As one TV season ends, another begins. Every year the big networks hold their own press events to preview their new programming to advertisers and audiences. The Upfronts is a time when the networks release program information to the public like the creators, producers, and cast behind their new fall and mid-season shows. Be sure to look after the break for trailers, synopses, and creator/producer/cast information behind ABC’s upcoming TV lineup.
10 new series :: 6 new dramas (Body of Proof, Detroit 1-8-7, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, The Whole Truth, Off the Map) - 3 new comedies (Better Together, Happy Endings, Mr. Sunshine) – 1 alternative (Secret Millionaire)
11 cancellations :: Better off Ted, The Deep End, Eastwick, FlashForward, The Forgotten, Hank, Happy Town, Lost (well, not cancelled but…), Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, Ugly Betty
Returning series held for mid-season :: V, Supernanny
ABC head Steven McPherson on keeping V & dropping FlashForward :: “It was a Sophie’s Choice. In the end, FlashForward didn’t engage audiences like we hoped. For V, I get more anecdotal calls and emails than any other show on the schedule. A huge part of rebuilding the network is about taking chances. Some shows just don’t work out.”
Body of Proof: Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) was in a class of her own, a brilliant neurosurgeon at the top of her game. But her world is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner, determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims. Her instincts are sharp, but she’s developed a reputation for graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. It turns out her career isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt; Megan’s family has taken a backseat to her ambition, and now she’s discovering there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting her relationships with the living.
Starring Dana Delany, Jeri Ryan, Geoffrey Arend, John Carroll Lynch, Windell Middlebrooks, Nic Bishop, and Sonja Sohn. [Fridays @ 9PM]
Detroit 1-8-7: What does it take to be a detective on America’s most dangerous streets? Get ready to be part of the action when a documentary crew rolls with some of Detroit’s finest, offering an insider’s glimpse behind the curtain of a Homicide Unit. The cameras unearth the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of these inner city cops—moments of raw exposure when they address us directly, as well as private moments when they forget they’re being filmed. There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected—and most misunderstood—man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; Narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez—a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Aman Mahajan—a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants—form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work. The men and women of Detroit Homicide are as smart and tough as they come. They have to be, working the neighborhoods of the once and future Motor City, a rebounding bastion of middle America still saddled with the highest murder rate in the country.
Starring Michael Imperioli, Jon Michael Hill, James McDaniel, Aisha Hinds, Natalie Martinez, D.J. Cotrona, and Shaun Majumder. [Tuesdays @ 10PM]
My Generation: What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew follows a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX as they prepare for graduation, then revisits these former classmates ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they’re not where they planned doesn’t mean they’re not right where they need to be. These students couldn’t wait to graduate and head out into the real world. But the world they were entering got very real very fast. As these classmates return home to revisit their old hopes for their future, they’ll discover that, even if you don’t get exactly what you thought you wanted out of life, it’s not too late to get what you need.
Starring Michael Stahl David, Kelli Garner, Jaime King, Keir O’Donnell, Sebastian Sozzi, Mechad Brooks, Anne Son, Daniella Alonso, and Julian Morris. [Thursdays @ 8PM]
No Ordinary Family: The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim and Stephanie’s relationship lacks the spark it once had, and their family life now consists of balancing work and their two children, leaving little time for family bonding. During a family vacation set up by Jim in an attempt to reconnect, their plane crashes into the Amazon River. But this is where the fun starts for the Powells, as they soon discover that something’s not quite right. Each of them now possesses unique and distinct superpowers. But saving and savoring their family life will be equally important, as they try to find purpose for their new powers and embark on a journey to find out what defines and unifies them. The Powells are a totally relatable family who happen to be a little bit amazing.
Starring Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Romany Malco, Tate Donovan, Autumn Reeser, Christina Chang, Kay Panabaker, and Jimmy Bennett. [Tuesdays @ 10PM]
The Whole Truth: This unique legal drama chronicles the way a case is built from the perspective of both the defense and prosecution. Showing each side equally keeps the audience guessing, shifting allegiances and opinions on guilt or innocence until the very final scene. Kathryn Peale, the product of a New England background and a sheriff father, is the Deputy Bureau Chief in the New York State District Attorney’s office. Jimmy Brogan, born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen and a friend of Kathryn’s since their days at Yale Law School, is one of New York’s rising criminal attorney stars. Buoyed by their respective teams, these evenly matched lawyers—each with a strong streak of competitiveness, a fervent belief in their clients and an equally intense passion for the law go about creating two different stories from the same set of facts. As this up-close, behind-the-scenes look at the legal process mirrors the excitement of a championship match, it becomes evident that truth has nothing to do with innocence or guilt—at the end of every trial, the only thing that matters is what the jury believes.
