ABC on Friday made its new scripted series picks for next season, ordering nine new series, five dramas and four comedies. While that seems like a lot, it’s way down from last year’s slate of whopping 14 new series. (This year’s tally may go up by one if sudser Mistresses, ordered for next summer, is summoned for midseason.). The reason for the decline has to do with the fact that ABC is bringing back six freshman series, more than any other network in years. That includes comedies Suburgatory, Don’t Trust The B—- and Last Man Standing and dramas Once Upon A Time, Scandal and Revenge.
The majority of ABC’s programming appeals to women, so the network seems to be hunting for male viewers too. Out of nine new drama series introduced this season, only one, The River, had substantial male appeal. (Horror is very popular with females too.) This year, of the six newly-picked dramas, two are testosterone-heavy — the Anthony Edwards-starring conspiracy thriller Zero Hour and the submarine crew drama Last Resort starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman — as ABC is looking to lure back male fans who may have deserted the network after the end of Lost. Lost fans may also be willing to check out the spooky new drama 666 Park Ave, which so-stars Lost alum Terry O’Quinn, about supernatural occurrences in a New York building. 666 was one of three “magical” drama pilots orders as potential companions to ABC’s breakout freshman Once Upon A Time, along with Gotham and Beauty and the Beast. (more…)