NEW YORK — ABC will try to boost its midweek schedule in the fall with cop and legal dramas and, only a few months after “Lost” departs, a supernatural series that also begins with a plane crash.
The third-place network said Tuesday it will bring in Matthew Perry, Michael Imperioli, Michael Chiklis and Dana Delany for new series. Last year’s ambitious “Flash Forward” was canceled, and “Scrubs” was scrapped following an unsuccessful move from NBC.
Unlike its three chief rivals, ABC lost viewers this season as hits like “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” started aging. Yet the network’s biggest risk of last fall – stuffing Wednesday night with four new comedies – was a success. Three of them are back and one, “Modern Family,” is considered one of the freshest new shows on TV.
“We really had three goals going into development – attack 10 o’clock, more comedy and event television,” said Stephen McPherson, ABC Entertainment Group president. “This schedule really speaks to it.”
Imperioli, late of “The Sopranos,” is on the other side of the law playing a “damaged but driven” detective in a homicide unit in “Detroit 1-8-7.” It’s on the schedule for 10 p.m. ET/PT on Tuesdays.
The new “The Whole Truth” will be on the same time slot the next night. The legal drama stars Rob Morrow, late of CBS’ “Numb3rs,” and Joely Richardson of “Nip/Tuck” as former Yale Law School classmates who now compete as a prosecutor and defense attorney.
McPherson classifies the new “My Generation” as event television. The scripted series imagines a documentary crew following a Texas high school class in 2000 then returning to revisit those lives a decade later. “No Ordinary Family,” with Chiklis, is about a family whose plane crashes into the Amazon River and they emerge with superpowers.
Delany leads “Body of Proof,” playing a neurosurgeon who becomes a medical examiner after being injured in a car accident.
ABC picked up three new comedies, although “Better Together” was the only one with a firm slot on the fall schedule. It follows three couples in a family at various stages of their lives and relationships.
McPherson said he expected ABC’s two other new comedies to debut sometime in the fall.
With Courteney Cox already established in “Cougar Town,” back for its second season, her former husband in “Friends,” Perry, stars in the new “Mr. Sunshine” as the manager of a San Diego sports arena. Another NBC alum, Allison Janney of “The West Wing,” is his boss.
The romantic comedy “Happy Endings” is about the impact of a divorce on close-knit group of friends.
A new Friday night reality series, “Secret Millionaire,” used to be on Fox in a different format. It recalls CBS’ new “Undercover Boss” in how it follows some wealthy people as they live and volunteer in some of the country’s most impoverished neighborhoods.
ABC’s Sunday schedule remains intact, as does Monday night, where “Dancing With the Stars” grew in popularity with its spring season and “Castle” was a bright spot.
“Shark Tank,” “Wife Swap” and “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” were left off ABC’s schedule, but the network says they aren’t necessarily dead. This season’s new “V” will appear in midseason, ABC said.
Say goodbye to “Better Off Ted,” “Hank,” “Eastwick” and, in all likelihood, “Happy Town.”