ABC Announces New Fall Schedule

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ABC's upcoming fall schedule includes an expanded Dancing With the Stars, a two-hour Wednesday night comedy block and the apocalyptic thriller Flash Forward being used as a lead-in for Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Thursdays will lead off with Flash Forward at 8 p.m., which was somewhat unexpected, followed by the return of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.

Asked if Grey's Anatomy stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight (George and Izzie) are signed up to return next season after Season Five's two-hour cliffhanger ending, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said at the network's upfronts:

"They're both signed on; I can't say whether they will both be there."

The comment drew a laugh in the room. Make of it what you will, we guess, as the fate of the two stars - both left hanging on May 14 - remains a mystery.

Best of Friends

On Mondays, Dancing with the Stars, expanded from its usual 90 minutes, will give a strong lead-in to the sophomore detective drama Castle, which showed more ratings heft when provided a direct boost from the reality show at the end of this season.

Tuesdays kick off with Mark Burnett's new reality competition, Shark Tank (with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire filling the slot in early fall. The Dancing results show remains at 9 p.m., followed by Jerry Bruckheimer's new crime drama, The Forgotten.

The headline is Wednesday nights, when ABC will become the third network to offer a two-hour comedy block. Hank, The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town compose the lineup. Eastwick, an update of the John Updike novel The Witches of Eastwick, will follow at 10 p.m.

Launching an entirely new night of television is something ABC has done before, when it premiered Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money on this night a few years back. However, having four comedies without a familiar title is a bold move.

Scrubs and Better Off Ted, while better known to viewers, were considered too male-skewing for the lineup. Both shows are planned for sometime in midseason, ABC says.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."