In the interim, ABC can sell ad buyers a sexy spy drama, "Alias," at 9 p.m. Sundays knowing "Millionaire" can expand to add a third edition on short notice--especially if declines that hour begin to take a toll on "The Practice" at 10 p.m.
Bader acknowledged "Alias" represents a gamble, but ABC's hope is the show will take root during September and October while the time-period incumbent, Fox's "The X-Files," is preempted by the major league baseball playoffs.
"The question is can we hook an audience in six weeks, [and] we think we can," Bader said.
Bochco also questioned the scheduling of "Once and Again," citing clear financial incentives (the show is produced by Disney and repeats on the Lifetime cable channel, of which Disney is a part owner) that appear to have spurred its renewal.
"'On the one hand, I applaud them for sticking with shows they believe in," he said. "[But] if ABC was an owner of 'NYPD Blue,' wherever they put us at least there would be a net under it."