ABC unveils fall lineup

'Scrubs,' 'Life on Mars,' new game show on tap

ABC went for stability with its fall 2008 schedule as expected, adding only a handful of new shows -- the time-traveling police drama "Life on Mars," Ashton Kutcher's alternative game show "Opportunity Knocks," as well as another Kutcher-produced reality series, a beauty pageant with a twist, which he is doing with Tyra Banks.

At the Tuesday morning press conference in New York City, ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson also officially announced the acquisition of NBC comedy "Scrubs." Among the news at the presentation: The 2008-09 season will be "Boston Legal's" last and "Oprah's Big Give" is not coming back.

"Big Give" had modest sucess and won its time period on Sunday nights.

"We loved that show and absolutely would have loved to bring it back," ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson said. "But it was something (Oprah) didn't want to do."

ABC describes the Tyra Banks/Ashton Kutcher reality show as "a beauty pageant unlike any you've ever seen.

Regarding "Opportunity Knocks," McPherson said, "It combines 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' with 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' and is right in our brand."

ABC plans to roll out the bulk of its fall schedule during premiere week in September.

McPherson also touted the potential of "Scrubs" on ABC, which may go beyond next season.

"We think its been in 17 time periods on (NBC) and they rarely promoted it at all and it still performed a 3.5 rating on Thursday second only to 'The Office.' We think it's a great addition to our comedy brand, it gives us a real opportunity and another piece to play with.

"For midseason, ABC has 17 pilots in development in addition to the return of "Lost" to an undisclosed time period. "We have an incredible stable schedule, we were dominating in the fall until the strike hit," McPherson said.

After the press conference, McPherson commented on ABC's plans to go after departing "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno.

"I'm really interested to see what happens to NBC late night when he leaves," McPherson said. "He is still the No. 1 late night talk show host, so it is an odd time for him to be leaving.

But McPherson stressed that "any conversation would have to be done in conjunction with Jimmy" Kimmel.

He also confirmed that Dana Delany will continue on "Desperate Housewives" and that Lindsay Lohan will do more episodes of "Ugly Betty.

As for ABC's decision not to produce pilots before the upfront, "we're trying to do it in two cycles," McPherson said. "We're trying to have comedies done midsummer and then dramas in fall.

The ABC 2008-09 lineup is on the next page.



Mondays
8 p.m. -- Dancing with the Stars / Untitled Tyra Banks-Ashton Kutcher (new)
9:30 p.m. -- Samantha Who?
10 p.m. -- The Bachelor / Boston Legal

Tuesdays
8 p.m. -- Opportunity Knocks [New]
9 p.m. -- Dancing Results Show/Scrubs (new)/Goode Family (new)
10 p.m. -- Eli Stone

Wednesdays
8 p.m. -- Pushing Daisies
9 p.m. -- Private Practice
10 p.m. -- Dirty Sexy Money

Thursdays
8 p.m. -- Ugly Betty
9 p.m. -- Grey's Anatomy
10 p.m. -- Life on Mars (new)

Fridays
8 p.m. -- Supernanny
9 p.m. --Wife Swap
10 p.m. --20/20

Sundays
7 p.m. -- America's Funniest Home Videos
8 p.m. -- Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 p.m. -- Desperate Housewives
10 p.m. -- Brothers & Sisters
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