Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2011-2012 TV Season Wrap Up (ABC): Fantasy Makes A Comeback

What an interesting season it was for ABC.  They had shows flop extraordinarily badly, and they had shows become successes that weren't expected to be successful.  No matter what, the expert spinners in the ABC Publicity Department gave me some of the most hilarious writing of the TV season.  They live in nearly as much of a fantasy land as the characters in Once Upon a Time.  I haven't traditionally watched ABC shows in a long time, but I definitely watched far more than usual this season.  I'll list them below, talk a little bit about each one, and give my opinions about their new slate of TV shows next season.  Again, this is only about shows I watched, and is not necessarily any kind of reflection on ABC as a network.  Maybe I'd continue watching more if they made better

Shows I watched, in the 2011-2012 TV season, on ABC:

Once Upon a Time
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23
Body of Proof
Charlie's Angels

Once Upon a Time (Renewed):

This show was ABC's only true new scripted hit of the season.  It was widely expected to be a quickly canceled show, BEFORE it aired, but it ended up having extraordinary premiere ratings, and held its ratings fairly well throughout the season.  As with all serialized TV shows, hiatuses nearly stuck a fork in it, before it recovered in its ratings toward the end of the season.

As for the show, I thought it was really average, but I hadn't really intended to watch it until I heard enough positive buzz to check it out.  I liked it enough to continue, but I didn't look forward to it in any week I watched it.  At some point in the season, I fell really far behind, and I caught up.  Then, it happened again, and I didn't feel like catching up again.  It's not really my cup of tea, but I guess it was an alright show.  I much preferred Grimm to it, but that's not necessarily a reflection on the show.  I have no plans resuming this show during season 2, so someone will have to come on here and tell me how amazing it is to make me want to return to it.

Once Upon a Time Premiere Ratings:

12.793 million Overall Viewers
3.9 in the 18-49 Demo

Once Upon a Time Season Finale Ratings:

9.66 million Overall Viewers
3.3 in the 18-49 Demo

Revenge (Renewed):

This was another show I had no intention of watching, but I heard enough good things about the Pilot that I decided to check it out.  I really enjoyed the show until the ridiculous twist.  It took me a few episodes to finally decide to not care where it went after that.  I realized it was a farce and truly a soap opera, after it had adeptly toed the line between serious and camp for so long.  It caught a loyal audience, and, for the most part, we stuck around.  It doesn't have great ratings by any stretch of the imagination, but it was certainly solid enough to get renewed.  I also thought it had a very good season finale considering how bad it could have been after the "Daniel did not die on the beach plot twist".  I'm at least looking forward to where it goes in season 2, even though I think there is just about zero chance that the events that played out in the season finale were real.  They love their not so clever misdirections on this show, so there's no chance I will fall for anything else they try to make me believe.  Or is there?

Revenge Premiere Ratings:

10.15 million Overall Viewers
3.4 in the 18-49 Demo

Revenge Season Finale Ratings:

7.850 million Overall Viewers
2.4 in the 18-49 Demo

Scandal (Renewed):

Even though this show made me want to put my foot through the screen for several reasons (the monologuing, the too quick paced dialog, the ridiculous overall storyline between Olivia and the Prez., and last and most the constantly moving camera shooting through glass cinematography), I thought it was surprisingly decent.  The show has somewhere around a zero percent chance of ever winning any serious awards, and it is unabashedly soapy, but somehow it managed to make just enough of a mark to get renewed and keep me watching.  The most hilarious thing about the show is that they gave us a cliffhanger ending that was almost like a "Who gives a f***?" moment.  So, the person that was hired is not who she said she was.  Did I care?  No.  Will I care?  I don't know. 

This was the second ABC series that looks like it owes a lot of its success to the TV show Damages (no one watched Damages, so I don't know why I think it would owe it).  The basic premise of this show seemed remarkably similar to Damages (if you've seen both shows it should be easy to spot what I'm talking about), and Revenge used its storytelling convention of starting with an event, and working its way back to what happened in flashback.  Neither of those shows is nearly as good as Damages, and that's okay, because IT'S ABC!

Scandal Premiere Ratings:

7.45 million Overall Viewers
2.1 in the 18-49 Demo

Scandal Season Finale Ratings:

7.33 million Overall Viewers
2.3 in the 18-49 Demo 

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (Renewed):

When I watched the promo for this show, before the season began, I thought this looked gawd awful atrocious.  I thought the Pilot was loose, and not great, but could see they had tightened up a lot of the very unappealing aspects of the show.  Because of where this show falls in the TV season wrap ups, I can now talk about the new trend in sitcoms, "The Dirty Sitcom".  Where shows like Three's Company were all about subtle double entendres, shows that are in this genre just out and out say whatever dirty thoughts are on their minds.  The only difference is that they tend to say them in ways that the censors can't quite understand, even though anyone else with half a brain knows exactly what they're talking about.

