In a sweeping move, ABC has announced early pick-ups for a dozen shows for the 2009-10 season.
Almost none of the moves are even vaguely surprising, but ABC will return "America's Funniest Home Videos," "The Bachelor," "Brothers & Sisters," "Dancing with the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Grey’s Anatomy," "Lost," "Private Practice," "Supernanny," "Ugly Betty" and "Wife Swap" for next season.
Those dozen shows make up the backbone of NBC's programming lineup and the across-the-board renewals were basically forgone conclusions. The only show with even an iota of doubt may have been "Ugly Betty," but despite another season of dropping ratings, the series will be back.
The pick-ups were only given to established bedrock shows, leaving ABC with a number of bubble programs from its midseason slate. The jury is still out on dramas "Castle," "The Unusuals" and "Cupid," though the future looks bleak for the latter two shows. ABC also said nothing about first-season comedies "In the Motherhood," "Better Off Ted" and "Surviving Suburbia."
"Scrubs," in its first season on ABC, and "Samantha Who?," in its second season of being bounced around ABC's schedule like a superball, also remain on the bubble.
Of ABC's remaining unrenewed shows, "Boston Legal" and "Life on Mars" have both had series finales, while "Pushing Daisies," "Eli Stone" and "Dirty Sexy Money" are expected to play out their runs in Summer Burn-Off Theater.
That pretty much leaves "According to Jim." While it's been generally accepted that the show's pact with the Devil has finally run out, TV critics learned a long time ago that there's no greater exercise in futility than betting against Jim Belushi.
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