Starring Rob Morrow, Eamonn Walker, Sean Wing, Anthony Ruivivar, and Christine Adams. [Wednesdays @ 10PM]
Off the Map: Executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) and creator Jenna Bans (Grey’s Anatomy) bring you an uplifting medical drama that explores how far you have to go to truly heal. Welcome to “la ciudad de las estrellas” (the city of stars), a tiny town in the South American jungle which has one understaffed, under-stocked medical clinic. That’s where idealistic young Dr. Lily Brenner just landed, along with fellow doctors Mina Minard and Manny Diaz. All of these young doctors are running away from personal demons, but they aren’t the only ones with emotional baggage. Take the legendary and enigmatic Ben Keeton, who was the youngest Chief of Surgery at UCLA. He walked away from it all to found the clinic. Together with his right-hand doctor, Otis Cole, he’ll teach these newcomers how to save lives in the most challenging environment they’ve ever worked in. In this ensemble drama, five doctors who have lost their way will go to the ends of the earth to try to remember the reasons why they wanted to become doctors in the first place.
Starring Martin Henderson, Caroline Dhavernas, Enrique Murciano, Mamie Gummer, Jason George, Valerie Cruz, and Jose Julian. [Premieres mid-season]
Better Together: Maddie and Ben have been dating for nine years. They know each other inside and out, a relationship marked by contentment and affection, seeing their commitment to one another as a “valid life choice,” something they proclaim often—and often loudly. Maddie’s younger sister, Mia, has been dating Casey for seven weeks. With a shared c’est la vie attitude, Mia and Casey are smitten with each other, and thrilled to explore the oh-so-many things they don’t know about each other yet. But when they announce they’re getting married and having a baby, it’s news that throws Maddie for a loop. Surprisingly, the girls’ parents, Vicky and Joel, couldn’t be more pleased. Married 35 years, they have recently adopted a carpe diem sort of philosophy, rather like Mia’s, maybe because they’re getting older and lost a good portion of their savings when the economy tanked. With three very different relationships tightly intertwined in one family, will it be free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?
Starring JoAnna Garcia, Jennifer Finnigan, Josh Cooke, Jake Lacy, Kurt Fuller, and Debra Jo Rupp. [Wednesdays @ 8:30PM]
Happy Endings: Forget who gets to keep the ring—when a couple splits, the real question is, who gets to keep the friends? In this modern comedy, a couple’s break-up will complicate all of their friends’ lives and make everyone question their choices. When life throws you for a curve, hold on tight to the people you love. Every circle of friends has someone who’s the gravitational center. For years, perfect couple Dave and Alex drew their friends in and held them together. Now that they’ve split, does this group have the stuff to stay together? Or do Max, Brad, Jane and Penny have to choose sides? Suddenly every event is a negotiation… like, who gets to go on the annual ski trip? There are a lot of big questions to be answered, but this group has been together so long, somehow, little by little, they’ll figure out how to hold on, even though their center is split up. It helps that Dave and Alex have agreed to stay friends. But there will definitely be other complications down the road—like Penny’s long-suppressed feelings for Dave. What is the waiting period for dating a friend’s ex? This show isn’t afraid to ask the embarrassing personal questions that inevitably arise in every long-term, close-knit group of friends.
Starring Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans, Jr., and Casey Wilson. [Premieres mid-season]
Mr. Sunshine: Matthew Perry stars as Ben Donovan, the self-involved manager of a second-rate San Diego sports arena who begins to re-evaluate his life on his 40th birthday. Working alongside him is his boss and arena owner, Crystal—attractive, powerful and highly erratic; Alice—the cute, tomboyish marketing director and Ben’s friend with benefits; Alonzo—a former basketball player, handsome and unbelievably happy; Ben’s assistant, Heather—pretty, sweet, but terrifying because she once lit a boyfriend on fire; Crystal’s son, Roman—sweet-faced, clueless and Ben’s newest employee; and a hapless operations crew whom Ben refers to collectively as the “Steves.”
Starring Matthew Perry, Allison Janney, Andrea Anders, James Lesure, Nate Torrence, and Portia Doubleday. [Premieres mid-season]
Secret Millionaire: Secret Millionaire is a one-hour alternative series that follows some of America’s wealthiest people for one week as they leave behind their lavish lifestyles, sprawling mansions and luxury jets, conceal their true identities, and go to live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous communities in America. Surviving on welfare wages, their mission is to discover the unsung heroes of America—deserving individuals who continually sacrifice everything to help those in need. Throughout this incredible experience, the Secret Millionaires will attempt to remain undiscovered, coming face to face with extraordinary and amazing people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, they reveal their true identities. Ultimately, the millionaires will each give away at least $100,000 of their own money, changing lives forever.
[Fridays @ 8PM]
2010-11 ABC Schedule (“*” denotes new show)
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
8:00PM No Ordinary Family*
9:00 Dancing with the Stars the Results Show
10:00 Detroit 1-8-7*
8:00PM The Middle
8:30 Better Together*
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10:00 The Whole Truth*
8:00PM My Generation*
9:00 Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 Private Practice
8:00PM Secret Millionaire*
9:00 Body of Proof*
8:00PM Saturday Night College Football
7:00PM America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 Desperate Housewives
10:00 Brothers & Sisters