ABC (really) new fall schedule

The last time we reported on ABC’s fall schedule, it was linked to NBC’s announcement. Here is the actual ABC schedule. There are new family sitcoms and new crime dramas, but I don’t see any new genre stuff.

9 replies on “ABC (really) new fall schedule”

  1. nkuzmik says:

    Yawn
    Other that Alias, which I hooked into this semester and Threat Matrix which looks like it could be cool and is therefore likely to get canned, I’m not disappointed.
    Then again, like I ‘ve said before, the Big Three really don’t care about the sci-fi fanbase.

    Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.

    • mrmcgibby says:

      Re: Yawn
      Actually, I don’t think that the big three don’t care about sci-fi. I think they *do* care about getting good shows that folks will watch. NBC has almost all scripted programming, and they’re quite successful. Reality TV may be cheap, but people really want good shows.

      The problem is that tv producers haven’t been able to create a compelling sci-fi show in a long time, especially one that appeals to more than just the small hard core sci-fi fan base. Sci-fi appeals to lots of “normal” people, just look at the success of sci-fi in the movie industry.

      Why isn’t it more successful on TV?

      • mbourgon says:

        Re: Yawn

        Reality TV may be cheap, but people really want good shows.

        Don’t bet on it. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire had what kind of market share?

        As an aside, check out scifi.com, which has the ratings of genre shows – it’s funny seeing crap like Andromeda beat out Buffy, which at least has a “real” network behind it.

        The problem is that tv producers haven’t been able to create a compelling sci-fi show in a long time, especially one that appeals to more than just the small hard core sci-fi fan base.

        The problem is that your average person thinks Sci-Fi, and doesn’t see how it relates to them. Pure sci-fi is hard to do – the best sci-fi is typically character driven and shows how humans deal with different situations. This is hard to do, like I said, so it tends to get dumbed down, made pretty. The benefit is that it’s shiny, new, and gets some people to watch it. Unfortunately, this also makes it expensive.

        Sci-fi appeals to lots of “normal” people, just look at the success of sci-fi in the movie industry.

        Gattaca. Big budget sci-fi movie. Big clever premise. But it bombed. X2 – big, “shiny”, and loud. Success. There are only a few successes on TV, of Sci-Fi: X-Files. Buffy. Both are both definitely character and story driven. X-Files worked because Fox nurtured it for several years, and somehow the cult following blossomed. Buffy survived because it was relatively cheap to make, and it has a hard-core following. B5 made it partially because it had wiz-bang special effects, but also a nice big cast, lots of stuff going on, but also you could come in the middle and start watching.I can’t emphasize this enough. Story arcs are fine. I love them. But I missed season 4 (catching up now) of Farscape because I missed a few season 3 episodes, and got lost in the backstory. Too much!

        If I were going to make a sci-fi tv show, I’d do the following:

        1. Make it modern day, or a year or two in the future. This keeps the budget down.
        2. Ensemble cast, though I’d do what Straczynski originally planned for LOTR (or Crusade, I forget): focus on a group at a time. There wouldn’t be your traditional Mulder/Scully relationship. Have 6 main characters, maybe as many as 9. But only show 3 in any given episode. This way you can still bond with the characters (since there’s only a couple to focus on in any given episode), but you’re not tied to them. Hell, kill em off occasionally, if they want to go on to other things. This gives you the Joss Effect, where you don’t know that everyone’s “safe” and can’t get hurt/die.
        3. Arcs. Make each story a standalone story, but with an overall arc. So each group is finding out part of something bigger, along with whatever they do in an episode.
        4. Budget wisely. There are a ton of ways to do this that would be effective, everything from handheld cameras (ala Homicide:Life on the Street) to Buffy’s reuse of prosthetics.

        My idea: the Delta Green tv show. Not quite as dark as they suggest (after all, it is based off The Cthulhu Mythos), but there’s a lot of room in there, especially since Tynes/Detwiler have come up with a rich alternate history of the world. The only catch is that it could be viewed as an X-Files knockoff.

