The big question facing ABC was how the network would replace the just-concluded "Desperate Housewives" at 9 p.m. Sunday. Turns out, another soap will slide into the slot. Freshman drama "Revenge" will move off Wednesday and into the Sunday hour when the greatest number of TV sets are turned on each week, according to ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee.
Comedy continues to be king with ABC following NBC and Fox in adding more comedy to its prime-time lineup. ABC comedies will take on Fox comedies at 9 p.m. Tuesday and NBC comedies at 9 p.m. Friday in November.
That Friday night comedy hour is reminiscent of ABC's old TGIF strategy that's been ceded to Disney Channel but Mr. Lee said he's wanted to revive it on ABC for several years.
"It's time for Friday to be a destination again for broad family entertainment," he said in a teleconference with reporters Tuesday, noting that companion reality show "Shark Tank" already is watched by families.
ABC will air an all-star edition of "Dancing With the Stars" this fall bringing back competitors from the past 14 seasons. None of the so-called returning "Stars" have been announced.
ABC canceled "GCB," "Missing," "The River" and "Pan Am."
"Body of Proof" and "Wife Swap" will return at midseason.
Here's ABC's fall schedule, with new series in bold:
7 p.m.: "America's Funniest Home Videos."
8 p.m.: "Once Upon a Time."
9 p.m.: "Revenge."
10 p.m.: "666 Park Avenue": A soap set in a tony Manhattan apartment building that's beset by supernatural forces, much to the dismay of the new managers, played by Dave Annable ("Brothers & Sisters") and Rachael Taylor ("Charlie's Angels"). Terry O'Quinn ("Lost") plays the building's owner with Vanessa Williams ("Desperate Housewives") as his wife.
8 p.m.: "Dancing With the Stars."
10 p.m.: "Castle."
8 p.m.: "Dancing With the Stars the Results Show."
9 p.m.: "Happy Endings."
9:30 p.m.: "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23."
10 p.m.: "Private Practice."
8 p.m.: "The Middle."
8:30 p.m.: "Suburgatory."
9 p.m.: "Modern Family."
9:30 p.m.: "The Neighbors": Debbie (Jami Gertz, "Still Standing") and Marty (Lenny Venito, "Bored to Death") move into a gated New Jersey community only to discover all their neighbors are aliens (the kind from outer space).
10 p.m.: "Nashville": Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") stars as country music singer Rayna James who's about to get All About Eve'd by an ambitious newcomer (Hayden Panettiere, "Heroes") as Rayna's power broker father (Powers Boothe, "24") drafts Rayna's husband (Eric Close, "Without a Trace") to run for mayor of Nashville.
8 p.m.: "Last Resort": A nuclear sub receives orders to fire on Pakistan but when the captain (Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age") demands confirmation of the orders, he's replaced by his XO (Scott Speedman, "Felicity"), who also refuses to fire without confirmation leading the sub to an island where the crew forms a rogue state. Shawn Ryan ("The Shield") wrote the pilot and serves as executive producer.
9 p.m.: "Grey's Anatomy."
10 p.m.: "Scandal."
FRIDAY (in September)
8 p.m.: "Shark Tank."
9 p.m. "Primetime: What Would You Do?"
10 p.m.: "20/20."
FRIDAY (in November)
8 p.m.: "Last Man Standing."
8:30 p.m.: "Malibu Country": Reba McEntire ("Reba") stars in another Friday night sitcom, this time as the wife of a country music legend. When she discovers she's been cheated on, she packs up her family, including her mother (Lily Tomlin, "The West Wing"), and moves them to Malibu.
9 p.m.: "Shark Tank."
10 p.m. "20/20."
8 p.m.: "Saturday Night College Football."
"How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)" (8 p.m. Tuesday in January): A single mom (Sarah Chalke, "Scrubs") moves back home to live with her parents (Elizabeth Perkins, Brad Garrett).
"The Family Tools" (8:30 p.m. Tuesday in January): Career failure Jack (Kyle Bornheimer, "Worst Week") takes over the family handyman business after his father (J.K. Simmons, "Oz") has a heart attack. Leah Remini ("The King of Queens") also stars.
"Red Widow": A woman (Radha Mitchell) whose gangster husband is killed attempts to ferret out the truth about her husband's death. Lee Tergesen (Army Wives") plays one of the husband's unscrupulous business partners named Mike Tomlin. "Red Widow" is based on a Dutch series ("Penoza") and is written by Melissa Rosenberg ("Twilight" screenwriter).
"Zero Hour": Anthony Edwards ("ER") returns to prime time as the publisher of a paranormal enthusiast magazine whose wife is abducted in a globe-spanning drama. Mr. Lee compared it to "The DaVinci Code."
"Mistresses": Based on the British soap that aired on BBC America, this drama follows a group of friends -- including characters played by Alyssa Milano ("Charmed") and Yunjin Kim ("Lost") -- at various stages in their lives.
In recent years PBS has thrown Ken Burns documentary series into the teeth of the commercial networks' fall season premieres in late September but this year the public broadcaster will spare Mr. Burns' work ("The Dust Bowl" airs Nov. 18-19) and instead sacrifice a new drama series that, curiously, will not air under the "Masterpiece" banner.
Instead, in an effort to recapture "Downton Abbey" viewers, the British drama "Call the Midwife," set in the mid-20th century among a group of midwives in London's East End, will air opposite broadcast network premieres at 8 p.m. Sundays this fall from Sept. 30 to Nov. 4.
"Masterpiece Classic" will air season two of the revived "Upstairs Downstairs" at 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 through Nov. 11. It's also the final season of "Upstairs," which was recently canceled in England.
NBC has ordered a pirate drama straight to series. NBC's "Crossbones," from the creator of BBC America's "Luther," follows the recent announcement that Starz also will air a pirate adventure series, "Black Sails," which is from producer Michael Bay (the "Transformers" movies) and expected to air in 2014. No air date was announced for NBC's "Crossbones." ... Mitchell Guist, one of the stars of History's "Swamp People," died Monday after falling while aboard his boat. Variety reported a seizure or heart attack was suspected in the 47-year-old's death.tvradio
TV writer Rob Owen: email@example.com or 412-263-2582. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.