ABC's 2013-14 Season: 13 New Shows, More Comedy, Less 'Dancing With the Stars'
"Overhaul" is the only word that accurately describes ABC's fall 2013-14 season, as the network will add 13 new shows to its schedule, including eight in the fall, and its Tuesday-night lineup is packed with series premieres.
The most anticipated new show of the season on any network, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Avengers" movie producer Joss Whedon's TV take on "The Avengers" -- kicks off ABC's Tuesday night in the fall, followed by back-to-back new comedies, "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife," and another new drama, "Lucky 7." Whedon took the stage at the network's upfront presentation in New York City on Wednesday to introduce a clip from the show.
The biggest surprise on ABC's schedule is a change for its celeb reality series "Dancing With the Stars." Instead of taking up real estate across multiple nights, "DWTS" will air only on Mondays in the fall, with the results being folded in on the same night.
Other new ABC shows bring Tricia Helfer ("Battlestar Galactica"), Christian Slater, Paul Reubens, and James Caan back to primetime, while the network's new comedies include a Conan O'Brien-produced starring vehicle for big-screen breakout Rebel Wilson and a Ryan Seacrest-produced, high-concept series about a trendy singles bar in New York City's Meatpacking District.
ABC will hold the third season of its Wednesday-night comedy "Suburgatory" for midseason, and in October the network will premiere a new "Toy Story" adventure for Halloween, "Toy Story of Terror," in which the movie's stars -- Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, and Wallace Shawn as Rex -- reprise their roles in a story in which the toybox gang goes on a road trip and gets caught up in a mystery when one of the group gets lost.
The highlight of ABC's annual upfront presentation was a few minutes of jokes from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who poked fun at the other networks -- "Things are looking up for NBC since they finally got rid of their worst shows, '30 Rock' and 'The Office,'" he said -- as well as ABC.
"It's time to stop calling this an upfront and start calling it what it is: throwing a bunch of s--- at a wall to see what sticks. And guess what? You guys are the wall," Kimmel told the audience full of advertising executives.
A description of the new ABC series, along with our first impressions about which ones might make our must-see list next fall:
Stars: James Cromwell, Henry Thomas ("E.T."), Braden Lemasters ("Men of a Certain Age"), Hannah Ware ("Boss"), Stuart Townsend ("Night Stalker"), Chris Johnson ("The Vampire Diaries"), and Wendy Moniz ("Damages" and "The Guardian")
Producer: David Zabel ("ER"); pilot directed by Patty Jenkins ("Monster" and "The Killing")
Plot: A messy, sudsy drama about a female photographer having an affair with a lawyer who's defending a murder suspect ... who is being prosecuted by the photog's husband.