ABC has outlined its plans for next season and unveiled the network's 2006-07 fall schedule including six new comedy series -- "Betty the Ugly," "Big Day," "Help Me Help You," "In Case of Emergency," "Let's Rob..." and "Notes From the Underbelly," along with six new drama series -- "Brothers & Sisters," "Day Break," "Men in Trees," "The Nine," "Six Degrees" and "Traveler." Alternative series debuts will include "Set for the Rest of Your Life," "Just for Laughs" and "Greg Behrendt's Wake-Up Call."
In addition to the new series, ABC has ordered season renewals for "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Boston Legal," "Dancing with the Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "George Lopez," "Supernanny," "What About Brian," "According to Jim," "America's Funniest Home Videos," "American Inventor," "The Bachelor" and "Wife Swap."
Also joining the fall schedule is "ABC Saturday Night College Football." Beginning Saturday, September 2, 2006 (8:00 p.m., ET), ABC Sports will televise 12 games, concluding with the
Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game on Saturday, December 2 (8:00 p.m., ET).
ABC also announced the new Bachelor, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, a handsome 33-year-old cosmetics entrepreneur. Prince Borghese has been selected to star in the ninth edition of "The Bachelor", ABC's popular romance reality series, which returns to the network this fall. Once again the series will be set outside the United States in one of the most glamorous, romantic capitals of the world - Rome!
Hosted by Chris Harrison, "The Bachelor" is produced by Next Entertainment in Association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Lisa Levenson are the executive producers. David Bohnert is the co-executive producer.
ABC's complete 22-hour fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern, with new shows in bold):
DAY TIME SERIES
8:00 p.m. "Wife Swap"
9:00 p.m. "The Bachelor"/"Supernanny"
10:00 p.m. "What About Brian"
8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (new night)/"Set for the Rest of Your Life" (new alternative series)
9:00 p.m. "Let's Rob..." (new comedy series)
9:30 p.m. "Help Me Help You" (new comedy series)
10:00 p.m. "Boston Legal"
8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars" (new night)/"George Lopez"/"According to Jim" (new night)
9:00 p.m. "Lost"
10:00 p.m. "The Nine" (new drama series)
8:00 p.m. "Big Day" (new comedy series)
8:30 p.m. "Notes from the Underbelly" (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy" (new night and time)
10:00 p.m. "Six Degrees" (new drama series)
8:00 p.m. "Betty the Ugly" (new comedy series)
9:00 p.m. "Men in Trees" (new drama series)
10:00 p.m. "20/20"
8:00 p.m. "ABC 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" (new drama series)
Following, in alphabetical order, are descriptions of the new series joining ABC's primetime schedule next season (all times are Eastern):
"Brothers & Sisters" (one-hour, Sunday, 10:00 p.m., ET) - The adult children of William Walker, along with their respective families, have gathered to celebrate Kitty's birthday. Little do they know that, on this day, their lives will take a dramatic turn.
Kitty's radio success has led to a TV pundit job in Los Angeles, but her New York boyfriend just proposed. Down to earth Thomas has joined forces with his sister, Sarah, a high powered executive and mother of three, in an effort to fix the family business. Kevin's well-ordered life is shaken by the news that his ex-wife is moving his adolescent son to Texas. Justin, a Gulf War vet, has kicked nicotine, but other addictions keep him from moving forward in his career and love life. These siblings are about to find out that underneath the idyllic family façade lie many secrets that threaten to either tear the family apart or bring them closer together.
As told through the insightful eyes of the family's most outspoken and public sibling, Calista Flockhart ("Ally McBeal") stars alongside Rachel Griffiths ("Six Feet Under") and Ron Rifkin ("Alias") in this warm, humorous and relatable drama from producer Ken Olin ("Alias") and Jon Robin Baitz, one of Broadway's most prominent playwrights ("The Substance of Fire").
Calista Flockhart ("Ally McBeal"): Kitty Walker
Ron Rifkin ("Alias"): Saul Ashman
Balthazar Getty ("Alias"): Thomas Walker
Rachel Griffiths ("Six Feet Under"): Sarah Walker
Dave Annable ("Reunion"): Justin Walker
Patricia Wettig ("Prison Break"): Holly Harper
John Pyper-Ferguson ("Smallville"): Jed Traylor
Sarah Jane Morris ("Felicity"): Jennifer Walker
Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak ("CSI"): Teddy Traylor
"Day Break" (one-hour) - We've all had bad days... the kind of day where nothing goes our way and we just can't wait to put it behind us. Detective Brett Hopper is having one of those hellacious days... only he can't put it behind him because he's living the same day over and over again.
