ABC re-ups 11 for 2009-10
EmptyABC announced early renewals for 11 series Thursday, with long-familiar titles dominating the list.
The pickups: "Desperate Housewives," "Brothers & Sisters," "Grey's Anatomy," "Dancing With the Stars," "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "The Bachelor," "Ugly Betty," "Supernanny," "Wife Swap" and "Private Practice."
Absent from the list were ABC's struggling midseason efforts "The Unusuals," "Scrubs," "Cupid," "Castle" and "In the Motherhood." Of the new shows, only "Castle" has shown enough spark for probable fall consideration.
Also missing is the returning comedy "Samantha Who?" which has foundered in the ratings since moving to Thursdays from Mondays with a "Dancing" lead-in.
Although "Housewives" creator Marc Cherry told the media and ABC he wanted another four seasons of his show picked up, the network has opted to add on just one more year to his current agreement.
"Betty" once was considered potentially on the bubble, but ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson had previously assured viewers the show would return. After recently trying out a couple underperforming comedies in the traditional "Betty" 8 p.m. hour, a pickup seemed all but certain.
The year-old "Practice" had its series premiere last season and marks the freshest show that's guaranteed to return. The "Grey's" spinoff became an obvious choice for renewal after ABC shifted the show to Thursdays after "Grey's" and the medical drama started winning its time period.
ABC's announcement also included "Lost," whose run through next year had already been determined.
Though any show that's not on the list likely has some hand-wringing ahead, ABC still has plenty of time to renew more shows between now and its upfront presentation to advertisers next month. (partialdiff)