I remember thinking, back when the networks' soft fall schedules were announced, that we had nothing to worry about because several good-looking shows were on-deck for the midseason. I might have been a little too optimistic.
In the wake of NBC's restructuring of its midseason schedule—which included a a death sentence for Prime Suspect, the benching of Community, and the exclusion of highly anticipated drama Awake—ABC has announced its own midseason lineup, which contains a few surprises of its own. No Cougar Town, no Scandal, no Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. So... first Community's Abed gets kicked off the midseason schedule, and then his favorite show (Cougar Town) does too? I smell a conspiracy.
Cougar Town sat out the first half of this season with the expectation that it would return in early 2012. Though ABC omitted the show from the midseason lineup announced today, TV Line says a network rep assured the show will air sometime in the spring.
Scandal, a Shonda Rhimes drama about a PR firm, and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, a comedy starring Krysten Ritter, were expected to be strong entries in the new season, but their absences say otherwise. I have no idea why neither series is on the schedule.
As for the shows that did make it, here are the highlights:
– Cross-dressing comedy Work It is slotted behind Last Man Standing, meaning Man Up is as good as gone. It also means red-state-humor-driven Last Man Standing will be the lead-in for a show about guys who dress as women. And that will be followed by Celebrity Wife Swap. This will confuse a lot of people.
– Found-footage Amazon River horror show The River, from the creator of Paranormal Activity, will take over Celebrity Wife Swap's spot beginning February 7. Early word on this: It's scary good.
ABC's Midseason Premiere Dates
New shows are in ALLCAPS
Tuesday, January 3
8:30-9pm WORK IT
9-10pm CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP
Thursday, January 5
8-9pm Winter Wipeout
Friday, February 3
8-9pm Shark Tank
Tuesday, February 7
9-10pm THE RIVER
Sunday, March 4
Thursday, March 15
Monday, March 19
8-10pm Dancing with the Stars
Tuesday, March 27
9-10pm Dancing with the Stars Results Show
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom