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ABC 2017-18 Fall Schedule: Comedies Shuffle, ‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ to Friday, Sunday Loads Up Unscripted

ABC is doing major surgery on its fall primetime lineup, shuffling its Tuesday and Wednesday comedy blocks, adding “Marvel’s Inhumans” and “Once Upon a Time” on Friday and loading up Sunday with unscripted series including “Shark Tank.”

There’s no word yet about ABC’s scheduling plan for its revival of “American Idol” but the unscripted block on Sunday seems to support speculation that “Idol” will land on the night.

The Alphabet’s roster for the 2017-18 season also includes a “Little Mermaid Live” musical event and a live “Rolling Stone 50” musical tribute.

“American Housewife,” a promising freshman comedy, moves into the post “Modern Family” slot at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after airing this season on Tuesday behind “The Middle.” “Blackish,” in turn, relocates to Tuesday 9 p.m. to serve as the lead-in to new comedy “The Mayor,” starring Brandon Michael Hall as a rapper who winds up as mayor of his hometown.

“We feel that after three years behind ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Blackish’ is ready to anchor its own night of television. The show is creatively on fire,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said. ABC unveiled the schedule hours before its formal upfront presentation today at Lincoln Center.

“Middle” remains the Tuesday 8 p.m. anchor. “Fresh Off the Boat” slides down a half-hour to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday is capped at 10 p.m. by the Jason Ritter drama “The Gospel of Kevin.” The previous occupant of that slot, “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” will move to Friday 9.m. after the eight episodes of “Inhumans” wrap.

“Gospel of Kevin,” per Dungey “tackles spirituality in a way that feels fresh and heartwarming. Jason Ritter is really incredible.”

Dungey acknowledged that the fraught state of the nation’s cultural and political environment did influence the network’s focus on shows that could provide escape from the drumbeat of dour headlines.

“What the mood of the country has told us is that television is a little bit of an escape,” Dungey said. Viewers are seeking “comedy and fun and games — we’re looking to provide more of that. People want to use television to connect and to experience and to feel. That did frame a lot of our development thinking this season.” “Gospel of Kevin” seems to be in the tonal spirit of NBC’s hit “This Is Us.” Dungey called it “a show that really makes you feel. It’s heartwarming and joyful. It also has a procedural component to it (that makes it) easy to come in and out.”

The Wednesday block remains the mostly same with “The Goldbergs,” “Speechless” and “Modern Family” in their regular slots. “Designated Survivor” is also staying put for season two at 10 p.m.

On Monday, new medical drama “The Good Doctor,” from “House” creator David Shore, takes the post-“Dancing With the Stars” berth at 10 p.m. Dungey said the show was one of ABC’s most “broad appeal” new offerings. “David Shore has once again created a defining medical drama,” Dungey said.

Thursday is once again a TGIT stack of Shondaland’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”

The cancellations of comedies “Last Man Standing” and “Dr. Ken” have opened up Friday to dramas. “Once Upon a Time” moves from its longtime Sunday 8 p.m. home to the lead-off hour, paired with “Marvel’s Inhumans” at 9 p.m. Dungey said the move was driven in part by fan pressure to put the fantasy-themed “OUAT” on the same night as its Marvel dramas. “OUAT” and “SHIELD” both received full 22-episode orders, she added.

As “OUAT” reboots the storyline next season with many older characters leaving, ABC is eager to see how the show will perform in the fall without competition from NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” Dungey said. Filling out Friday, “20/20” stays put at 10 p.m.

Saturday remains a college football field in the fall. Sunday is seeing big changes, with Friday mainstay “Shark Tank” relocating to 9 p.m. and the game show “To Tell the Truth” sliding in at 8 p.m. New drama “Ten Days in the Valley” lands at 10 p.m., replacing the cancelled “American Crime.” Some things, however, never change: “America’s Funniest Home Videos” stays put for season 28 at 7 p.m.

Dungey said ABC sees the unscripted Sunday block as an “alternative to football for audiences looking to relax at the end of the weekend.” Drama “Ten Days in the Valley” is a thriller toplined by Kyra Sedgwick about a television producer whose young daughter goes missing. “Kyra Sedgwick is incredible,” Dungey said. The character “belongs among our pantheon of strong, powerful women.”

More unscripted series are in the works for later in the season, including a kid-centric spinoff of “Dancing With the Stars” and “Bachelor Winter Games,” featuring past contenders on the dating show. Two other comedies — “Alex, Inc., starring Zach Braff, and domestic laffer “Splitting Up Together” — and Shonda Rhimes drama “For the People,” are on deck for midseason.

Here is ABC’s fall schedule and new series descriptions:

 

MONDAY:                8:00 p.m.         “Dancing with the Stars”

10:00 p.m.       “The Good Doctor”

 

TUESDAY:                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”

 

WEDNESDAY:         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”

 

THURSDAY:             8:00 p.m.         “Grey’s Anatomy”

9:00 p.m.         “Scandal”

10:00 p.m.       “How to Get Away with Murder”  

 

FRIDAY:                    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”

 

SATURDAY:             8:00 p.m.         “Saturday Night Football”

 

SUNDAY:                  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”

 

 

NEW FALL AND MIDSEASON SERIES:

DRAMAS

THE CROSSING

Refugees from a war-torn country seek asylum in a small American fishing town, only the country these people are from is America – and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the government tries to uncover the truth behind this mysterious migration only one thing is certain: The lives of the people here — both the townspeople and these newcomers — will never be the same.  Writers Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie executive produce with Jason Reed.

