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Upfronts 2012: ABC Launching Friday Comedy Block, Shifts 'Revenge' to Sunday

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2012
Click here to watch trailers for ABC's new shows.

Updated: 1:30 p.m. ET

Like NBC and Fox, ABC is going long on comedy next season,
scheduling four new laffers on three nights of the week, according to the
schedule released Tuesday.

New sitcom The Neighbors, about a family that moves
to a New Jersey community and discovers their neighbors are all aliens, will
get the network's top launch pad, Modern Family, airing Wednesdays at
9:30 p.m. in the fall.

As a result, Happy Endings and Don't Trust the
B---- in Apartment 23
, which both took turns in the post Modern Family
slot this season, will be paired on Tuesday at 9 p.m., putting them in
competition with Fox's female friendly block of New Girl and The
Mindy Project

On a conference call with reporters, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee brushed off the competition, saying he believed their passionate audiences would move to find the shows on a new night."I do think there's room on all broadcast networks to get big ratings despite what's on other networks."

In January, Tuesday will expand to two hours of comedy, with
How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), starring
Sarah Chalke as a single mom who moves back home with her daughter; and The
Family Tools
, about a man who takes over his father's handyman business,
leading off the night at 8 p.m.

ABC will also go back to its T.G.I.F. roots, programming an
hour of family comedy on Fridays, "something that I have wanted to do since I came to this network" Lee said. Starting in November, the returning Last
Man Standing
leading into the new Malibu Country, starring Reba
McEntire as a recently divorced woman who moves her mother and two kids to
California to pursue a country music career.

On the drama side, the network's biggest move is shifting
buzzy soap Revenge to Sunday after Once Upon a Time, where it will inherit Desperate
' 9 p.m. time slot. That will lead into new hour 666 Park
, starring Lost's Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams as the
husband-and-wife owners of a supernatural residential building who hire an
unsuspecting Midwestern couple to run it.

In Revenge's old Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot, ABC
will bow another soapy drama, Nashville, starring Connie Britton (Friday
Night Lights
) as a waning country music legend and Hayden Panettiere as the
young star threatening to steal her spotlight.

Lee called Once and Revenge on Sundays a "great pairing" for a night of appointment television, saying "both shows have real cinematic ambition." He also said the shift would give Nashville the benefit of following ABC's highly-rated Wednesday comedy block, which helped launch Revenge this season.

"We're designing that as a win-win for both Nashville and Revenge," he said.

The remaining fall drama, Last Resort, from creator
Shawn Ryan (The Shield), about the crew of a nuclear submarine seeking
refuge on an exotic island, will anchor Thursdays at 8 p.m. The other new
dramas -- Mistresses, Red Widow and Zero Hour -- remain
unscheduled for midseason. though Lee said Mistresses will likely premiere after The Bachelor next May. Medical drama Body of Proof will also return for a 13-episode run in midseason.

On the reality side, ABC has moved its Dancing With the
results show up an hour to Tuesday at 8 p.m., where it will be in
direct competition with The Voice in its fall return. The fall cycle of DWTS will be an all-star edition, with returning fan-favorite contestants from the past 14 seasons.

ABC's fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times
listed are Eastern); new shows are in bold.

8:00 p.m.
       "Dancing with the Stars"
10:00 p.m.      "Castle"

In January:
8:00 p.m.        "The
10:00 p.m.      "Castle"

8:00 p.m.       
"Dancing with the Stars the Results Show"
9:00 p.m.       
"Happy Endings"
9:30 p.m.       
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23"
10:00 p.m.      "Private

In January:
8:00 p.m.        "How
To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)"

8:30 p.m.        "The
Family Tools"

8:00 p.m.        "The
8:30 p.m.       
9:00 p.m.       
"Modern Family"
9:30 p.m.        "The

10:00 p.m.      "Nashville"

8:00 p.m.        "Last

9:00 p.m.       
"Grey's Anatomy"
10:00 p.m.      "Scandal"

8:00 p.m.       
"Shark Tank"
9:00 p.m."Primetime:
What Would You Do?"
10:00 p.m.      "20/20"

In November:
8:00 p.m.        "Last
Man Standing"
8:30 p.m.        "Malibu
9:00 p.m.       
"Shark Tank"
10:00 p.m.      20/20"

8:00 p.m.        "Saturday Night College

7:00 p.m.       
"America's Funniest Home Videos"
8:00 p.m.        "Once
Upon a Time"
9:00 p.m.       
10:00 p.m.      "666 Park