ABC, which struggles depending on whether Dancing With The Stars is on or whether Modern Family is new or a rerun, has so many new and marginal shows that it can’t even remember which of them are the actual new ones, as evidenced by the official press release, which lists Happy Endings, a comedy given a somewhat surprising second season renewal (given its low ratings and the fact that the network all but burned it off), as a new show. Granted, since the show has weirdly gotten the prestigious post-Modern Family slot (bumping Cougar Town to midseason), ABC may have to promote it like it’s a new show, so maybe they got confused. Or maybe they’re just throwing a bunch of shit on the air and hoping some of it sticks. Stay tuned after the schedule for talk about the return of the mighty Tim Allen, ABC apparently just scheduling the same show two times in a row, and Ginnifer Goodwin (happy sigh) as Snow White.
But here’s the fall schedule (unlike other networks, ABC did not release even a fragment of a midseason schedule):
(New series in CAPS. All times ET/PT.)
8 p.m.: Dancing With The Stars
10 p.m.: Castle
8 p.m.: LAST MAN STANDING
8:30 p.m.: MAN UP
9 p.m.: Dancing With The Stars The Results Show
10 p.m.: Body of Proof
8 p.m.: The Middle
8:30 p.m.: SUBURGATORY
9 p.m.: Modern Family
9:30 p.m.: Happy Endings
10 p.m.: REVENGE
8 p.m.: CHARLIE'S ANGELS
9 p.m.: Grey’s Anatomy
10 p.m.: Private Practice
8 p.m.: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 p.m.: Shark Tank
10 p.m.: 20/20
8 p.m.: Saturday Night College Football
7 p.m.: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 p.m.: ONCE UPON A TIME
9 p.m.: Desperate Housewives
10 p.m.: PAN AM
Midseason: Apartment 23, The Bachelor, Cougar Town, Good Christian Belles, Missing, The River, Scandal, Work It
And now, analysis, night-by-night:
The Dancing With The Stars and Castle pairing works, with Castle finally breaking out into the procedural hit ABC needed, after years of serialized soaps and sci-fi dramas. Some had speculated Castle might move to another night, perhaps holding down the Wednesday at 10 p.m. slot (a constant problem for the network), but instead, the notoriously risk-averse network (which kept Brothers & Sisters on after Desperate Housewives for years after it should have moved that show) has opted to keep a night that’s working together. So when you talk to your mom today, if you tell her nothing else, tell her Castle will still be on Mondays at 10. “I love you, honey.” “Mom. Castle. Mondays at 10.”
ABC paid Tim Allen so much money to come back to television that it was inevitable they’d find room for him somewhere on the schedule for a sitcom that has a shot at being the next great hope for the multi-camera, shot-before-a-live-studio-audience form, at least in terms of critical respect. Last Man Standing, which hails from the pen of acclaimed 30 Rock writer Jack Burditt, stars Allen as… pretty much the guy he played on Home Improvement (minus the TV show) and surrounds him with a crackerjack cast, including Nancy Travis, Hector Elizondo, and Kaitlyn Dever (who will almost certainly bring her ultra-dour, “YOU KILLED MY DAD!” demeanor as Justified’s Loretta McCready to this show). It’s about a guy who works at an ultra-manly job having to live with a buncha women (and Hector Elizondo, apparently), which is kind of a dumb premise, but maybe Burditt and Allen will make it work. (The script was funny, and reports from the taping of the pilot were pleased, though, of course, editing it all together may make it… not funny.)
Naturally enough, ABC followed what will probably be its most hyped show of the fall with a show that has exactly the same premise, Man Up. (Weirdly, Last Man Standing was ALSO called Man Up at the script stage.) It, too, is about men trying to find their place in a world where women have sensitized everything or something equally preposterous, meaning that where Fox and NBC have decided the future of the sitcom lies in women doing girl things, ABC has decided its future lies in farting, bumping into stuff, being proved wrong by your wife, and Greco-Roman wrestling played for laughs. Man Up hails from Christopher Moynihan, who was behind 100 Questions (one of NBC’s incredibly strange attempts to revive the multi-camera sitcom that was burned off last summer), with Better Off Ted’s Victor Fresco also producing.