This show is pretty much completely a farce, and not to be taken seriously in any way.  In some ways, it reminds me of Beavis & Butt-head, because it's just so ludicrous and cartoonish.  It's what I would call a strange show, and sometimes I like strange shows.  I like this show, it's strange. 

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 Premiere Ratings:

6.98 million Overall Viewers
2.9 in the 18-49 Demo

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 Season Finale Ratings:

5.6 million Overall Viewers
2.4 in the 18-49 Demo

Body of Proof (Renewed):

The makers of this show are obviously messing with me.  They dangled every single change I have desired in front of my face, and then they pulled it away.  This is not cool.  I'll know for sure you're messing with me if you have a character in one of next season's episodes that is some derivative of my name.  So, get writing.

Now that we've gotten through season 2, maybe they will find a way to make the show actually begin to work in season 3.  This show is a ratings turd without the Dancing with the Stars lead in, but it does pretty well with it.  Since ABC's new slate is probably not much to smile about, they've decided to prop it up at least one more season with DWTS. 

Body of Proof Premiere Ratings (boosted significantly by DWTS lead in):

9.41 million Overall Viewers
2.2 in the 18-49 Demo 

Body of Proof Season Finale Ratings (boosted significantly by DWTS lead in):

10.17 million Overall Viewers
1.9 in the 18-49 Demo

Charlie's Angels (Canceled)

LOL.  I'm not even bothering posting ratings numbers for this.  It premiered badly (also was a terrible Pilot), and was the first cancellation of the ABC TV season.  What a mistake.

Missing (Canceled):

This show was ridiculous, but watchable.   It was more ridiculous than it was watchable, but we stuck around all season.  This was ABC's version of the Liam Neeson movie Taken, except like kind of awful.  It had nice production value, but the story was more holy than the Pope.  Then, they tacked on an idiotic cliffhanger which made absolutely no sense at all.  They could have just ended it, but no, let's start over.  The show kind of felt like if you went and got on the same ride over and over at an amusement park, but decided to sit in different cars each time.  Not much changed, but the view.  Weird show, and it couldn't pick up any kind of 18-49 audience.

Missing Premiere Ratings:

10.560 million Overall Viewers
2.0 in the 18-49 Demo

Missing Finale Ratings:

6.53 million Overall Viewers
1.3 in the 18-49 Demo

Now that we've gone through all of this, I'll give my opinions, based on limited information, of how I think the new shows will do, and whether I will be watching them.  You can find the ABC new show trailers here, if you'd like to look at them.  I'll start with the fall stuff, and then add the mid-season thoughts.


The Neighbors-The promo for this show was terrible, so I'm expecting it to be terrible.  Even at her advanced age, I cannot see Jami Gertz being married to that guy who looks like Squiggy.  They gave it the Modern Family lead in, so it will get seen.  The question is whether it will continue to get seen after the first episode.  Solely due to time slot, I think it has a relatively decent chance of making it.  I will be checking it out.

Nashville-This is ABC's blatant attempt at audience pandering.  It's taking the old Revenge spot, and that slot is not a very good one.  I don't think this show has a very good chance at making it, but shows that pander to audiences sometimes have better shots at making it than shows that don't.  There's no way I will ever watch this, even if it's better than Cats.


Last Resort-I really, really, really want to think this show is going to make it.  However, the premise seems remarkably thin, and completely serial.  It's also in a death time slot that has killed every recent show in memory on ABC.  It should premiere well, but whether this show makes it will be all about execution.  I'll be watching.


666 Park Avenue-The premise for this show seemed really cool, but then I watched the promo.  This looks like just another supernatural kind of soap drama.  I'll check it out, but I have no hopes for this show being any good after seeing the promo.  I would say it has a better than 50 percent shot of making it, sight unseen, as this kind of show appeals to plenty of people.

In November (Fridays):

Malibu Country-Anyone who thinks this show will make it eats hog jowls for breakfast.  If you don't agree, you can kiss my grits.  Anyone who thinks I'll watch this is out of their damn minds.

Mid-Season (Tuesdays):

How to Live with Your Parents-Man, the premise of this show is awful.  I can't believe it got picked up.  That must mean it will be a sure fire hit. ;)  I haven't decided whether I will watch this, yet.  I might, just to watch a train wreck.

The Family Tools-The promo was better than expected.  I'll give it a shot, but I think it will fail.

Of all the shows I watched this season on ABC, it was a toss up for which was my favorite between Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 and Scandal, which honestly isn't saying much.  If Revenge hadn't fallen so far off the rails, it would have been the hands down winner.  Instead, it just ends up as a somewhat guilty pleasure, that I don't think has a whole lot of hope for improvement.  I quit Once Upon a Time, and Body of Proof will never excite me, even though I will watch it until it dies.  I won't miss Missing, and I quit Charlie's Angels after the first episode. 

As for next season, I see absolutely no new shows being break out hits like Once Upon a Time was.  There's a chance that The Neighbors could perform better than expected and that 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort could become moderate hits, but there's nothing new on next season's slate that I think will still be on the air in five years.  ABC bores me, kind of like this post probably bored you.  Thanks for reading.

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