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Expect same amount of revenge, fewer b****es in ABC fall lineup

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An equal measure of revenge, only half as many b****es, no soapy housewives at all, and a handful of new dramas and comedies to fill in the cancelled-show blanks -- that's what ABC's prime-time lineup will deliver this fall.

The network announced its 2012-13 prime-time schedule on Tuesday in New York, unveiling a roster that includes five new shows in this fall's mix and another handful slated to arrive early next year.

Among the familiar titles that won't return to ABC when the new season launches are GCB, Missing, Pan Am and The River, which were cancelled. The Courteney-Cox-led comedy Cougar Town was also dropped, but has since been picked up by U.S. cable's TBS network.

The rookie offerings that survived ABC's annual schedule reshuffling are Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, Last Man Standing, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and Suburgatory.

ABC's Monday-night lineup for 2012-13 will include returning shows Dancing With the Stars and Castle, with The Bachelor filling the 7 p.m. slot in January after DWTS ends its fall/winter run. On Tuesdays this fall, ABC will air DWTS: The Results, followed by Happy Endings, Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 and Private Practice; two new comedies -- How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), which stars Sarah Chalke as a divorced single mom who moves back into her eccentric parents' (Brad Garrett, Elizabeth Perkins) house, and The Family Tools, featuring Kyle Bornheimer as a do-nothing son who's forced to take over the family-owned handyman business after his father (J.K. Simmons) suffers a heart attack -- will be added to Tuesday's lineup in January.

ABC's Wednesday roster includes three returning comedies -- The Middle, Suburgatory and Modern Family -- followed by new sitcom arrival The Neighbors, which stars Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito as a couple who discover their gated-community neighbours are aliens, and Nashville, a drama written by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) that stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) as a country-music legend struggling to stay relevant in a youth-obsessed business.

Thursday nights on ABC will find a rookie drama -- Last Resort, which stars Scott Speedman and André Braugher as the leaders of a submarine crew forced to take refuge on a mysterious island -- acting as lead-in for two returning shows, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.

ABC's Friday schedule will lead off the fall with Shark Tank, Primetime: What Would You Do? and 20/20, with returning rookie Last Man Standing and the new sitcom Malibu Country -- starring Reba McEntire as a Nashville divorcée who packs up her mother (Lily Tomlin) and heads to California to escape her cheatin'-hearted husband -- being added to the lineup in November.

Saturday on ABC is all about U.S. college football; Sunday's roster includes familiar favourites America's Funniest Home Videos, Once Upon a Time and Revenge, which inherits the coveted Desperate Housewives timeslot, followed by the dark drama 666 Park Avenue, which stars Lost alumnus Terry O'Quinn as the owner of a mysterious and sinister Manhattan apartment building where tenants' wishes all come true -- for a price.

Other newcomers to ABC's prime-time roster that won't premiere until mid-season include Mistresses, a scandalous-girlfriends drama starring Alyssa Milano and Yunjin Kim, Red Widow, which stars Radha Mitchell as a widow who'll do anything to protect her children after her mob-connected husband is murdered, and Zero Hour, which brings former ER star Anthony Edwards back to prime time to star as a paranormal-magazine publisher who is drawn into the world of myths and conspiracies as he searches for his kidnapped wife.

Also slated to return at mid-season is the third-year drama Body of Proof, which stars Dana Delany and Jeri Ryan.

CBS will announce its fall schedule on Wednesday in New York, with the CW network unveiling its lineup on Thursday.

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2012 D5

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