ABC’s choice to try to build another family sitcom bloc on Tuesdays is a solid one, hearkening back to the ‘90s, when the network owned the night with Roseanne and Home Improvement. The shows will have to be self-starters, but ABC appears to be betting the family audience is tired of Glee and NCIS and is ready for Tim Allen to start running into stuff with his truck and grunting. (America laughs, applauds, and lets out a resounding cheer for breakout character Hector Elizondo.)
The night closes out with the same shows as it does right now, which are both doing quite well. The Dancing With The Stars results show leads into new hit drama Body Of Proof, which absolutely no one you know watches, unless you know a bunch of people over 50. (Again, when talking to your mom today, feel free to remind her that Body Of Proof is STAYING PUT Tuesdays at 10.)
Modern Family has gone from hit to cultural juggernaut in its second season, often topping the ratings for scripted programming in the key demographic of 18-49-year-olds (and not doing too shabbily among total viewers either). ABC, perhaps remarkably, has yet to over-exploit the show, even abandoning a short-lived plan to air reruns of the show at 10:30 in the spring, opting instead for doubling up on Happy Endings. Having canceled Better With You and Mr. Sunshine and moved Cougar Town to midseason (which is too bad, seeing as how it’s the network’s best comedy and all), the network, like NBC, has also abandoned its three-hour comedy bloc plans by going back to a more traditional two-hour bloc. Unlike NBC, with its wild, chaotic comedy scheduling, ABC has kept all single-camera sitcoms on Wednesdays, which should provide for a more cohesive bloc.
The night opens with The Middle, one of those unsung shows keeping the network propped up via solid, unspectacular performance (particularly last fall, when it would occasionally come within spitting distance of the top 30, despite ABC spending basically no money to promote it), then leads into the one new comedy in the bloc, Suburgatory, a series from Better Off Ted producer Michael Fresco, which is all about how horrifying it is to live in the suburbs. Sure, we’ve seen it before, but we believe in the Frescos, and ABC seems to love them too. Modern Family remains at 9, then is followed by Happy Endings, a show that’s grown creatively from its disappointing pilot and now stands to have a good shot at breaking out as a hit, assuming Modern Family isn’t the new Lost and viewers have to turn off their TVs immediately after to share their theories on who the four-toed Lily is.
The night closes with Emily Van Camp in “It’s Really All Just There In The Title” trophy runner-up for the year, Revenge, which is a revenge-themed drama about Van Camp’s character trying to get her revenge on those who have wronged her and, thus, deserve to have whatever revenge comes to them. (Really, the title needs about 15 exclamation marks and a semi-colon somewhere.) ABC never knows what to put in this hour (just this season, it’s tried The Whole Truth, Off The Map, and the Happy Endings hour), so this seems like a burnoff, particularly given the fact that the network seems far more excited about various other pilots.
ABC’s fallen a long ways from the days when Grey’s Anatomy dominated this night, driving NBC all but out of business on the night and briefly having CBS confused at placing second. Now, the network is often lucky to land in third on the night, what with Fox having brought American Idol over and CBS plugging along with its stodgy ol’ crime procedurals. ABC has the answer, though, and the answer is Minka Kelly in a variety of skimpy outfits. (This is, all things considered, not a bad answer. We’re sorry, Derek Jeter.)
Yes, ABC is reviving Charlie’s Angels, for some reason, even though all previous attempts to remake hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s have failed to do anything on broadcast networks. Certainly Kelly may be just what America needed to feel good about itself again, but putting this up against X Factor and Big Bang Theory (not to mention cult favorite Vampire Diaries and critical favorite Community) is like just begging to be made fun of. Thus, the show will regularly score 50 million viewers and turn into a massive, massive hit, and the American public will grow fat and happy on visions of Minka Kelly (and two other hot chicks) chained together and walking through a swamp, as Derek Jeter takes the place of the promo bug, a miniature version of his head rising slowly from the bottom of the screen to glare at the audience.