On this particular day, Hopper will be accused of killing Asst. DA Alberto Garza. He will offer a solid alibi which no one will believe. He will realize he's been framed. And he will run, discovering en route that not only he, but his loved ones, are also in danger. He'll then wake up and relive the same day over and over again. In order to break the cycle and move on, he will have to figure out who framed him and solve the complex mystery surrounding Garza's death. He will also be forced to heal the fractured relationships with those he loves. Only when Harper figures out why his life is broken and how to fix it will he awaken to a brand new day.
Taye Diggs (Rent): Det. Brett Hopper
Meta Golding ("JAG"): Jennifer Mathis
Moon Bloodgood (Eight Below): Rita Shelton
Victoria Pratt ("Mutant X"): Andrea Battle
Ramon Rodriguez ("Rescue Me"): Damien
Adam Baldwin ("NCIS"): Chad Shelton
"Men in Trees" (one-hour, Friday, 9:00 p.m., ET) - Finding a good man in today's world isn't as difficult as some women think. You just have to watch out for the signs. You wouldn't drive with a blindfold on but, for some reason, women continue to date with one.
Relationship coach Marin Frist knows what to look for, what to avoid and what will make her happy. As the many fans of her two bestselling books could tell you, we're all in charge of our own happiness. Marin's personal happiness includes the upcoming wedding to her "perfect man." But like many people full of advice, she fails to apply it to herself. On her way to a speaking engagement in Alaska, she learns that her fiancé has cheated on her... the wedding plans are instantly over. Slapped in the face with personal failure, a snowstorm then leaves her stuck in a small town full of the one thing she really doesn't need -- available men. Marin's friends and her publisher try to lend long-distance support, but the fact remains she's been living with her eyes closed for too long. Now that they're finally open, she sees the amazingly beautiful world surrounding her, and for the first time she'll have the chance to stop and breathe. Now if she could just get the raccoon out of her hotel room, this place might be perfect.
From the head writer of "Sex and the City" and the director of the Academy Award®-winning Walk the Line comes a fun and sexy drama about finding love in the most unexpected places. Anne Heche ("Nip/Tuck") stars.
Anne Heche ("Nip/Tuck"): Marin Frist
James Tupper ("Gilmore Girls"): Jack
Suleka Mathews ("The West Wing"): Sara
Derek Richardson ("Felicity"): Patrick
Emily Bergl ("Gilmore Girls"): Annie
Abraham Benrubi ("ER): Ben
Sarah Strange ("Life As We Know It"): Theresa
Seana Kofoed ("Law & Order"): Jane
John Amos ("The West Wing"): Buzz
"The Nine" (one-hour, Wednesday, 10:00 p.m., ET) - So much in life is beyond your control. You may go about your day like any other when suddenly a random moment, an accident, a blessing, even a stranger redirects your life forever. And on that day, it's up to you to decide if that moment will stop you in your tracks or lift you up to new heights.
Nine people will face just such an unexpected twist when they are caught in a bank robbery gone wrong and endure a 52-hour hostage standoff that will leave more than one person dead. When all is said and done, these people will never be the same. They will share the common bond of what happens inside the bank and will be forever affected and intertwined because of it.
From the creator of "Without a Trace" and an executive producer of "The West Wing" comes a dramatic character study that will keep audiences hooked with the mystery of what happened during the hostage standoff. Each episode will begin with a flashback to reveal another 10 minutes of the hostage crisis, uncovering why and how these nine strangers are still linked today. Tim Daly ("Wings"), Chi McBride ("Boston Public") and Scott Wolf ("Party of Five") star.
