Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABCNow that ABC has canceled its first drama, My Generation, it must decide how to fill the void on Thursdays without losing viewers to the competition. For the next two weeks, the alphabet will air repeats of Grey’s Anatomy at 8 p.m. until it selects a more permanent replacement from its midseason lineup. There’s always a chance that Thursdays will become all Shonda Rhimes, all the time, and the 8 p.m. slot will go to her new drama Off the Map. (Rhimes is also responsible for Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.) But those who’ve seen Map, which follows three American docs who to go to work in the tropics, say it may be too gritty for the family hour. Plus, do viewers really want to watch three back-to-back medical dramas on Thursdays?
ABC also developed two additional comedies that are waiting in the wings — Mr. Sunshine starring Matthew Perry and Happy Endings from former ABC exec Jamie Tarses — but it seems far more likely the network will take advantage of the fact that no one’s airing a reality show in the timeslot and program its new unscripted show Secret Millionaire, instead. The program, which is based on a U.K. format and first premiered on Fox in 2008 and attracted more than 10 million viewers, follows Richie Riches who agree to leave their lavish lifestyles to go undercover in impoverished neighborhoods. On the final day, the “secret millionaires” reveal their identity and give away cash to change lives. It’s reminiscent of the successful reality show Undercover Boss, though Millionaire was developed before the CBS series.
So far this season, ABC is in second place among viewers and adults 18-49 on Thursdays, behind CBS and its lineup of Big Bang Theory, $#*! My Dad Says, CSI, and The Mentalist.
ABC may have another a time slot to fill as early as tomorrow, given the lackluster performance on Wednesdays by The Whole Truth, the Maura Tierney starrer that’s dropped 6 percent in viewers versus its premiere (4.8 million to 4.5 million). If ABC axes the legal drama, it seems likely that it will use the period to premiere Body of Proof, the intriguing new drama starring Dana Delany as a former neurosurgeon who becomes a medical examiner.