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April 23, 2009

ABC renews 'Practice,' 'Housewives,' 'Betty,' more

Housewives ABC announced early renewals for about a dozen series Thursday, with long-familiar titles dominating the list. Pickups include Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Dancing With the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Bachelor, America's Funniest Home Videos, Ugly Betty, Supernanny, Wife Swap and Private Practice

Absent from the list: ABC's struggling midseason efforts such as The Unusuals, Scrubs, Cupid and In the Motherhood. Of the new shows, only Castle has shown enough spark for likely consideration.

Also missing is returning comedy Samantha Who?, which has foundered since moving from Mondays with a Dancing With the Stars lead-in to Thursdays.

Though Housewives creator Marc Cherry told the media and ABC he wanted  another four seasons of his show picked up, ABC has opted to add on only another year to his current agreement. 

Betty was once considered potentially on the bubble, but ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson had previously assured viewers the show would return. After recently trying out a couple underperforming comedies in the traditional Betty 8 p.m. hour, a pickup seemed all but certain.

Practice, which had its series premiere last season, is the freshest show that's guaranteed to return next season. The Grey's spinoff became an obvious choice for renewal after ABC shifted the show to Thursdays after Grey's and the medical drama started winning its time period. 

ABC's announcement also included Lost, whose run through next year had already been determined. 

ABC still has plenty of time to add more shows to this list between now and their upfront presentation to advertisers next month.


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