ABC has firmed up its midseason scheduling plans. With Super Fun Night only getting a Back 4 order, the network will try out another new comedy series, Mixology, in the Wednesday 9:30 PM slot behind Modern Family. The high-concept series, which takes place at a bar over the course of one night and features a 10-member core cast, will premiere on February 26. ABC previously used flagship Modern Family to launch another single-camera young ensemble comedy, Happy Endings, which recently ended its run. Meanwhile, Suburgatory will return to its original Tuesday 8:30 PM slot where it was so successful in its first season, launching Season 3 on January 15 to succeed departing Back In The Game.
ABC is making changes to some previously announced midseason moves. Once Upon A Time and Revenge are still slated to return from their winter hiatuses on March 9, joined by new drama Resurrection. But Revenge will move to 10 PM, with Resurrection taking over its 9 PM slot. With its supernatural theme (Resurrection is about deceased loved ones returning to a small town), it is considered a better fit for dark-ish fairytale drama Once than the glitzy soap Revenge. On Thursday, ABC was to launch adventure reality series The Quest, from The Amazing Race creators, on January 2. The competition has now been pushed to summer, with cooking reality series The Taste and CIA drama The Assets taking over Thursday night while Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are on hiatus, returning on February 27. In another tweak, Nashville — originally slated to go on hiatus like Once, Grey’s and Scandal under ABC’s newly adopted split-season model before returning on February 26 — will now stay on, airing a total of four originals in January and February. I hear ABC brass felt that maybe they were taking too many dramas off, and Nashville‘s strong DVR following could help it through repeats. Of the freshman dramas, Betrayal will have aired its entire limited-run first season before it goes off the air, while Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will air its fall finale on Dec. 12 and will return with a few more originals in the spring. New procedurals Killer Women and Mind Games will split the Tuesday 10 PM slot previously occupied by cancelled drama Lucky 7. Here are ABC’s new mideason premiere dates, followed by descriptions of the new series:
RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Scores With Broncos-Colts Game, ‘Mentalist’ Hits Low, ‘Betrayal’ Rises
Everybody knew there would be interest in Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football (9.5/23) last night — but there really was a lot of interest it turns out. The Colts’ 39-33 victory over Manning’s favored Denver Broncos surged up 30% over the fast nationals of last week’s Cowboys-Redskins game, which is commonly one of the top draws in the NFL. In the 8:30-11 PM block, Broncos-Colts was watched by 25.87 million viewers, up 6 million from the 19.65 million who tuned in last week. In metered market households, last night’s game pulled in a 17.3/29, up 28% over last week’s metered market result and 48% over the 11.7 of last season’s Week 7 game (Pittsburgh-Cincinnati). The 8:30 PM-12:15 AM game pulled a 10.0 rating among adults 18-49, 64% better than what the No. 2 demo show — AMC’s The Walking Dead — got with its 6.1. It was also the fourth-best metered-market result in the 8 years NBC has had its primetime NFL package (No. 1 remains the 18.3 of the Cowboys-Redskins NFC East title game on December 30, 2012) and the best October primetime NFL game result since the 17.5 Minnesota-Green Bay drew on October 5, 1998. As always with live events like sports, expect an adjustment in the final numbers later today. Having said that, there’s little doubt NBC will retain its top spot among adults with a 7.8/20 rating and 21.45 million in total viewers for Sunday night. CBS was second with a 2.7/7 rating and 12.27 million viewers.
ABC is changing things up in scheduling some of its serialized dramas. Taking a page from the cable model, the network will air what ABC president Paul Lee called “a selected group” of dramas in two uninterrupted runs, one in the fall and one in the spring, bridged by limited series. The series that will follow the new scheduling pattern include Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and likely Revenge, with others TBD. So far, the network only has set up a bridge series for Once, new adventure reality series The Quest. Lee said such bridge series won’t necessarily be all unscripted. Two cycles of 12 episodes would bring the total orders for the shows to 24, which is hard on a complex, serialized drama, but Lee indicated that number has not been set in stone. He said that the network is looking to further shake up the traditional broadcast scheduling model with “quality launches” throughout the season. Lee also said that new fall drama Betrayal is designed as a limited series, airing 12-13 episodes a season. The same applies to midseason drama Resurrection, which will replace it in the Sunday 10 PM slot in midseason.
Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule