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ABC Does the Dozens

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So easy, even a caveman could program it! / GALE ADLER–ABC

Twelve, count them twelve, new shows are coming from ABC next season, including seven dramas, four comedies and one reality show from Oprah Winfrey. You’d think they’d throw in a jelly donut there and make it a baker’s dozen, but times are tight.

Part of the reason for the big number is that ABC tends to announce more midseason shows than the other networks; eight of the new shows will debut to kick off the fall. Also, ABC has had a tendency lately–because of a lack of bench strength, maybe–to bring back some low-performing shows, inexplicably. Last year they did that with What About Brian (finally dead now); this year it’s October Road and Notes from the Underbelly.

Three of the most talked-about new ABC shows are Private Practice (the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff); Pushing Daisies (a homicide cop discovers he can raise the dead); and Cavemen, a sitcom based on the Geico cavemen commercials. On a conference call this morning, ABC president Stephen McPherson said the sitcom was about “racial relationships and minorities in this country.” This probably did not sit well with George Lopez, whose sitcom about actual minorities in this country was canned.

Clips will roll this afternoon at ABC’s Lincoln Center presentation. In the meantime, here’s the schedule, from ABC:

8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
9:30 p.m. “Sam I Am” (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. “The Bachelor”

8:00 p.m. “Cavemen” (new comedy series)
8:30 p.m. “Carpoolers” (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00 p.m. “Boston Legal”

8:00 p.m. “Pushing Daisies” (new drama series)
9:00 p.m. “Private Practice” (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. “Dirty Sexy Money” (new drama series)

8:00 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Big Shots” (new drama series)

8:00 p.m. “MEN IN TREES”
9:00 p.m. “Women’s Murder Club” (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

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

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”