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December 02, 2008

ABC schedules 'Castle,' 'Cupid,' 'Unusuals'

Castle ABC has scheduled a trio of new dramas to fill its 10 p.m. hours later this season.

Police procedural "Castle," starring Nathan Fillion, will air Monday nights at 10 p.m. starting March 9. Another crime drama, “The Unusuals,” starring Amber Tamblyn, will air on  Wednesdays at 10 p.m. beginning April 8. Rob Thomas' romantic dramedy "Cupid" will run Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. starting March 24. Also, ABC News’ “Primetime: What Would You Do?” will return on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at 10 p.m.

Scheduling the dramas at 10 p.m. keep the new shows out of reach of Fox's "American Idol," but they will also have competition from fellow police procedurals. "Castle" will air up against CBS' "CSI: Miami." "The Unusuals" will face "CSI: NY" and "Law & Order" (though the new show's audience will presumably skew younger and more female than either veteran). Romantic comedy "Cupid" shouldn't be bothered by CBS' "Without a Trace" and NBC's "Law & Order: SVU.” The downside to ABC’s plan is that 10 p.m. has become an hour of heavy DVR use, which can make it difficult to launch new shows.

ABC has yet to firm up Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.. Right now the network has plans to air a half-hour of "Scrubs" on Tuesdays followed by an as-yet-unannounced companion. The network has comedy "Better Off Ted" and Mike Judge's animated series "The Goode Family" waiting in the wings to play with. Talks to acquire "King of the Hill" continue, but a deal seems unlikely due to the time frames involved. Sources say ABC is very happy with the "Goode" scripts, but is still waiting to see some completed animation to get a full sense of the show before scheduling a premiere.

ABC also booked the premiere of "Dancing With the Stars," which will return Monday, March 9 at 8 p.m., with the results show premiing Tuesday, March 17 at 8 p.m. The Monday performance shows will be two hours for the first few weeks, then shift to 90 minutes as of March 30.

Expect plenty of stories next year to compare and contrast "Castle," Fox's upcoming "Lie to Me" and CBS' "The Mentalist" -- all freshman police dramas centered around a uniquely insightful crime solver. Possibly "The Unusuals" too, though its description is more like a "Grey's Anatomy"-style relationship-driven procedural ensemble.

Though ABC is down this fall compared to last year, the network is tied CBS for domination of the season, with both networks currently averaging a 3.3 rating.

Full descriptions of ABC's three new dramas and a midseason schedule after the jump:

Monday, January 5, 2009

8:00-10:00p.m.          THE BACHELOR – Two-hour Season Premiere

10:00-11:00p.m.         TRUE BEAUTY – Series Premiere
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

8:00-8:30 pm            ACCORDING TO JIM - New Time Period Premiere

8:30-9:00 pm            ACCORDING TO JIM

9:00-9:30 pm            SCRUBS - Season Premiere

9:30-10:00 pm           SCRUBS

10:00-11:00 pm          PRIMETIME:  WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  (Season Premiere)
Thursday, January 8, 2009

8:00-9:00 pm            UGLY BETTY

9:00-10:01 pm           GREY’S ANATOMY

10:01-11:00 pm          PRIVATE PRACTICE - New Day and Time Period Premiere    

Monday, January 12

8:00-9:30 p.m.          THE BACHELOR - Regular Time Period Premiere

9:30:10:00 p.m.         SAMANTHA WHO?

10:00-11:00 p.m.        TRUE BEAUTY

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

8:00-11:00 pm           LOST – Repeat of 3-Hour Previous Season Finale

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Special 3-Hour “Lost” Premiere Event

8:00-9:00 pm            LOST Clip Show

9:00-10:00 pm           LOST - "Because You Left" (Season Premiere)

10:00-11:00 pm          LOST - "The Lie"

(Please Note:  "Because You Left" and "The Lie" will air as one 2 hours show from 9-11PM.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

8:00-9:00 pm            TBA

9:00-10:02 pm           LOST - Regular Time Period

10:02-11:00 pm  LIFE ON MARS - New Day Premiere

Monday, March 09,2009

10:02-11:00 pm          CASTLE – Series Premiere

Tuesday, March 24,2009

10:02-11:00 pm          CUPID – Series Premiere

Wednesday, April 08,2009

10:02-11:00 pm          THE UNUSUALS - Series Premiere

Note – Fridays and Sundays will remain unchanged.   

Previous: Midseason premiere dates for 'Scrubs,' 'Practice' and 'Mars'

-- Wildly famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion, “Desperate Housewives”), who is bored with his own success, learns that a real-world copycat killer has started staging murder scenes depicted in his novels. Rick is soon questioned by NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic, “The Spirit”), a very bright, aggressive detective who keeps her investigations under a tight rein.  Rick and Kate’s styles instantly clash yet sparks begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance as he steps in to help find the killer.  And once that case is solved, Castle and Beckett build upon their new relationship as they look to solve strange homicides in New York – as much fun as one can have with death & murder.  Castle is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan, “Dharma and Greg”) and quick-witted teenage daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn, “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”). Also starring in the series are Ruben Santiago-Hudson (“Law & Order”) as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery; Tamala Jones (“Daddy Day Camp”) as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish; Jon Huertas (“Generation Kill”) as NYPD Detective Tony Esposito; and Seamus Dever (“Army Wives”) as NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan. “Castle” is produced by ABC Studios.  Andrew Marlowe serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producers Armyan Bernstein, Barry Schindel, Rob Bowman and Laurie Zaks.

-- “Cupid” is a romantic dramedy about Trevor Pierce (Bobby Cannavale, “Will & Grace”), a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love, Cupid, sent to earth to bring 100 couples together before he is allowed to return to Mt. Olympus.  As fate would have it, Trevor is under the care of psychiatrist and self-help author Dr. Claire McCrae (Sarah Paulson, “The Spirit,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”), who is also dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates.  When it comes to true love, Claire believes it’s all about friendship and compatibility, but for Trevor, heat and passion conquer all.  Only time will tell who will win the battle for love. “Cupid” stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita. Produced by ABC Studios, Rob Thomas serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producers Jennifer Gwartz, Danielle Stokdyk, Dan Etheridge and Diane Ruggerio.

-- In “The Unusuals,” it helps if a cop has a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last.  Just ask Casey Shraeger (Amber Tamblyn, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), who started her day as an NYPD vice detective before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that, not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor, but also their own dirty little secrets.  The series stars Amber Tamblyn as Detective Casey Shraeger, Jeremy Renner as Detective Jason Walsh, Harold Perrineau as Detective Leo Banks, Josh Close as Detective Henry Cole, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Detective Allison Beaumont, Kai Lennox as Detective Eddie Alvarez, with Terry Kinney as Sergeant Harvey Brown and Adam Goldberg as Detective Eric Delahoy.  Created by Noah Hawley, “The Unusuals” is executive produced by Hawley, Robert DeLaurentis and Peter O'Fallon with  Peter Tolan as an executive consultant on the series that is produced by 26 Keys, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television for ABC.


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