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How ABC is Trying to Cope Without MNF

Meg James of the Los Angeles Times (popular paper with me today) looks at ABC TV’s lineup, which is without Monday Night Football for the first time in 36 years.

To plug its scheduling gaps, ABC developed twice as many shows as its rivals. The network spent more than $200 million on development, ordering 38 pilots this year and selecting 15 to air. Disney Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs recently told analysts that expensive pilots hurt broadcast operating profit.

ABC will introduce 10 new shows this fall. In contrast, CBS has four new contenders for fall, and fourth-place NBC has six.

Advertisers cautioned that trying to get traction simultaneously for so many unfamiliar shows, including several dramas with complicated concepts, adds to ABC’s challenges.

The article says that ABC had no new hits last season and is moving shows around.