Fall TV Takes Shape: Double ‘Law & Order,’ ‘Conners’ Pack Up & Reality Rules

The Conners Fall Schedule
ABC/Andrew Eccles

ABC and NBC recently announced their 2020–21 schedules, joining CBS, Fox and The CW. Premiere dates are TBD, but here’s how fall is shaping up.

The Conners Pack Up

ABC is shifting the blue-collar hit from Tuesday to anchor Wednesday at 9/8c—a move that’s “a no-brainer,” says Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment. The Bachelorette takes over two hours on Tuesday, but the absence of the night’s comedy block isn’t permanent, Burke promises. Meanwhile, CBS will stick with a Thursday sitcom lineup (Young Sheldon, Mom, The Unicorn and new entry B Positive).

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Reality Rules

Reality shows “are proving easier to plan for [than scripted series],” says Burke, noting producers are working out how to shoot shows that utilize “intimate spaces,” like Dancing With the Stars. Also for fall: Fox’s MasterChef Junior, CBS’s Survivor, The CW’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? and NBC’s The Voice.

Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU (Jessica Burstein/NBCU Photo Bank)

Double Law & Order

NBC is scrapping an hour of comedies on Thursday to make room for two Law & Order series. SVU leads in to the return of Det. Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) on the spinoff Organized Crime. “It’s such a great fix for the night,” says Jeff Bader, NBC’s president of program planning, strategy and research. The dramas will be up against ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and A Million Little Things; CBS’s Mom, The Unicorn and Evil; and football on Fox.