ABC reveals summer schedule
EmptyUPDATED 4:52 p.m. PT March 31, 2008
Japanese-style game shows, musical competitions and the return of a reality franchise will highlight ABC's summer.
The network announced a postseason schedule Monday that includes several previously announced titles, like a reality version of "High School Musical," and fresh names including "I Survived a Japanese Game Show."
Like NBC, which announced its summer schedule earlier this month, ABC will premiere a couple of shows in May. "The Bachelorette" returns at 9 p.m. Monday, May 19, with a two-hour debut starring DeAnna Pappas, last cycle's "Bachelor" finalist who infamously was rejected at the last minute.
After its premiere week, "Bachelorette" will move to 8 p.m. for its regular hourlong run, counter programming NBC's more male-skewing "American Gladiators" in the time period.
Leading out of "Bachelorette," ABC is resurrecting "The Mole." The competition series originally debuted on ABC in 2001 as a midseason replacement series, shifted to summer the next year, then aired as a winter celebrity version in 2003. The fifth cycle of the show premieres at 10 p.m. Monday, May 26.
In June, ABC launches two Japanese-inspired game shows in a Tuesday night block.
The first is "Wipeout," which takes the extreme obstacle courses of such programs as Spike's "MXC" and G4's import "Ninja Warrior" to another level. Contestants compete for $50,000; John Anderson (ESPN's "SportsCenter") is the host.
"Wipeout" premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, and will be followed by "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" at 9 p.m. "Game Show" takes 10 Americans oversees to compete in a grueling Japanese competitions series. "Game Show" will air opposite NBC's top-rated "America's Got Talent," which launches the same night.
June also includes the launch of "Dance Machine," where six competitors face off in a series of one-on-one dance-offs to popular songs. "E! News" correspondent Jason Kennedy will host; the show debuts at 8 p.m. Friday, June 27.
Another June entry is the six-part documentary series "ABC News' Hopkins," which follows young doctors forced to make life-and-death decisions at Baltimore's John Hopkins Hospital. The show premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday, June 26.
In July, "High School Musical: Summer Session," a broadcast reality competition series based on Disney's megahit, will show nationwide casting sessions and then finalists participating in a summer music program. The prize is being kept under wraps.
"Summer Session" premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20. ABC will run it on Sunday at Monday nights for three weeks, then continue on Mondays through the end of summer.
The game show "Wanna Bet" premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, July 21. British comedy duo Ant and Dec host celebrity contestants who perform stunts and mental challenges for their favorite charity in front of a studio audience.
Also: For the return of freshman drama "Women's Murder Club," ABC is shifting the series from Fridays to a higher-profile Tuesday night slot for its remaining trio of original episodes starting April 29. To make room for the show, ABC will shift "Boston Legal" from Tuesdays at 10 p.m. to Wednesdays at 10 p.m.