(Brief pause for TRUE STORY: In the 1970s, when the original series aired, an episode featuring the women chained together and walking through a swamp in scanty clothing was advertised in TV Guide with an image of the women chained together and walking through a swamp in scanty clothing. The episode scored such a high rating—one of the highest of the TV season—that producer Aaron Spelling opted to rerun the episode as soon as possible, again promoting it with the image of the women chained together and walking through a swamp in scanty clothing. The episode actually IMPROVED upon its initial ratings in the rerun, which is unheard of, particularly for such a big hit. Man, the ‘70s were hard up for sex.)
Anyway, the night closes out with Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, so you can stop paying attention now. (Your mom would love to hear this news, however.)
ABC moves the declining former reality hit Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to the night, perhaps hoping it can hang on to much of its audience here and make the network competitive on a lackluster night with a minimum of cash spent on production or promotion. It leads into the enjoyable reality cult hit Shark Tank, then the umpteenth season of 20/20.
ABC’s Saturday Night College Football has quietly turned into an institution for the network, so expect another season of the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs beating up on the Webster University Gorloks.
The cancellation of Brothers & Sisters and the move of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition allows ABC to finally try something new on a night that’s needed a revamp for something like three seasons now.
But first, America’s Funniest Home Videos!
Entering its 22nd season of non-stop hilarity, America’s Funniest Home Videos, or AFHV to those in the know, has become a national treasure, to the point that we really should be giving it the weekly live-chat treatment in TV Club. I’ll run this up the ladder and see if we can’t get management to support this program, that has given us so much pleasure for so many years. (Seriously, if you thought about the number of shows like this and Cops and 20/20 that just sort of exist on the margins of the TV schedule, watched by God knows who and making money by being so darn cheap, you’d shudder just a little bit.)
Anyway, this is followed by the “we really didn’t want to pay to produce a TV series of Fables” series Once Upon A Time, which is all about a small town where the characters from fairy tales have become real or something equally stupid. They’re probably all longing to return to the “Home Country,” where the “Antagonist” has kicked them out, and now they spend their days and nights longing for a return home from “Fairytown.” The series stars Ginnifer Goodwin, who, sadly, probably saw this as a much better option than Something Borrowed (no matter how crappy) and was probably right, as Snow White. Jennifer Morrison also stars in the lead. At some point, she will fight to save a hotel for no real reason, almost certainly. Still, the presence of Goodwin leads to our appreciative and happy sighs.
Desperate Housewives begins its eighth season as the Sunday night anchor (where it’s still one of the biggest shows on the night, oddly), and it’s followed by Pan Am, a new show about stewardesses in the ‘60s who also engage in espionage (which is at least a premise, unlike The Playboy Club’s “Hey, you might see some broadcast network friendly side-boob” concept). Why are they engaging in espionage? Who knows! But ABC seems high on this one, and it stars recent-subject-of-a-joke-on-Community Christina Ricci, so we have to at least nod in feigned interest.
Descriptions (and photos, with clips coming this afternoon) of ABC's new series, straight from the network's press release, follow, including a description of a "delightful" sounding cross-dressing comedy:
CHARLIE’S ANGELS: Everyone deserves a second chance, even a thief, a street racer, and a cop who got in a little too deep. After all, the three women who solve cases for their elusive boss, Charlie Townsend, are no saints. They’re angels... Charlie’s Angels. Set in Miami, this fun, glamorous, action-packed take on the 1970s smash hit series introduces us to three new angels, all fearless detectives, head-turning beauties and close friends. There’s Abby (Rachael Taylor, Grey's Anatomy), a Park Avenue princess who became a world-class thief. Then there’s Kate (Annie Ilonzeh, General Hospital), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and her fiancé. Finally there’s Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant who has a way with explosives. When one of the angels’ missions ends in Gloria’s tragic death, Charlie persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Minka Kelly, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), a street racer with a mysterious past. They may not know each other yet, but one thing’s for sure: Abby, Kate and Eve will always have each others’ backs. Charlie’s Angels also stars Ramon Rodriguez (The Wire, Daybreak) as Bosley. Written and executive-produced by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Smallville), Charlie’s Angels is also executive-produced by Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels movies), Leonard Goldberg (the original Charlie’s Angels) and Nancy Juvonen (Charlie’s Angels movies). It’s directed and executive-produced by Marcos Siega (Vampire Diaries, Dexter). Charlie’s Angels is produced by Millar/Gough Ink, Flower Films, and Panda Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.
GOOD CHRISTIAN BELLES: The soap returns to Dallas in this wicked new drama that shows that you can go home again... but only if you’re ready to face the sins of your past. Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb, Iron Man), once the ultimate high school “mean girl,” is forced to return home in disgrace after her marriage ends in scandal. Amanda is nothing like the girl she was 20 years ago, but as her old classmates reacquaint themselves with the new Amanda, will her home town welcome her with open arms or seek revenge? No one in this town is a saint, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a heart. As Amanda and her teenage kids try to adjust to their new lives, the ladies from her past alternate between sympathy and scheming. “Good Christian Belles” also stars Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) as Carlene Cockburn, Annie Potts (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Joan of Arcadia) as Gigi Stopper, Jennifer Aspen (Rodney) as Sharon Peacham, Miriam Shor (Swingtown, Damages) as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, Marisol Nichols (24) as Heather Cruz, Brad Beyer (Jericho) as Zack Peacham, Mark Deklin (Lone Star) as Blake Reilly, and David James Elliott (JAG) as Ripp Cockburn. Based on Kim Gatlin’s hit book, Good Christian Bitches, Good Christian Belles is executive-produced by Darren Star (Sex and the City), Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and Aaron Kaplan. The pilot is written by Robert Harling and executive-produced and directed by Alan Poul. Good Christian Belles is produced by ABC Studios.
MISSING: Becca Winstone (Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy, Kiss The Girls) learns that her son, Michael, disappears while studying abroad, and it’s a race against time when she travels to Europe to track him down. A surprising turn of events reveals just how far one mother will go to protect her family. Exotic locations and thrilling twists will keep you riveted in Missing. How far would you go to save the only thing you have left in the world? At 8-years-old, Michael watched as his father, CIA Agent Paul Winstone, was murdered. Now 10 years later, Paul’s wife, Becca, is faced with the reality of her son growing up. When Michael is afforded the opportunity to study abroad, his mother reluctantly agrees it’s time to let him go. Just a few weeks into his trip Michael disappears, and Becca immediately suspects foul play. When she arrives in Rome, she begins piecing together the clues left behind. It isn’t long before the kidnappers realize they’ve picked a fight with the wrong woman. Becca Winstone has a secret of her own: Before Paul’s death, she was also a lethal CIA Agent. But if she wants to find her son alive, Becca will have to rely on old friends and reopen old wounds. Her resourcefulness, skill and determination will be put to the test – but a mother’s love knows no limits. Missing also stars Cliff Curtis (Trauma) as Dax, Adriano Giannini (Ocean's Twelve) as Giancarlo, Nick Eversman (Cinema Verite) as Michael Winstone, and Tereza Voriskova (Borgias) as Oksana. Missing comes from writer Gregory Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) and executive producers Gina Matthews, Grant Scharbo (The Gates), Steve Shill (Emmy winner for directing Dexter who will direct episodes of Missing) and James Parriott (Sons of Anarchy). Missing is produced by Stillking Films.
ONCE UPON A TIME: From the inventive minds of Lost executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide. And they all lived happily ever after... or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison, House, MD) knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10-years-old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairy tales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairy tale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten but is still powerfully close… where fairy tale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell. Once Upon a Time also stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting, SGU Stargate Universe) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore (Mad Men) as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe, and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie. Once Upon a Time was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC’s V). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod (Entourage). Once Upon a Time is from ABC Studios.
PAN AM: Passion, jealousy and espionage: They do it all, and they do it at 30,000 feet. The style of the 1960s, the energy and excitement of the Jet Age and a drama full of sexy entanglements deliciously mesh in this thrilling and highly-original new series. In this modern world, air travel represents the height of luxury and Pan Am is the biggest name in the business. The planes are glamorous, the pilots are rock stars and the stewardesses are the most desirable women in the world. Not only are these flyboys and girls young and good looking, but to represent Pan Am, they also have to be educated, cultured, and refined. They’re trained to handle everything from in-air emergencies to unwanted advances, all without rumpling their pristine uniforms or mussing their hair. There’s Dean (Jonah Lotan, 24), a cocky, charismatic and ambitious new pilot, the first of a new breed not trained in the war. On the sly against company policy, he’s dating Bridget, a stunning beauty with a mysterious past. A rebellious bohemian, Maggie (Christina Ricci, Penelope) turns into a buttoned up professional for work so she can see the world. Rounding out the crew are flirtatious Collette (Karine Vanasse, Polytechnique), the adventurous Kate (Kelli Garner, Going The Distance), and, finally, Laura (Margot Robbie, Neighbours), Kate’s beauty queen younger sister, a runaway bride, who recently fled a life of domestic boredom to take to the skies. Pan Am also stars Michael Mosley (Justified) as Ted. Jack Orman (ER, Men of a Certain Age), Tommy Schlamme (The West Wing, Parenthood, Mr. Sunshine), and Nancy Hult Ganis (Akeelah and the Bee) are the executive producers of Pan Am. Orman is also the writer, with Schlamme directing. Pan Am is produced by Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions, in association with Sony Pictures Television.
REVENGE: Wealth, beauty and status define the people in this town, but one woman is willing to destroy everyone for the sake of revenge. Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) is new to the Hamptons. She’s met some of her wealthy neighbors, has made a few new friends, and seemingly blends into the town. But something is a little odd about a young girl living in a wealthy town all on her own, and the truth is that Emily isn’t exactly new to the neighborhood. In fact, this was once her old neighborhood, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now Emily is back, and she’s returned to right some of those wrongs in the best way she knows how: with a vengeance. Revenge also stars Madeleine Stowe (We Were Soldiers, The Last of the Mohicans) as Victoria Grayson, Gabriel Mann (The Bourne Identity) as Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Clear and Present Danger) as Conrad Grayson, Ashley Madekwe (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) as Ashley Davenport, Nick Wechsler (Roswell) as Jack Porter, Josh Bowman (Prowl) as Daniel Grayson, Christa B. Allen (13 Going on 30) as Charlotte Grayson, and Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl) as Declan Porter. Revenge is written and executive-produced by Mike Kelley (Swingtown), along with executive producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (Twilight). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Phillip Noyce (Salt). Revenge is produced by ABC Studios.
THE RIVER: The River follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood, Star Trek). Emmet set course around the world with his wife, Tess (Leslie Hope, 24), and son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Parts 1 and 2), while filming what would become one of the most popular shows in television. After he goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him. Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln, he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess, Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne, Lipstick Jungle), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford, Lone Star), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa, Resurrection Blvd.) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann, King Kong). The River also stars Paulina Gaitan as Jahel and Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns) as Adjay. The River, from Amblin’s Steven Spielberg, Daryl Frank and Justin Falvey, showrunner/executive producer Michael Green (Heroes, Kings), is also executive-produced by Oren Peli (creator of Paranormal Activity), Zack Estrin, Jason Blum, and Steven Schneider. Teleplay by Michael R. Perry and Michael Green, story by Oren Peli & Michael R. Perry and Michael Green. The pilot is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by ABC Studios.
SCANDAL: From the creator and executive producers of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington, Ray) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter, both professionally and personally, but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand: their own. Scandal also stars Henry Ian Cusick (Lost) as Stephen Finch, Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard) as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz (Half-Baked) as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn (Ghost) as President Fitzgerald Grant, and Jeff Perry (Grey’s Anatomy) as Cyrus. Scandal was written by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). Rhimes and Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) are executive producers. Paul McGuigan is the director. Scandal is produced by ABC Studios.
APARTMENT 23: After a naïve Midwestern girl’s big city dreams are dashed her first week in New York, she finds herself living with her worst nightmare in this hilarious, contemporary comedy about a female odd couple who are surrounded by an outrageous cast of characters. June (Dreama Walker, The Good Wife, Gossip Girl) moves to Manhattan for a dream job and the perfect company apartment, only to have them disappear in a puff of reality, thanks to a CEO from the Bernie Madoff school of embezzlement. Deep in debt and out on the streets, June scrambles to land a job and place to live. It seems her luck has turned around when she gets hired at a coffee shop and finds Chloe (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad, Gilmore Girls), a charming, vivacious roommate... with the morals of a pirate. She swindles June out of all her savings, but she and her snarky friend, James Van Der Beek (playing himself), soon learn that, just because June’s naïve, she isn’t stupid. June ingeniously turns the tables on Chloe, who is so shocked about being scammed herself that she decides to pull June into her colorful band of friends. Sure, it’s all dysfunctional, bizarre, and overwhelming, but so is New York City. And with the help of Chloe and the other oddballs around her, June might just learn the survival secrets she needs to make it there. Apartment 23 also stars Eric André as Mark and Michael Blaiklock as Eli. Created and written by Nahnatchka Kahn (American Dad), Apartment 23 is executive-produced by Kahn, Jason Winer (Modern Family), Dave Hemingson (American Dad, How I Met Your Mother) and Jeff Morton (Modern Family). Winer is also the director. Apartment 23 is a production of 20th Century Fox Television.
LAST MAN STANDING: Today it’s a woman’s world, and this man’s man is on a mission to get men back to their rightful place in society. Tim Allen (Home Improvement) returns to ABC in this new comedy from Jack Burditt (30 Rock). Men may have built civilizations, invented the locomotive, and created ESPN, but they’re about to find out that it’s not a man’s world anymore. You can’t get manlier than Mike Baxter. He’s the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store, he loves to have adventures while he’s traveling for work and, of course, he drives a pick-up truck. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he’s the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women, namely his wife, Vanessa, and their three daughters, 22- year-old Kristin, 17-year-old Mandy and 14-year-old Eve. After being a stay-at-home mom for years, Vanessa recently returned to the workplace and was quickly promoted (much to the dismay of her primarily male co-workers). As a result of Vanessa’s increased work load, Mike is pulled into more hands-on parenting than ever before. The show also stars Nancy Travis (So I Married an Axe Murderer, Three Men and a Baby) as Vanessa, Molly Ephraim as Mandy, Alexandra Krosney as Kristin, Kaitlyn Dever as Eve, and Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope) as Ed. Last Man Standing was written by Jack Burditt (30 Rock), who also serves as executive producer with Tim Allen, Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein (Prison Break), Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum), Richard Baker (The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2) and Rick Messina (The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 2). John Pasquin (Home Improvement, The Santa Clause) directed. Last Man Standing is from Twentieth Century Fox Television.