“The Crossing” stars Steve Zahn as Jude Miller, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Rick Gomez as Nestor, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Marcuis Harris as Caleb, Simone Kessel as Rebecca, Kelly Missal as Hannah, Rob Campbell as Paul, Grant Harvey as Roy, Bailey Skodje as Leah, Jon D’Leo as Will, Luc Roderique as Bryce and Tommy Bastow as Marshall.

The pilot is directed by Rob Bowman. The series is from ABC Studios.

DECEPTION

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion — the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career.  The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (“Chuck”) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter.  Illusionist David Kwong (“Now You See Me”) will co-produce.

“Deception” stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen

The series is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television. “Deception” is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer.

FOR THE PEOPLE

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” this new Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country – all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The series, from ABC Studios, stars Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.

THE GOOD DOCTOR

Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, “Bates Motel”), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from David Shore (“House”), and “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim.

The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim and Sebastian Lee are also executive producers. Seth Gordon directed the pilot and is also an executive producer.

THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN

Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, “Parenthood”), a cluelessly self-serving person, is on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Once Upon a Time”) and niece.  On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette appears to him and presents him with a mission – to save the world.  A light drama from executive producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Resurrection,” “Reaper”).

“The Gospel of Kevin” stars Jason Ritter as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Amy, J. August Richards as Nate, Chloe East as Reese, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler and India de Beaufort as Kristin.

The pilot is directed by Paul McGuigan. The series is from ABC Studios.

MARVEL’S INHUMANS

“Marvel’s Inhumans” explores the never-before-told epic adventure of the royal family including Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans, with a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city. After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself. The legendary comic book series will be brought to life in a way that has never been done before, as a version of the first two episodes will be shown globally in IMAX theaters for a two-week period beginning September 1, 2017. ABC will then air the entirety of the series on the network, with additional exclusive content that can only been seen on ABC.

“Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Ken Leung as Karnak, Ellen Woglom as an undisclosed character, Sonya Balmores as Auran and Mike Moh as Triton.

The series is executive produced by Scott Buck, along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory with Buck serving as showrunner.  Roel Reiné will direct the first two episodes. This series is a Marvel and IMAX project and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as John Bird, Kick Gurry as Pete Greene, Erika Christensen as Ali Petrovich, Felix Solis as David Gomez, Josh Randall as Tom Petrovich, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Matt Abigail Pniowsky as Lake and Francois Battiste as Gus.

“Ten Days in the Valley” is from Skydance Television. It is created and written by Tassie Cameron. Executive producers are Tassie Cameron, Kyra Sedgwick, Jill Littman, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.

COMEDIES

ALEX, INC.

Based on the podcast StartUp, Alex Schuman (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) is a brilliant radio journalist, husband and father of two who is about to do something crazy – quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought. Zach Braff stars, directs and is executive producer with Matt Tarses (“Scrubs”) and Davis Entertainment (“Dr. Ken,” “Blacklist”).

Matt Tarses is writer and executive producer. Zach Braff is director and executive producer. John Davis and John Fox are executive producers of the series, from Davis Entertainment, as are Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti  and Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media) in association with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.

 

THE MAYOR

Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century – running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”) and friends, including Valentina (“Glee’s” Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

The series stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, Marcel Spears as TK and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina.

From executive producer Daveed Diggs (Tony winner for Broadway’s “Hamilton”), writer/executive producer Jeremy Bronson (“Speechless,” “The Mindy Project,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and executive producer Jamie Tarses (“Happy Endings”), the series is from ABC Studios. The pilot is directed by executive producer James Griffiths (“black-ish”).

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER

Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, “The Office,” Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.

The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo.

Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen and Hella Joof are also executive producers of “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the original series created by Heeno. It is produced by A Very Good Production and Piece of Pie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Dean Holland directed the pilot.

ALTERNATIVE 

AMERICAN IDOL

ABC is bringing back “American Idol.” The network, along with producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, will revive television’s most successful and recognized music competition series for the 2017-2018 season, bringing back the fan-favorite and making more dreams come true. A host and judges will be announced at a later time.

“American Idol”‘s profound effect on the music industry is far-reaching and continually growing, launching the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, among many others.  “American Idol” contestants have sold more than 60 million albums, resulting in more than 80 Platinum records and 95 Gold records. Its participants have generated more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits and sold more than 260 million digital downloads.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

THE BACHELOR WINTER GAMES

America’s favorite participants from past seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” from arch rivals to villains, will take competitive dating to a chilling new level.  In an ode to the Winter Olympic Games and slated to premiere in February 2018, “The Bachelor Winter Games” will reunite the all-stars at a luxurious winter resort, where they will go head-to-head in winter-themed athletic challenges, including the toughest sport of all – love.

“The Bachelor Winter Games” is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton to executive produce.

DANCING WITH THE STARS JUNIOR

A fresh new take on an established favorite, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” will pair celebrity kids and kids of celebrities with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, to be announced at a later date.

Slated to debut in Spring 2018, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions

(Pictured: “Marvel’s Inhumans”)

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