The Upfronts: ABC is All ‘Bout Canadians

ABC stands for “Airlift a Bunch of Canadians” as news of their Fall 2010-11 schedule becomes official Tuesday. Several Canucks, including Shaun Majumder (22 Minutes), Matthew Perry (Friends), Elisha Cuthbert (24), Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls) and Jennifer Finnigan (Close to Home) have landed key roles on new ABC series. They join Will Arnett (Fox’s Running Wilde), Nazneen Contractor (NBC’s The Paul Reiser Show) and Sarah Chalke (CBS’s Team Spitz) and William Shatner (CBS’s Sh*t My Dad Says) as Canadians who are coming to U.S. TV in 2010-11.
ABC has an aggressive new schedule, ditching several shows on the bubble and ordering 10 new series. Gone are Flash Forward, Ugly Betty, Better Off Ted and a bunch of other stiffs you’ll never miss. Three cheers to the nets for cleaning house this season, it was time for the big broom.
The new ABC dramas include yet another new cop show. Newfoundland-native Majumder (above), who guested earlier this season as a prison punk on Republic of Doyle, sticks with drama in Detroit 1-8-7. The series is shot like Cops out of Detroit, with viewers along for a ride down America’s most dangerous streets. Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Jon Michael Hill and James McDaniels (NYPD Blue) are in on the action. And you thought Majumder got sweaty as Raj Binder!
There was some talk ABC might sked Perry’s new comedy back-to-back with former Friends friend Courteney Cox’s renewed Cougar Town, but ABC decided that pairing was a little too cute. Perry, who co-wrote the pilot, stars in the mid-season ABC comedy Mr Sunshine. He’ll play a San Diego sports store owner going through a mid-life crisis. His West Wing pal Allison Janey also stars.
When a couple splits, who gets to keep the friends? That’s the premise behind Happy Endings, the new mid-season ABC comedy starring Cuthbert (above). Danger girl from 24 has certainly grown up from those early PMK for Kids days. Dhavernas (below), so winning in the little-seen Niagara gem Wonderfalls, has landed in Off The Map. That’s yet another medical drama from ABC prime time soap queen Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). Dhavernaz has the lead role of an idealistic young doc saving lives in the South American jungle.
The new Modern Family clone Better Together stars Montreal-native Finnigan is a story of couples and parents and hilarity ensues.
Also new to ABC will be Body of Proof, starring TCA crush Dana Delany as a crusading medical examiner. Jeri Ryan adds to the MiLF appeal. Shot documentary style, My Generation revisits an Austin, TX, grad class ten years later to see how it all turned out. Ten years? What, the show is shot in their parent’s basements? No Ordinary Family finds Michael Chiklis (The Shield) back on broadcast as the head of a family who discover, after a plane crash, that they have super powers. Cool.
Busy Jerry Bruckheimer is behind the new legal drama The Whole Truth. Rob Morrow (Numb3rs) stars is a show where cases will be made for both the defense and the prosecution.
ABC has also picked up a Fox reality reject, Secret Millionaire. They’ve renewed Brothers & Sisters, but cut back on the number of episodes to make room for Off The Map Sundays in mid-season. V will also be back but will be held until November or so and then given an uninterrupted run.
There’s word that CBS (officially announcing tomorrow) has ditched Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ The New Adventures of Old Christine, and that ABC might want to scoop it, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Macho ABC programming boss Stephen McPherson gives advertisers their first look at the 10 new ABC shows Tuesday afternoon at New York’s Lincoln Center. Jimmy Kimmel usually works this room and kills, we’ll have vid up ASAP. Here’s ABC’s Fall schedule:

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

TUESDAY
8:00 p.m. No Ordinary Family
9:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars the Results Show
10:00 p.m. Detroit 1-8-7
WEDNESDAY
8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Better Together
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. Cougar Town
10:00 p.m. The Whole Truth

THURSDAY
8:00 p.m. My Generation
9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Private Practice

FRIDAY
8:00 p.m. Secret Millionaire
9:00 p.m. Body of Proof
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. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
10:00 p.m. Brothers & Sisters

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