MAN UP: Three modern men try to get in touch with their inner tough guys and redefine what it means to be a real man in this funny and relatable comedy. Will’s grandfather fought in WWII. Will’s father fought in Vietnam. Will plays Call Of Duty on his PS3 and drinks non-dairy hazelnut creamer. So what happened to all the real men? They’re still here; they just smell like pomegranate body wash now. Meet Will (Mather Zickel, The Cape). His evolved, sensitive nature is why his awesome wife, Theresa (Teri Polo, Meet The Fockers), married him. But Will and his friends find themselves wondering: In a world of Axe ads and manscaping, what does it really mean to be a guy anymore? Will is more interested in finding the perfect gift for his son Nathan’s (Jake Johnson) 13th birthday than in doing his job selling insurance; sensitive soul Craig (Christopher Moynihan) still pines for his college ex, Lisa; and Kenny (Dan Fogler, Balls Of Fury) clamps down on his anger and asks himself, What would Tobey Maguire do?, when his ex, Brenda (Amanda Detmer, What About Brian), starts seeing a guy (Henry Simmons, Shark) who is everything he’s not and much better looking. After Craig crashes Lisa’s wedding to try to win her back, they are all faced with an opportunity to Man Up and be like their forefathers. Man Up comes from writer/executive producer/actor Christopher Moynihan (100 Questions), executive producer Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted), Ron West and Kelly Kulchak of Tagline Television (Psych), and director Beth McCarthy-Miller (SNL, 30 Rock). Man Up is produced by ABC Studios.
SUBURGATORY: Single father George only wants the best for his 16-year-old daughter, Tessa. So when he finds a box of condoms on her nightstand, he moves them out of their apartment in New York City to a house in the suburbs. But all Tessa sees is the horror of over-manicured lawns and plastic Franken-moms. Being in the ‘burbs can be hell, but it also may just bring Tessa and George closer than they’ve ever been. Tessa (Jane Levy, Shameless) and George (Jeremy Sisto, Law & Order) have been on their own ever since Tessa’s mom pulled a Kramer vs. Kramer before she was even potty trained. So far, George has done a pretty good job of raising Tessa without a maternal figure in their lives, but suddenly, he’s feeling a little out of his league. So it’s goodbye, New York City and hello, suburbs. At first Tessa is horrified by the big-haired, fake-boobed mothers and their sugar-free Red Bull-chugging kids. But little by little, she and her dad begin finding a way to survive on the clean streets of the ‘burbs. Sure, the neighbors might smother you with love while their kids stare daggers at your back, but underneath all that plastic and caffeine, they’re really not half bad. And they do make a tasty pot roast. The show also stars Carly Chaikin (The Last Song) as Dalia Royce, Allie Grant (Weeds) as Lisa, Alan Tudyk (V) as Noah Lerner, and Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Dallas Royce. Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live) guest stars. Emily Kapnek (Hung) writes and executive-produces this bitingly ironic single-camera comedy. Suburgatory was directed by Michael Fresco (Raising Hope), who also executive-produced the pilot. It is produced by Warner Bros. Television.
WORK IT: This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy’s guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process. With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series Work It follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current mancession and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women. Combining all the best elements of the workplace comedy, the buddy comedy and the family comedy, Work It centers on Lee Standish (Ben Koldyke, How I Met Your Mother), a quick-witted and likable family man who used to be a top car salesman until he got laid off, and Angel Ortiz (Amaury Nolasco, Prison Break), a single, hot-headed ladies’ man with no filter, who quickly learn there are fundamental differences in the worlds of men and women that go beyond teetering in high heels and tightening up with Spanx. Lee and Angel are determined to keep their ruse going for as long as they can and keep their newly found jobs in this smart, funny, and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home, and socially. Being a better man sometimes means having to be a better woman. The show also stars Beth Lacke (Happy Hour) as Connie, John Caparulo (Chelsea Lately) as Brian, Rebecca Mader (Lost) as Grace, Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7) as Vanessa, Kate Reinders (Sherrie) as Kelly, Kirstin Eggers (Aussie And Ted’s Great Adventure) as Kristin, and Kacie Lynch (Barney And Friends) as Kat. Work It was written by Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen (Friends, Rules of Engagement). Reich and Cohen are the executive producers. Beth McCarthy Miller (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) is the director. Work It is produced by Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with Summer School Productions and Warner Bros. Television.