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Will overseas fans save ABC's 'FlashForward?'

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Sci-fi dramas like ABC’s FlashForward may have a tough time attracting new viewers when it returns with originals on March 18: The freshman drama lost 43 percent of its viewers last fall while the network’s V was down 35 percent over four airings (it also doesn’t help that FlashForward is on its third show runner now that co-creator/executive producer David Goyer has decided to leave the show to focus on his film career). So it’s hardly surprising that none of the Big Four nets have a sci-fi show in development for the 2010-11 season (ABC’s superheroes pilot No Ordinary Family starring The Shield’s Michael Chiklis comes close).

At least the ABC-owned FlashForward (unlike the Warner Bros. owned V) has an ace in the hole: It does well in the U.K., Italy, and Spain, and the robust international sales could sway the network to pick up the Joseph Fiennes series for another season. ABC may not make a decision on FlashForward and V, which returns March 30, until right before its upfront presentation in New York this May. Several ABC dramas, in fact, have yet to receive pickups for another season, though Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Brothers and Sisters are slam dunks. Comedies like Cougar Town, The Middle and Modern Family have already been picked up, while shows like Ugly Betty have already been cancelled. Long shots include Better Off Ted, The Deep End, Scrubs and The Forgotten.

For more on Fall 2010:

Renewal scorecard: what’s in, what’s out, what’s in limbo

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