ABC is breaking up its Shondaland block of Thursday dramas in the fall as Kerry Washington’s visit from the stork pushes “Scandal” to midseason.
ABC is also expanding its Tuesday comedy block to a four-stack, shuffling “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” to make room for newbies on those nights.
On Thursday, new legal drama “Notorious” will move into “Scandal’s” 9 p.m. berth in the fall. “Scandal” will return in its familiar slot later in the year when Washington is ready to resume production. The fall scheduling amounts to a big vote of confidence in “Notorious,” as it will benefit from the lead-in from a resurgent “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Another legal-themed drama, “Conviction,” will fill the Monday 10 p.m. void left by “Castle’s” cancellation. With a strong performance by “Agent Carter” alum Hayley Atwell, “we think this is the procedural we’ve been looking for,” Channing Dungey, ABC’s newly appointed president of entertainment, said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters.
In all, ABC is adding nine new series for the 2016-17 season (see listings below), with five of them slated for fall debuts. The network also has an eight-hour event miniseries on the history of the LGBT rights movement, “When We Rise,” coming in February from writer-director Dustin Lance Black. And the Alphabet is joining the musical event parade with a three-hour filmed (not live) rendition of “Dirty Dancing.”
ABC is making some shuffles in its Tuesday and Wednesday comedy blocks. “The Middle” moves from its longtime home on Wednesday to the Tuesday lead-off slot, paired with newcomer “American Housewife.”
“Fresh Off the Boat” slides to 9 p.m., paired with “The Real O’Neals,” a late midseason entry. “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” moves to the 10 p.m. slot to make room for comedies. ABC has had a revolving door of dramas in the Tuesday 10 p.m. slot, most recently “Marvel’s Agent Carter.”
“Real O’Neals” earned its way to a second season after improving in its short run this season. The show “had gotten to a great creative place by the end of the season” and she was impressed by the producers’ plans for season two of the domestic comedy.
On Wednesday, “The Goldbergs” slides up a half-hour to 8 p.m. to be paired with the Minnie Driver starrer “Speechless.” “Modern Family” and “Blackish” stay put from 9-10 p.m., leading into the new Kiefer Sutherland actioner “Designated Survivor,” which Dungey called highly “cinematic.” “Speechless” is a big priority for ABC with its focus on a mother on a mission to help her special-needs son. Dungey called it “smart, funny, incisive, incredibly emotional and very, very warm.”
Dungey said the plan for midseason on Thursday is to return “Scandal” at 9 p.m. and slot the second season of Shondaland’s “The Catch” at 10 p.m. after “How to Get Away with Murder” ends its run.
ABC’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday lineups remain status quo. On Sunday the second season of mystery thriller “Secrets and Lies” will have a 10-episode run at 9 p.m., after which new time-travel drama “Time After Time” will move into the slot. Dungey described the show, based on the novel about H.G. Wells’ pursuit of Jack the Ripper, as “a perfect companion for ‘Once Upon a Time.’ ”
Dungey was pressed on the call about ABC’s decision to ax drama “Nashville” after four seasons and “Castle” after eight, especially after there was clear behind-the-scenes planning for both to return. “Looking at ratings and our own finances and some of the new development, decisions came down to the wire. We have to weigh and measure a lot of things,” she said. “At the end of the day, even though both were wonderful shows that were good performers for a long time, the future for us did not necessarily lie in those shows.”
Dungey said ABC was likely set with series orders for the coming season thought it would look to possibly redevelop two of this year’s pilots: drama “The Jury” and comedy “Pearl,” starring Candice Bergen.
Here is ABC’s fall schedule (new shows in bold)
8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00 p.m. “Conviction”
8:00 p.m. “The Middle” (new day/time)
8:30 p.m. “American Housewife”
9:00 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (new time)
9:30 p.m. “The Real O’Neals” (new time)
10:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (new time)
8:00 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (new time)
8:30 p.m. “Speechless”
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “black-ish”
10:00 p.m. “Designated Survivor”
8:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
9:00 p.m. “Notorious” / “Scandal”
10:00 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder” / “The Catch”
8:00 p.m. “Last Man Standing”
8:30 p.m. “Dr. Ken”
9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
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. “Once Upon a Time”
9:00 p.m. “Secrets and Lies”/ “Time After Time” (midseason)
10:00 p.m. “Quantico”
Here are descriptions of ABC’s new series
Lawyer and former First Daughter Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell, “Marvel’s Agent Carter”) is about to accept a job offered from her sexy nemesis, NY District Attorney Wayne Wallis, to avoid jail time for cocaine possession and avoid hurting her mother’s Senate campaign. Working with his team at the new Conviction Integrity Unit will let her use her brilliant mind to turn over cases, where there is credible suspicion of wrongful conviction, and give her a chance to turn things around with her high-powered political family.