Chi McBride ("Boston Public"): Malcolm
Jessica Collins ("CSI"): Lizzie
Tim Daly ("Wings"): Nick
Kim Raver ("24"): Kathryn
Scott Wolf ("Party of Five"): Jeremy
John Billingsley ("Star Trek: Enterprise"): Egan
Lourdes Benedicto ("24"): Eva
Camille Guaty ("Prison Break"): Franny
Owain Yeoman ("Troy"): Lucas
Dana Davis ("Veronica Mars"): Felicia
"Six Degrees" (one-hour, Thursday, 10:00 p.m., ET) - Who will you touch? Who will touch you? They say that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of six people, which means that no one is a stranger... for long. In this hour-long drama from the producers of "Lost" and "Alias," six very different New Yorkers go about their lives without realizing the impact they're having on one another - yet. A mysterious web of coincidences will gradually draw these strangers closer, changing the course of their lives forever. Is it happenstance? Fate? Is there a greater force at work in our world, guiding us along and connecting our lives?
This intriguing tale of intertwined destinies reminds us that romance, success, peace or forgiveness might be right around the corner, but they can also be lost in an instant. It's a story that underlines just
how small the world really is, and how someone just five people away might be shaping our future right now. Jay Hernandez ("Friday Night Lights"), Erika Christensen ("Flightplan"), Bridget Moynahan ("Sex and the City"), Dorian Missick ("Lucky Number Slevin"), Hope Davis ("About Schmidt") and Campbell Scott ("The Secret Lives of Dentists") star.
Jay Hernandez ("Friday Night Lights"): Carlos
Bridget Moynahan ("I, Robot"): Whitney
Hope Davis ("Proof"): Laura
Campbell Scott ("Loverboy"): Steven Casemen
Dorian Missick ("Lucky Number Slevin"): Damian
Erika Christensen ("Traffic"): Mae Anderson
"Traveler" (one-hour) - Jay, Tyler and Will are friends who have spent the last two years in grad school. They are about to depart on a summer trip when a simple prank to rollerblade through one of New York City's most famous museums makes Jay and Tyler prime suspects in a terrorist bombing that destroys the museum seconds later. Hopeful that Will can help clear up this misunderstanding, they learn he's been missing since the explosion and think he may be dead. They're unable to turn to authorities when they realize they can't prove Will even exists. In every photo from the past two years, he has managed to block his face.
Who will believe them? Friends, family, lovers? The boys are pawns in a conspiracy that will take years to unravel, and the government may not have their best interests at heart. Their friendship will be tested like never before as they try to uncover the truth, while avoiding detection of not only the FBI, but everyone in America who has seen their faces on TV as suspects in the bombing.
Director David Nutter, who has defined many series including The X-Files, "Without a Trace" and "Supernatural," along with the writer of Eight Below and the Oscar®-winning producers of "American Beauty" combine "The Fugitive" with "Enemy of the State" in a taut, tense thriller of innocents on the run. Flashing back to the prior two years to illustrate the formation of this friendship and Will's insidious behavior, this action-packed drama taps into our paranoia with pure adrenaline-fueled entertainment. Matthew Bomer ("Tru Calling") and Logan Marshall-Green ("The O.C.") star.
Matthew Bomer ("Tru Calling"): Jay Burchell
Logan Marshall-Green ("The O.C."): Tyler Fog
Aaron Stanford ("X-Men 2"): Will Traveler
Viola Davis ("Law & Order: SVU"): Agent Jan "Naj" Marlow
Steven Culp ("Desperate Housewives"): Agent Fred Chambers
"Betty the Ugly" (one-hour comedy, Friday, 8:00 p.m., ET) - In the superficial world of high fashion, image is everything. Styles come and go, and the only constants are the wafer-thin beauties who wear them. How can an ordinary girl -- a slightly plump plain-Jane from Queens -- possibly fit in?
If you took a moment to get to know Betty Suarez, you'd see how sweet, intelligent and hard-working she is. But few people do because, in the world of fashion, Betty is the oversized square peg in the petite round hole. When publishing mogul Bradford Meade hands the reigns of his fashion magazine, Mode, over to his son, Daniel, he specifically hires Betty as his son's new assistant - mostly because she's the only woman in NYC Daniel won't sleep with. Though this "player" is reluctant to accept her at first, Betty's indomitable spirit and bright ideas will eventually win him over. Neither of them really knows the ins and outs of the fashion world, but the two of them are a formidable team against the label-wearing sharks who will do anything to see them fail.
Executive producers Salma Hayek and Silvio Horta, the creator of "Urban Legend," bring the Latino television phenomenon to an English-speaking audience. America Ferrera ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants") and Eric Mabius ("The L Word") are the "Working Girl" couple who tackle the colorful, cutthroat world of fashion head on.
