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‘Dancing With the Stars’ to Open Season Early for ABC

It wil avoid premiere showdown with 'The Voice' on Monday; net staggers Thursday drama bows

Dancing With the Stars,” which has seen a ratings downturn of late opposite NBC’s “The Voice,” will kick off its fall edition one week before the singing competition.

The hoofing vet, returning Sept. 16,  is one of four ABC entertainment series bowing before the start of the traditional series, according to ABC’s fall premiere dates released Tuesday. Also getting an early start are Friday’s returning “Last Man Standing,” “The Neighbors” and “Shark Tank” — all of which premiere on Sept. 20.

Friday newsmag “20/20” officially launches its season on Sept. 6.

Most of ABC’s remaining series will open in premiere week (Sept. 23-29), though four are being held back a bit.

Monday vet “Castle” kicks off its season on the first night of the TV season (Sept. 23), opposite the high-profile new dramas “The Blacklist” on NBC and “Hostages” on CBS.

The net’s all-new Tuesday lineup — “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Goldbergs,” “Trophy Wife” and “Lucky 7” — bows on Sept. 24, meaning “S.H.I.E.L.D.” will go head-to-head with the season premiere of CBS juggernaut “NCIS.”

Top comedy “Modern Family” will open its fifth season with an hourlong episode on Sept. 25, providing a strong lead-in for the second-season premiere of “Nashville” at 10. Vet “The Middle” and newcomer “Back in the Game” also debut on this night, with 9:30 p.m. newbie “Super Fun Night” premiering a week later, Oct. 2.

ABC is staggering its Thursday drama premieres, with “Grey’s Anatomy” going solo on Sept. 26, launching with a two-hour episode. “Scandal” starts its third season one week later (Oct. 3), and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” comes aboard on the third Thursday of the season (Oct. 10).

Sunday dramas “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge” and “Betrayal” roll out on Sept. 29. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” returns on Oct. 6.

ABC FALL PREMIERE DATES

(new shows in bold)

Friday, September, 6

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “20/20

Monday, September 16

8:00-10:00 p.m.                             “Dancing with the Stars

Friday, September 20

8:00-8:30 p.m.                               “Last Man Standing

8:30-9:00 p.m.                               “The Neighbors

9:00-10:00 p.m.                             “Shark Tank”

Monday, September 23

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “Castle”

Tuesday, September 24

8:00-9:00 p.m.                               “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

9:00-9:30 p.m.                               The Goldbergs

9:30-10:00 p.m.                             “Trophy Wife”

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “Lucky 7”

Wednesday, September 25

8:00-8:30 p.m.                               “The Middle”

8:30-9:00 p.m.                               “Back in the Game”

9:00-10:00 p.m.                             “Modern Family” (one-hour premiere)

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “Nashville”

Thursday, September 26

9:00-11:00 p.m.                             “Grey’s Anatomy” (two-hour premiere)

Sunday, September 29

8:00-9:00 p.m.                               “Once Upon a Time”

9:00-10:00 p.m.                             “Revenge”

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “Betrayal”

Wednesday, October 2

9:30-10:00 p.m.                             “Super Fun Night”

Thursday, October 3

10:00-11:00 p.m.                           “Scandal”

Sunday, October 6

7:00-8:00 p.m.                               “America’s Funniest Home Videos”

Thursday, October 10

8:00-9:00 p.m.                               Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

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