ABC's last flings of summer

Romance/dating shows, series burnoffs get slots on network's schedule

ABC's summer lineup includes a dating show on which contestants can't see each other, Mike Judge's new animated comedy and the return of three canceled dramas.

The network will kick off its summer schedule next month, taking advantage of in-season momentum to launch "The Bachelorette" — set to bow at 9 p.m. Monday, May 18, before moving to its regular 8 p.m. period — featuring the previous cycle's Jillian Harris.

"Bachelorette" will be followed by the second season of "Here Come the Newlyweds," which will air at 10 p.m. Mondays starting May 25. The network will replace "Newlyweds" in that slot July 20 with the new "Dating in the Dark," on which couples date without seeing each other.

Also new to ABC is "The Superstars," a six-episode physical-competition series like the one from the 1970s pitting athletes from various sports in events including swimming, biking, running and kayaking. The show is set to bow at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 23.

Last summer's breakout hit, "Wipeout," returns at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 27. ABC hopes its obstacle-course challenge can avoid the curse of NBC's 2008 incarnation of "American Gladiators," a physical-competition series that started strong but faded quickly.

"Wipeout" that evening will lead into Judge's 9 p.m. animated comedy "The Goode Family," about a politically incorrect clan. The second season of "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" will take over that slot July 8, with producers promising more action and fewer behind-the-scenes reality aspects than the previous go-round.

Finally, ABC will finish off its former Wednesday lineup at 10 p.m. on summer Saturdays, airing remaining episodes of "Pushing Daisies," "Eli Stone" and "Dirty Sexy Money." "Daisies" returns to the schedule May 30-June 13, "Stone" from June 20-July 11 and "Money" from July 18-Aug. 8. (partialdiff)
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