A huge and usually hidden influence on just about any network TV schedule is the past. Networks always secretly want to go back to the glory days, with "mass appeal" shows, and comfort food sitcoms and procedurals that proceed the way viewers expect them to.
Case in point: the new ABC time-travel lineup that will take the network back to those halcyon days before complex serials ("FlashForward") with mind-bending mythologies ("Lost").
ABC's new lineup doesn't exactly disavow the immediate past - "V" returns midseason and a new Michael Chiklis drama, "No Ordinary Family," may well be no ordinary drama, either. But ABC is clearly going back, back, back . . . And yes, Fox and NBC, too. The word "traditional" is suddenly back in fashion.
Keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with this direction. There may well be fine shows on the new schedule - doubtless there are - but don't expect to see a next- generation "Lost." "FlashForward" tried, and you can see where that went.
The new lineup:
Monday "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m.); "Castle" (10)
Tuesday "No Ordinary Family" (8), a family in a plane crash in the Amazon discovers they have superpowers; "DWTS" results (9); "Detroit 1-8-7," in the old "NYPD Blue" spot, about Detroit cops, with "The Sopranos' " Michael Imperioli, and "Blue's" James McDaniel
Wednesday "The Middle" (8); "Better Together" (8:30) about two sisters with dramatically different styles in their relationships - one impulsive, the other less so; "Modern Family" (9); "Cougar Town" (9:30); "The Whole Truth" (10), a legal drama seen from the perspectives of defense and prosecution
Friday "Secret Millionaire" (8), a reality show about millionaires who go to live among the hoi polloi, and someone gets a $100,000 prize; "Body of Proof" (9), with Dana Delany as a medical examiner out to learn the truth about a car accident that killed some people and ended her career as a neurosurgeon; "20/20" (10)
Saturday College football
Sunday No changes