America Ferrera ("The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"): Betty Suarez
Eric Mabius ("The O.C."): Daniel Meade
Ana Ortiz ("Boston Legal"): Hilda
Vanessa Williams ("Chicago Hope"): Wilhelmina Slater
Tony Plana ("24"): Ignacio
Ashley Jensen: Christina
Becki Newton ("Charmed"): Amanda
Mark Indelicato: Justin
Alan Dale ("The O.C."): Bradford Meade
"Big Day" (half-hour, Thursday, 8:00 p.m., ET) - If "24" married "Father of the Bride," their child would be "Big Day." Everything matters at a wedding, and the smallest imperfections can reverberate throughout the event as if lives actually hang in the balance. Choice of side salad? A trivial decision you would think, but for the mother of the bride, this might as well be the most critical decision of her life, and if you're the caterer, you'd better get it right. That's just the beginning -- the maid of honor accidentally drinks the best man's contacts after sleeping with him, and the father of the bride wants to stop the wedding. Things are about to get even more complicated for Danny and Alice, as their day turns into a season-long roller coaster where nothing goes according to plan. Over the course of an entire season, each episode will focus on one day - Danny and Alice's wedding day.
The writers of "What Women Want" and "13 Going on 30" take a full season to dissect the biggest day in any family's life. Marla Sokoloff ("Desperate Housewives"), Josh Cooke ("Four Kings") and Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") star.
Marla Sokoloff ("Desperate Housewives"): Alice
Josh Cooke ("Four Kings"): Danny
Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me"): Jane
Kurt Fuller ("Desperate Housewives"): Steve
Miriam Shor ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch"): Becca
Stephen Rannazzisi ("Kitchen Confidential"): Skobo
Stephanie Weir ("Fun with Dick and Jane"): Lorna
"Help Me Help You" (half-hour, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., ET) - Whoever came up with the idea of group therapy? Take a bunch of people who are all really messed up in different ways and put them in a room together to try and help each other out. The group leader, Dr. Bill Hoffman, is probably the craziest and most self-obsessed of all, but his patients would never know it because he hides behind his very respectable celebrity image as a bestselling author of phenomenally successful self-help books.
Directed by Brian Dannelly ("Saved," "Weeds"), the series explores the comical side of group therapy as members of the group apply the good doctor's advice to the real world with enthusiastic effort, until they begin to realize maybe Dr. Bill should be doing the heavy lifting along with them. Ted Danson ("Cheers") stars.
Ted Danson ("Cheers"): Dr. Bill Hoffman
Charlie Finn ("The Dukes of Hazzard"): Dave
Jim Rash ("That '70s Show"): Jonathan
Suzy Nakamura ("Dodgeball"): Inger
Darlene Hunt ("I Heart Huckabees"): Darlene
Jere Burns ("Good Morning Miami"): Michael
Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle"): Guest Star/Anne
"In Case of Emergency" (half-hour) - Who you were in high school is usually not who you end up being. Harry, Jason, Sherman and Kelly all went to the same high school. Several years on since graduation, their lives haven't exactly turned out the way they planned. Diet guru Sherman will hijack a pastry truck and over-indulge after discovering his wife left him and cleaned him out. In the face of a fraud indictment, financial whiz Jason will dodge the suicide bullet only to shoot himself in the foot... literally. Unhappily divorced, Harry goes for a relaxing "massage," only to discover his scantily clad "masseuse" is Kelly, their high school valedictorian. A series of emergencies will reunite this hapless brood and they'll find, at the end of the day, that they've got each other in case of emergency.
Director Jon Favreau ("Elf," "Swingers") directs Jonathan Silverman ("Jekyll"), David Arquette ("Scream"), Greg Germann ("Ally McBeal") and Kelly Hu ("The Scorpion King") as a fresh quartet of emotionally and physically injured oddballs, and Lori Laughlin ("Full House") as the doctor who grounds them all. Together, they're proving that any colossal mistake can be overcome with a lot of help from your friends... and pain killers.
