the Sunday 9 PM slot as the network is resting its serialized dramas that traditionally don’t repeat well — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Revenge. Also set to take a break are Castle, replaced for some of the summer by Mistresses, whose previously announced premiere is being pushed by a week, and Once Upon A Time, by Celebrity Wife Swap. Other returning unscripted series this summer include The Bachelorette, Wipeout, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and What Would You Do? There are still a couple of holes on ABC’s summer schedule which are expected to be filled soon. Here are ABC’s summer premiere dates:
Thursday, May 9:
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Wipeout”
Monday, May 20:
9:00-11:00 p.m. “The Bachelorette” (special time period premiere following the finale of the “Dancing with the Stars” performance show)
Tuesday, May 21
10:01 – 11:00 p.m. “Motive” (new series premiere on a special day and time, following the finale of “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” from 8:00-10:01 p.m.)
Thursday, May 23:
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Motive” (regular time period premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Rookie Blue”
Monday, May 27:
8:00-10:01 p.m. “The Bachelorette” (regular time period premiere)
Tuesday, May 28:
8:00-10:01 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”
Wednesday, May 29:
10:00-11:00 p.m. “What Would You Do?”
Monday, June 3
10:01-11:00 p.m. “Mistresses” (new series premiere)
Sunday, June 23:
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Celebrity Wife Swap” (summer premiere)
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Whodunnit?” (new series premiere)
When murder is committed, Angie Flynn, a loving, single mother and a damned good detective, along with her partner, Detective Oscar Vega, are on the case, looking for clues that will lead them to the killer. But “Motive” turns the tried-and-true crime drama formula on its head by indentifying the Killer and Victim at the beginning of each episode. These storylines are then further explored via stylized flashbacks that piece together the mysterious connection between these two characters and what drove the Killer to commit murder. “Motive” stars Kristin Lehman (“The Killing,” “Judging Amy”) as Detective Angie Flynn, Louis Ferreira (“SGU Stargate Universe,” “Rookie Blue”) as Detective Oscar Vega, Lauren Holly (“NCIS,” “Chicago Hope,” “Picket Fences”) as Dr. Betty Rogers, Roger Cross (“24,” “Arrow”) as Staff Sergeant Boyd Bloom, Brendan Penny as Detective Brian Lucas and Cameron Bright (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”) as Manny Flynn. “Motive” was created by Daniel Cerone (“Dexter,” “The Mentalist”), who executive-produces the show along with Louise Clark, Rob Merilees, Erin Haskett, Rob LaBelle, Lindsay Macadam and James Thorpe. Developed by CTV, the series is produced by Foundation Features and Lark Productions in association with Bell Media, and distributed by NBCUniversal International.
“MISTRESSES” – PREMIERES MONDAY, JUNE 3 (10:01-11:00 p.m.)
Based on the hit UK television series of the same name, “Mistresses” is a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery: Savannah (“Savi”), a successful career woman working toward the next phase in her life, both professionally and personally; Savi’s free-spirited and capricious baby sister, Josslyn; their friends April, a recent widow and mother of a ten-year-old daughter, and Karen, a therapist with her own thriving practice. These four friends find support and guidance with each other as they brave their turbulent journeys and life’s storms of excitement, secrecy and betrayal, all the while bound by the complex relationships they’ve created. “Mistresses” stars Alyssa Milano as Savannah (“Savi”) Davis, Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, Rochelle Aytes as April Malloy, Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Brett Tucker as Harry Davis, Jason George as Dominic Taylor and Erik Stocklin as Sam Grey. The series is executive-produced by Rina Mimoun (“Privileged,” “Gilmore Girls”), K.J. Steinberg (“Gossip Girl”), Robert Sertner (“Revenge,” “No Ordinary Family”) and Douglas Rae (“Wuthering Heights,” “Camelot,” “Mistresses,” “Raw,” “Meadowlands”). The series is from ABC Studios.
“WHODUNNIT?” – PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 23 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Anthony E. Zuiker, the creator of the “CSI” franchise, begins production on his first primetime reality series, “Whodunnit?” Cris Abrego partners with Zuiker for the new nine-episode alternative series that puts 13 contestants’ investigative skills to the test in a mystery reality competition. Each week players will use a variety of crime scene investigation techniques to meticulously uncover evidence that will ultimately reveal who among them is the killer. The interactive series will pit 13 amateur sleuths against each other in a quest to solve a series of puzzling murders. Some will form alliances and others will choose to go it alone just to get them closer to the grand prize. The contestants will reside on a glamorous estate where each week they must solve a new crime in order to advance in the game. Failure to solve the crime will lead to a player’s demise, until only three are left. In the final episode, one player will unmask the killer and take home the $250,000 prize. “Whodunnit?” is produced by Dare to Pass and 51 Minds. Zuiker and Abrego are executive producers. Matt Weinberg, president of Dare to Pass, also serves as producer.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.