Alphabet will take a dramatic turn


ABC has scheduled a trio of new dramas to fill its 10 p.m. hours later this season.

The police procedural "Castle," starring Nathan Fillion, will air at 10 p.m. Mondays starting March 9. Another crime drama, "The Unusuals," starring Amber Tamblyn, will air at 10 p.m. Wednesdays beginning April 8. Rob Thomas' romantic dramedy "Cupid" will run at 10 p.m. Tuesdays starting March 24. Also, ABC News' "Primetime: What Would You Do?" will return at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Scheduling the freshman shows at 10 p.m. keeps the new shows out of reach of Fox's "American Idol," but the new crime dramas also will have competition from established police procedurals. "Castle" will air opposite CBS' "CSI: Miami." "Unusuals" will face off against the Eye's "CSI: NY" and NBC's "Law & Order" (though the new show's audience presumably will skew younger and more female than either veteran).

Another downside to ABC's plan is that 10 p.m. has become an hour of heavy DVR use, which can make it difficult to launch new shows.

ABC has yet to firm up 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays. (partialdiff)