5:54pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Lacey Rose
ABC Renews 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Revenge,' 'Modern Family,' 'Once,' 'Castle,' More
Ahead of Tuesday's upfront presentation to ad buyers, ABC has renewed seven series, including freshmen Revenge, Once Upon a Time and Suburgatory.
The female-skewing network, which saw its first-season fare perform particularly well this year, also has granted renewals to its other Wednesday night comedies, Modern Family and The Middle, along with longer-running offerings Grey's Anatomy and Castle. All seven series, four of which hail from ABC's sister studio, have been performers for the network.
Here's a look at why each of the shows were given pickups Thursday:
Once Upon a Time
The fantasy drama from Lost scribes Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz opened with a bang, drawing 13 million viewers and a 4.0 in the adult demographic, ABC's best debut in five years. (The ABC Studios series earned a fast full-season order after the show co-starring Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen held onto much of its viewership in its second outing.) Starring Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas, the dual-universe story about what happens to Snow White after her fairy tale wedding has been a solid performer for the network on Sunday nights, lifting the fortunes of the departing Desperate Housewives. When you factor in the full week's worth of viewership, Once is garnering a 4.0 rating thus far this season.
The freshman drama has become the network's water-cooler show of the season -- and one of the first to get new entertainment topper Paul Lee's stamp of approval. The Wednesday night series starring Emily VanCamp and Golden Globe nominee Madeleine Stowe has become a valuable property for the network overseas, with U.K. broadcaster E4 securing rights to the story written and executive produced by Swingtown's Mike Kelley. The exec dubbed the show "sexy" and "sticky," telling critics in January, "You just want more of it." Now, he's giving it to them.
The series from creator Emily Kapnek has been a sturdy performer for the network on Wednesdays following another Warner Bros. TV-produced series, The Middle. The rookie comedy starring Jane Levy, Jeremy Sisto and Cheryl Hines notched a strong ratings performance in its debut Sept. 28, averaging 9.8 million total viewers and a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, serving as a strong lead-in to Modern Family and has become a staple on the network's Wednesday night comedy block. Season to date, the series is averaging a 2.6 in the demo.
It ranks as television's No. 1 scripted drama series with the all-important 18-49 demo (averaging a 4.1 rating) and will return for a ninth season. The Thursday night medical drama, which hails from uber-producer Shonda Rhimes, stars Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh, all of whom are expected to return next season. More recently, Grey's has been used as a launching pad for the prolific showrunner's D.C.-set political-fixer drama, Scandal, bumping Grey's spinoff Private Practice to Tuesdays. The future of Scandal and Practice has not been determined.
The Nathan Fillion-Stana Katic starrer has been a reliable Monday night ratings driver for the network and will return for a fifth season. The crime dramedy from Andrew W. Marlowe will reach 100 episodes next season, a critical mark for syndication with TNT already securing rights to the ABC Studios property.
The Patricia Heaton-led comedy has continued to deliver solidly for the network's comedy portfolio, averaging a 2.6 rating in the beloved 18-49 demo this season. What's more, while it lacks the critical acclaim and water-cooler chatter of its counterparts, the Warner Bros. Television-produced comedy has served as a steady lead-in for the Disney-owned net's Wednesday night comedy block, boosting the fortunes for freshman entry Suburgatory.
The reigning Emmy darling will return for a fourth season. It continues to thrive on Wednesdays, with the network most recently using it to launch buzzy freshman comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23. The 20th TV ensemble series, which stars Emmy winners Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, ranks as the network's No. 1 scripted comedy series, up nearly 20 percent for its best season ever. Meanwhile, the six adult cast members, also including Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O'Neill, are looking for hefty salary raises for the fourth season of the comedy from Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. Sources told THR in late March that the ensemble cast likely will ask for $200,000 per episode, up considerably from the $65,000 they currently make (O'Neill earns more).
The fates of ABC's Body of Proof, Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23, GCB, Happy Endings, Last Man Standing, Missing, Pan Am, Private Practice, The River and Scandal remain in question.