Borderline shows win approval, get renewed

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:00am
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ABC announced Monday that the offbeat comedy, 'Better Off Ted,' had been renewed for another season.

Several shows deemed as being long shots for renewal have won new seasons as the networks began announcing their schedules Monday. The biggest surprises are Dollhouse on Fox and Better Off Ted on ABC. In addition the highly regarded Chuck on NBC received a 13-episode run for a third year.

Fox was the first network this week to announce its complete schedule, and it is leaving in place Dollhouse at 8 p.m. Friday nights (WZTV-17). Lie To Me gets a second season and moves to Mondays at 8 p.m., behind House until the winter, when 24 returns for its eighth season. Fringe shifts to 8 p.m. Thursdays, while Fox hopes So You Think You Can Dance will do for them in the fall what American Idol does in the winter.

They’ve slotted the program for a two-hour run on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., with another one-hour results show on Wednesday at 7 p.m. But perhaps the biggest news that Fox made was its announcement of a new comedy starring former all-pro football star and current Fox sports commentator Michael Strahan at 7 p.m. on Friday nights. Brothers features Strahan at the center of an unusual family with a wheelchair-bound brother (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) and Hollywood veterans Carl Weathers and CCH Pounder portraying the parents.

The Family Guy
spin-off The Cleveland Show spotlights the Griffins’ neighbor Cleveland Brown and debuts at 7 p.m. on Sundays. Other new shows coming include Sons of Tucson and Human Target in midseason, plus a Saturday night Wanda Sykes talk show in November and a music-oriented program Glee on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning in the fall.

Though the complete ABC lineup won’t be announced until Tuesday, they did make public Monday the renewals for quirky cop drama Castle, even more offbeat comedy Better Off Ted and the revival of Scrubs, a show that had previously been thought to be ending this year with its move from NBC. What form the new incarnation of Scrubs will take, and how much involvement longtime core star Zach Braff will have, has yet to be determined.

ABC will also offer a remake of the 1980s series V, which may or may not be good news in the wake of some other recent network revivals of past programs, plus a television version of John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick.

NBC, which previously announced part of its fall schedule, made no comment Monday on the fate of either Medium or Law & Order. Word on both shows is expected shortly.