ABC Upfront Pushes Comedies, Endorses C7 Ratings

Paul-Lee-BMany broadcast networks have shied away from overarching marketing themes in recent years -- and none are on the verge of starting one up. But ABC's video montage upfront presentation to advertisers ends with a message that might make the leap. It leaves marketers with the tagline: "Why just watch when you can feel?"

Concerning the video presentation, Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment Group, told reporters at a press conference: "It's really an emotional piece. I thought that sort of sums up what this brand is about."

Two other pressing advertising/marketing issues have come up in recent days at other networks' upfront events. 1) A push by NBC to change the advertising currency to C7 -- commercial ratings plus seven days of time-shifting from current C3 metric; and 2) Dish Network's new technology called AutoHop, which allows viewers to more easily skip commercials in prime time.

Concerning AutoHop, Lee says: "Ads are key to our business; we are going to look into it." Regarding the change to C7 that NBC's Ted Harbert strongly suggested on Monday: "We led with pushing for C3. We would be pleased to see C7 as well."

Unlike previous seasons, ABC is not totally revamping its fall prime-time lineup -- but it still has 10 new shows that hit the schedule throughout the broadcast year. "We don't have as many needs. We had a strong year," says Lee.

Like NBC and Fox each announced the day before, ABC will try to bulk up its comedies -- which include “The Neighbors." That show gets a big lead-out position at 9:30 p.m. after ABC's high-rated "Modern Family" on Wednesdays.

"We knew we wanted a family comedy," says ABC's Lee. "The neighbors are [actually] aliens." Country music-themed soap "Nashville" will be a new addition at 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

There will be an all-star version of the "Dancing with the Stars" reality show this fall, bringing back big "Stars" winners from the past.

In January, two comedies will replace the "Dancing with the Stars" results show on Tuesday at 8 p.m.: "How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)," starring Sarah Chalke, formerly of "Scrubs," and “The Family Tools,” about a handyman, his relationship with his father and other family members.

Thursday will see nuclear drama “Last Resort," at 8 p.m. and a shift at the end of the night with "Scandal," scheduled at 10 p.m., and "Private Practice" moving to Tuesday at 10 p.m.

In November, after the comedy “Last Man Standing” at 8 p.m. comes another sitcom, "Malibu Country", starring Reba McEntire, at 8:30 p.m. That is followed by "Shark Tank" at 9 p.m. and “20/20” at 10 p.m. "I think Friday could become a night for broad family entertainment," says Lee.

Sunday gets an uplift from the strong rookie show, "Once Upon A Time." "Revenge" will move to 9 p.m. The rookie urban supernatural drama "666 Park Ave" will start at 10 p.m.

Other shows coming this season are “Mistresses,”  about four women and their scandalous lives, crime-thriller-drama “Red Widow,” and “Zero Hour," about a paranormal junkie. Shows not returning are "Missing," "Cougar Town" (which goes to TBS) and "GCB."


ABC's 2012-2013 Prime Time Schedule

DAY     TIME    SERIES

MONDAY:

       8:00 p.m.       “Dancing with the Stars”
       10:00 p.m.      “Castle”

       In January:
       8:00 p.m.       “The Bachelor”
       10:00 p.m.      “Castle”

TUESDAY:        

       8:00 p.m.       “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show” (new time period)
       9:00 p.m.       “Happy Endings”
       9:30 p.m.       “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23”
       10:00 p.m.      “Private Practice” (new time period)

       In January:
       8:00 p.m.       “How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)”
       8:30 p.m.       “The Family Tools”

WEDNESDAY:

       8:00 p.m.       “The Middle”
       8:30 p.m.       “Suburgatory”
       9:00 p.m.       “Modern Family”
       9:30 p.m.       “The Neighbors”
       10:00 p.m.      “Nashville”

THURSDAY:      

       8:00 p.m.       “Last Resort”
       9:00 p.m.       “Grey’s Anatomy”
       10:00 p.m.      “Scandal” (new time period)

FRIDAY:

       8:00 p.m.       “Shark Tank”
       9:00 p.m.       “Primetime: What Would You Do?”
       10:00 p.m.      “20/20”

       In November:
       8:00 p.m.       “Last Man Standing” (new time period)
       8:30 p.m.       “Malibu Country”
       9:00 p.m.       “Shark Tank”
       10:00 p.m.      “20/20”

SATURDAY:      

       8:00 p.m.       “Saturday Night College Football”

SUNDAY:

       7:00 p.m.       “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
       8:00 p.m.       “Once Upon a Time”
       9:00 p.m.       “Revenge” (new time period)
       10:00 p.m.      “666 Park Avenue”

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1 comment about "ABC Upfront Pushes Comedies, Endorses C7 Ratings".
  1. Michael Natale from MCM Media Sales , May 16, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.
    Time sensitive advertisers like Retailers must be thrilled at the prospect of C7 ratings....."I'm here for the President's Day sale.....Sir, that sale was last week".....