        If I had to come up with a catch-phrase, it would be something like: members of JAG, Alias, CSI, West Wing, etc. all have another job, one they don’t mention. When the call comes, they lie, cheat, and steal. To save the world. And hope no one notices.

        • is says:

          Re: Yawn


          My idea: the Delta Green tv show. Not quite as dark as they suggest (after all, it is based off The Cthulhu Mythos), but there’s a lot of room in there, especially since Tynes/Detwiler have come up with a rich alternate history of the world. The only catch is that it could be viewed as an X-Files knockoff.

          If I had to come up with a catch-phrase, it would be something like: members of JAG, Alias, CSI, West Wing, etc. all have another job, one they don’t mention. When the call comes, they lie, cheat, and steal. To save the world. And hope no one notices.

          I’d watch this… why not pitch it to someone?

          • mbourgon says:

            Re: Yawn

            I’d watch this… why not pitch it to someone?

            1. No idea who to pitch to, how to pitch, etc.
            2. Need to get permission. Probable that they’d give it, though.
            3. I don’t have it firmed up enough to avoid being just another X-Files knockoff.

            However, rereading my post did give me another idea: use the actors from these other shows. That could work out well – established characters with good actors.

        • mrmcgibby says:

          Re: Yawn

          Reality TV may be cheap, but people really want good shows.

          Don’t bet on it. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire had what kind of market share?

          True, a few shows like this somehow capture huge ratings. But my point was that in the end, the really successful networks are limiting their reality shows. They just don’t have the same kind of staying power that scripted TV can have.

          Law and Order, Friends, etc. are still around. Where’s Millionaire and Survivor gone to?

          • Babbster says:

            Re: Yawn

            Law and Order, Friends, etc. are still around. Where’s Millionaire and Survivor gone to?

            Assuming you’re serious, both Survivor and Millionaire (they dropped the “who wants to be a” part) are alive. Survivor will be back next season and Millionaire is in syndication on a daily basis. Heck, NBC is still doing Fear Factor.

            You might be right about overall staying power, but all it takes is one “Joe Millionaire” (which was very successful) to inspire execs to green-light five more reality shows.

            • GrimSean says:

              Re: Yawn

              Law and Order, Friends, etc. are still around. Where’s Millionaire and Survivor gone to?

              …. You might be right about overall staying power, but all it takes is one “Joe Millionaire” (which was very successful) to inspire execs to green-light five more reality shows.

              I think it is unfortunate that TV panders to the lowest common denominator, but I suppose it’s a “needs of the many” situation – the ratings bring the money. Reality shows are also quite cheap to make (no writer or actor fees) and bring in a large amount of money for the network. The ‘cult’ status of most Sci-Fi shows doesn’t lend itself to high ratings, which means less money, and they cost quite a bit to make due to sets and costumes (think Farscape) though I would think that down the road the merchandising would offset that in the case of established shows. My gut feeling tells me that most of the original Sci-Fi content that will be on television in the future is going to be more along the line of the Dune miniseries – four or five episodes of 2 to 3 hours length, and the series that are there will be more Enterprise/Tremors than Firefly/Farscape (more fluff, less plot).

              I can also tell you who to blame for this – Star Trek. I believe that B&B are the reason that the networks are no longer producing Sci-Fi, because the executives in charge are looking at Enterprise and thinking “My god, Star Trek has been around since the sixties, and they can’t sell it to the public” which equates to all science fiction television being essentially unmarketable to television audiences. It’s a ‘if the big boys can’t make it, how will this little guy survive?’ mentality, which also explains the number of reality shows and crime dramas being produced – they’re what’s selling.

              On the bright side, we still have Angel and Smallville, and Whedon might be able to pull a Firefly out of his hat at some point down the road. Other than that, I think I’ll be reading a lot more, and watching more cartoons (the last refuge of the Sci-Fi series on television – but that’s another rant in itself).

            • Dave says:

              Off-topic reply
              I’d like to point out that Babbster’s comment is the 5000th comment on Bureau 42. w00t!

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