ABC Announces Fall Schedule, 'Once Upon a Time, 'black-ish' on the Move
Why was 'American Idol' a show that the network wanted so badly?
With NBC and Fox schedules officially announced earlier this week, Tuesday was ABC's turn to release their schedule for the 2017-18 season. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey held a press call today to talk over the choices made and schedule shifts coming next season. With 17 series returning during next season, the alphabet network also has four new dramas and one new comedy on the horizon.
“We are focusing still on our big swing powerful dramas, and comedy remains a priority for us,” Dungey said. “We have six out of the top 10 comedies on the air and we want to continue to build in that genre. Also, live events and our reality programming are incredibly important to us because of how they drive live viewing.”
Of course, the revival of American Idol was a big talking point during the call, with Dungey discussing the choice to bring the singing competition juggernaut back when it only ended its successful run on Fox in April 2016.
"We're thrilled and so excited to have that as part of our slate," she said. "It feels like the perfect addition to our very strong alternative franchises in Dancing and Bachelor, so I'm thrilled that we have it." Dungey added there are "a lot of things up in the air" in terms of where the show might fall on the midseason schedule. Also, there are no announcements at this time on judges or whether Ryan Seacrest, who just joined Disney-owned Live With Kelly, will return as host.
On the drama front, it was previously announced that Shonda Rhimes' drama Scandal will end its run next season, and Dungey explained the talks the network had with Rhimes on the show wrapping up.
"I had conversations with Shonda where she has had for awhile a sense of how she wanted the story to end," Dungey said. "We sat and we talked, and [Rhimes] said 'Look, I really feel like Season 7 is where I want to wrap up this story.'" Dungey added that it was a decision Rhimes made and the network "supported wholeheartedly." She also said there isn't a final season episode count yet for the Kerry Washington-led series.
As for the move of the Once Upon A Time reboot for its seventh season after losing most of its cast, Dungey explained how it came to be paired with upcoming new action series, Marvel's Inhumans. "It's interesting how much pressure we've had from fans to put those shows closer together on the schedule for quite some time," she said. "I think we like the idea that now we're turning Friday into a destination [for fantasy/sci-fi]. Also, Once Upon a Time has done a wonderful job on Sundays of sort of keeping the lights on against football, but I think we're really looking to see how that show will perform when it's away from football for a little while."
On the comedy front, Wednesday night comedy staple black-ish is moving to Tuesday at 9pm. "We feel that after three years behind Modern Family, black-ish is ready to anchor its own night of television," said Dungey. "The show is creatively on fire, the cast is absolutely stellar and we are so happy to now have black-ish as our 9 o'clock anchor on Tuesday."
Also, Dungey said that despite it not being on the fall or midseason schedule, they're still looking at the Carol Burnett series, Household Name, and that other than knowing the network is doing a reboot of the classic sitcom Roseanne, the only other news was that the goal is to have it on the air midseason.
Here is the fall 2017-18 schedule for ABC (new series and times/dates in bold):
8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
10:00 p.m. The Good Doctor
8:00 p.m. The Middle
8:30 p.m. Fresh Off the Boat (new time period)
9:00 p.m. black-ish (new day and time period)
9:30 p.m. The Mayor
10:00 p.m. The Gospel of Kevin
8:00 p.m. The Goldbergs
8:30 p.m. Speechless
9:00 p.m. Modern Family
9:30 p.m. American Housewife (new day and time period)
10:00 p.m. Designated Survivor
8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy
9:00 p.m. Scandal
10:00 p.m. How to Get Away with Murder
8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time (new day and time period)
9:00 p.m. Marvel’s Inhumans
10:00 p.m. 20/20
8:00 p.m. Saturday Night Football
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. To Tell the Truth (new day and time period)
9:00 p.m. Shark Tank (new day and time period)
10:00 p.m. Ten Days in the Valley