Jonathan Silverman ("The Single Guy"): Harry Kennison
David Arquette ("Scream"): Jason Ventress
Greg Germann ("Ally McBeal"): Sherman Yablonsky
Kelly Hu ("CSI:NY"): Kelly Lee
Lori Loughlin ("Full House"): Dr. Joanna Lupone
Nicholas Roget-King ("Yours, Mine and Ours"): Dylan
"Let's Rob..." (half-hour, Tuesday, 9:00 p.m., ET) - For almost 20 years, Eugene Gurkin has dreamt of opening a bar, but his dead end job on the late, late janitorial shift won't even fund a bottle of premium booze. In the wake of a co-worker's death, he catches an episode of television. Call it divine intervention, call it a dumb idea, but whatever it is takes hold of Eugene and soon he recruits a group of misfits into his "gang" for a heist to finance their dreams. The target: Rock icon Mick Jagger's super-luxe Central Park West apartment. Working together, this band of affable, new-age Robin Hoods, who have never even shoplifted a candy bar, are soon casing the joint and prepping for their crime. What they don't know is that there's a much richer target for them... the chance to find hope, self-esteem and confidence within themselves.
From Jon Beckerman and Rob Burnett, producers of "Late Show with David Letterman" and creators of "Ed," comes a hilarious tale of haves and have nots. Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life") stars. Mick Jagger appears in a cameo (he is not a series regular).
Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life"): Eugene Gurkin
Maz Jobrani ("Life on a Stick"): Gary
Sofia Vergara ("Four Brothers"): Esperanza Villalobos
Kevin Michael Richardson ("The Boondocks"): Rockefeller Butts
Lenny Venito ("NYPD Blue"): Francis "Squatch" Scuacieri
Josh Grisetti: Louis Plunk
"Notes from the Underbelly" (half-hour, Thursday, 8:30 p.m., ET) - Andrew and Lauren have just found out they're going to have a baby, and they're having a difficult time following rule number one - keeping it secret. Suddenly switching to decaf, becoming a teetotaler at cocktail parties, and going to the OBGYN are all difficult to keep from family and close friends.
Well Andrew and Lauren are about to learn that, when the secret gets out, the politics of parenthood can be just as demanding as raising a child. Sometimes all that "help" from loving but intrusive parents and "advice" from well-meaning but competitive friends who are trying to show you what great parents they are is not exactly what you're looking for. Knowing what's best for the child could be the easiest part... maintaining your relationships with family and friends can be the real challenge.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld and two producers of "Two and a Half Men" create a comic take on life's greatest adventure. As these friends watch their lives change to accommodate the little stranger, their relationships change in ways they never expected before they were expecting. Peter Cambor and Jennifer Westfeldt ("Kissing Jessica Stein") star.
Peter Cambor ("Up to the Roof"): Andrew
Jennifer Westfeldt ("Numbers"): Lauren
Melanie Paxson ("Cupid"): Julie
Rachael Harris ("The West Wing"): Cooper
Michael Weaver ("Monk"): Danny
Sunkrish Bala ("Barbershop"): Eric
"Greg Behrendt's Wake-Up Call" - Greg Behrendt, acclaimed author of He's Just Not That Into You, will address one couple's major issues and use his knowledge of relationships to give them the tools to fix theirs. Through his off-the-cuff comedy and bruised-and-battered romantic experience, Greg takes a close look from a different angle to give our couple advice as a close friend, but also that of sage wisdom.
"Just for Laughs" -- ABC has licensed six half-hour episodes of the hidden-camera comedy series. The series cuts across cultural boundaries and has universal appeal, entertaining audiences of all ages and demographics by mixing clever practical jokes, hidden cameras and a few unsuspecting victims.
"Set for the Rest of Your Life" -- Just imagine: You're leaving the studio financially independent with a monthly payment for as long as you live! Yes, even if you are to live another 100 years. With a big smile on your face, you will be cashing a monthly check for the rest of your life. Now how does that sound? In this high-tension game show, the contestant will first battle for the highest monthly check possible. Does he end up with $50 a month? $500 a month? Or will he receive well over $10,000 a month? The contestant's next battle is even more important: Time! Does he win that payment just for one month? For a quarter of a year, half a year, one year? For three, ten, twenty years maybe? Or... for the rest of his life? And... did the contestant's partner, hidden in a sound-proof isolation booth away from where it's all happening, help to make that dream come true or turn that dream into a nightmare? "Set for the Rest of Your Life" is a game show for strong relationships only, that's for sure!