In addition to Atwell, “Conviction” stars Eddie Cahill as Wayne Wallis, Shawn Ashmore as Sam Sullivan, Merrin Dungey as Maxine Barton, Emily Kinney as Tess Thompson, Manny Montana as Franklin “Frankie” Rios and Daniel di Tomasso as Jackson Morrison.
“Conviction” is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. “Conviction” is co-created by writer Liz Friedman (“Elementary,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and director Liz Friedlander (“The Following”). Friedman and Friedlander will executive produce with Mark Gordon (“Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Saving Private Ryan”) and Nick Pepper.
Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) returns to primetime in a conspiracy thriller as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington. He will struggle to prevent the country and his own family from falling into chaos, as he is thrust into one of the most difficult presidencies in history.
“Designated Survivor” stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Watts, Kal Penn as Seth Wheeler, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as James Ritter, and Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman.
“Designated Survvor” is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. David Guggenheim is creator and executive producer. In addition to Guggenheim, the series is executive produced by Simon Kinberg, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel, and Aditya Sood. Paul McGuigan directed the pilot episode.
“Notorious” is inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, who serve as executive producers. The series is a provocative look at the unique, sexy and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media. Josh Berman (“Blacklist,” “Bones,” “CSI”) is writer and executive producer, and Allie Hagan (“Suri’s Burn Book”) is writer and co-executive producer.
“Notorious” stars Piper Perabo (“Covert Affairs”) as Julia George, Daniel Sunjata (“Graceland”) as Jake Gregorian, Sepideh Moafi as Megan Byrd, Kate Jennings Grant as Louise Herrick, Ryan Guzman as Ryan, Kevin Zegers as Oscar Keaton, J. August Richards as Bradley Gregorian and Aimee Teegarden as Ella Benjamin.
“Notorious” is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. Michael Engler, Kenny Meiselas, Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry are also executive producers. Michael Engler directed the pilot.
“Still Star-Crossed,” a period drama from Shondaland, picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate. The series is based on the book by Melinda Taub.
“Still Star-Crossed” stars Wade Briggs (“Home and Away”) as Benvolio Montague, Anthony Head as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Zuleikha Robinson as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline, Ebonee Noel as Livia, Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Grant Bowler as Damiano Montague, Susan Wooldridge as Nurse, Torrance Coombs as Paris and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence.
Heather Mitchell (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) is writer and executive producer. Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Michael Goldstein are executive producers. Michael Offer is executive producer and director of the pilot, from ABC Studios.
TIME AFTER TIME
Based on the novel and movie “Time After Time,” executive producer/writer Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Scream” franchise, “Dawson’s Creek”) delivers a fantastical cat and mouse adventure through time when famed science fiction writer H.G. Wells is transported to modern day Manhattan in pursuit of Jack the Ripper. Once H.G. arrives in New York City, he finds a world he never thought possible and a young woman who captivates him.
The series stars Freddie Stroma (“Harry Potter” films) as H.G. Wells, Josh Bowman (“Revenge”) as John Stevenson/Jack the Ripper, Genesis Rodriguez (“Big Hero 6”) as Jane and Regina Taylor (“Dig”) as Vanessa Anders.
“Time After Time” is from Outerbanks Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television. Williamson and Marcos Siega (“Blindspot,” “The Following”) are executive producers. Siega directed the pilot. Williamson wrote the teleplay. “Time After Time” is based on the novel written by Karl Alexander.
Katie Otto (Katy Mixon, “Mike and Molly”), a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring.
The series stars Katy Mixon as Katie Otto, Diedrich Bader as Jeff Otto, Johnny Sequoyah as Taylor, Daniel DiMaggio as Harrison, Julia Butters as Anna-Kat, Carly Hughes as Angela and Ali Wong as Doris.
“American Housewife” is written by Sarah Dunn (“Spin City,” “Bunheads”) and produced by Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. Aaron Kaplan, Rick Weiner and Kenny Schwartz are executive producers. Ruben Fleischer directed and was executive producer of the pilot.
Based on the web series, “Downward Dog” is about a struggling millennial, Nan (Emmy-nominated Allison Tolman, “Fargo”), from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin. One session at obedience school already makes them realize that even at their worst they may be the best thing for each other.
The series stars Allison Tolman as Nan, Lucas Neff as Jason, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Jenn, Barry Rothbart as Kevin and Mo Collins as Kim. Samm Hodges is the voice of Martin.
