The upfront media caravan, loaded with cameras, camels and expectations, moved onto ABC's presentation in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon.
The network heads into fall with several concerns: Dancing with the Stars has been registering fewer happy feet in the ratings – Jimmy Kimmel, in his annual standup appearance, suggested the only way you'll see stars on the show is if you bang your head – and Desperate Housewives, a long-running signature hit, just ended Sunday.
Well, Paul Lee, president of the ABC Entertainment Group, quickly addressed those points on Tuesday afternoon:
Revenge, which is as perfect as a primetime melodrama can be, is moving to the Wives' timeslot. And the next season of Dancing will be an all-star edition with fan favorites. Sadly, Cloris Leachman is currently employed over on Fox's Raising Hope.
The new series for September include a sitcom that looks suspiciously so-so (Neighbors: aliens in suburbia) and dramas that are promisingly ambitious:
666 Park Avenue: Horror-tinged story about diabolical goings-on in a luxurious Manhattan apartment building. It made me think of Rosemary's Baby in the age of large-scale condo conversion. (Watch above.)
Nashville: Finally, a show that pits old country versus new. (Perhaps "finally" is excessive.) Connie Britton, after suffering horribly on American Horror Story, is a waning singing star who goes on tour – as the opening act! – with a mean young thing played by Hayden Panettiere. (Watch below.)
Last Resort: A Tom Clancy-ish thriller about an American nuclear sub that goes rogue rather than launch an attack on Pakistan. The title could be improved. It sounds like a hospice in the tropics.