“Downward Dog” creators/writers Samm Hodges and Michael Killen will executive produce with Mosaic Media Group’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen, and Animal’s Kathy Dziubek. Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky were executive producers of the pilot. The series is from Legendary Television and ABC Studios.
Alice (Jenna Elfman, “Dharma & Greg,” “Friends With Benefits,” “EDtv”) is a fiercely independent career woman whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the love of her life – a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as a child suddenly reappears to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.
The series stars Jenna Elfman as Alice, Stephen Schneider as Ben, Rachel Dratch as Mary (VO), Nicholas Coombe as Andy, Matreya Scarrwener as Dora and Erica Tremblay as Bunny.
The live action/CGI hybrid comes from “The Goldbergs” team Adam F. Goldberg (writer/executive producer), David Guarascio (writer/executive producer) and Doug Robinson (executive producer). Mary CG animation is designed by Patrick Osborne (creator of Academy Award- winning animated short, “The Feast”), who is also executive producer. The pilot was directed by Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum,” “Cheaper by the Dozen”), who is also executive producer. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, Happy Madison and ABC Studios.
Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver, “About a Boy,” “The Riches,” “Good Will Hunting”) is a mom on a mission who will do anything for her husband, Jimmy, and kids Ray, Dylan, and JJ, her eldest son with special needs. As Maya fights injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves and searches for just the right person to give JJ his “voice.”
“Speechless” stars Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Jimmy DiMeo, Mason Cook as Ray DiMeo, Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Kyla Kenedy as Dylan DiMeo and Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth.
Scott Silveri (“Friends”) writes and is executive producer of the show, along with “Fresh Off the Boat”’s Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar. The series is from Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.
WHEN WE RISE (Limited Series Event)
“When We Rise” chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today.
Written and created by Oscar®-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” ”Big Love,” “J. Edgar”), the limited series event stars Guy Pearce as LGBT activist Cleve Jones, Mary-Louise Parker as women’s rights leader Roma Guy and Rachel Griffiths as her wife, social justice activist Diane. Also starring are Austin McKenzie as Younger Cleve Jones, Emily Skeggs as Younger Roma Guy, Jonathan Majors as Younger Ken Jones, and Fiona Dourif as Younger Diane.
The miniseries is executive produced by Black, Laurence Mark (“Julie & Julia,”“Dreamgirls,”“I, Robot,” “Jerry Maguire”), Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty,” “Milk”) and Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting,” “Milk”) for ABC. Van Sant will direct the two-hour premiere of the seven-episode-limited series event. “When We Rise” is from ABC Studios.
“Dirty Dancing,” the global pop-cultural phenomenon, becomes a three-hour filmed musical event this season on the ABC Television Network. An adaptation of the beloved 1987 romantic drama and instant music classic, “Dirty Dancing” will be produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Allison Shearmur Productions, executive produced by Allison Shearmur (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “The Hunger Games” franchise; “Cinderella”); Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the screenplay for the original movie; and Grammy Award-nominee Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”), who also serves as executive music producer. Wayne Blair (“The Sapphires,” “Septembers of Shiraz”) is the director, and Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton,” “Bring It On,” “In the Heights”) is the choreographer.
“Dirty Dancing” stars Abigail Breslin as Baby, Debra Messing as Marjorie Houseman, Bruce Greenwood as Dr. Jake Houseman, Nicole Scherzinger as Penny, Colt Prattes as Johnny, Sarah Hyland as Lisa Houseman, Tony Roberts as Max Kellerman, Trevor Einhorn as Neil, Shane Harper as Robbie Gould, J. Quinton Johnson as Marco, Beau “Casper” Smart as Billy, Katey Sagal as Vivian Pressman and Billy Dee Williams as Tito.
UNTITLED DAVID BLAINE
David Blaine returns to ABC for his final primetime special to follow-up his critically acclaimed ratings smash “David Blaine: Real or Magic,” with a groundbreaking new primetime event. The special reunites Blaine with Emmy Award-winning director Matthew Akers, who helmed “David Blaine: Real or Magic,” and is executive produced by David Blaine, along with Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor for Radical Media.
ALI: THE CHAMPION (working title)
An athlete, a humanitarian, and a civil rights activist, Muhammad Ali will be honored for his goodwill efforts that have impacted individuals from different walks of life around the world. In a new, two-hour special featuring live musical performances, his closest friends and contemporaries, admirers come together to celebrate the man who’s known the world over as simply The Greatest. The project is executive produced by Ron Weisner.