ABC is mixing things up a bit in its fall schedule, marking the first network this week to launch an excess of new series at the top of the season. Tuesday’s announcement brought word that five freshmen — The Good Doctor, The Mayor, The Gospel of Kevin, Inhumans and previously ordered Ten Days in the Valley — are all on the initial line-up.
The broad strokes of the new ABC schedule are largely the same. A new drama (The Good Doctor) will air after Dancing With the Stars on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will continue to be home to two-hour comedy blocks and Thursday remains home to Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT” trio of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. But two days are seeing some substantial changes, as Shark Tank moves from its longtime Friday roost to anchor Sunday nights with game show To Tell the Truth — ceded Friday to genre drama. It’s a move that’s worked, to varying degrees of success, for NBC and Fox in recent years.
Friday will now start with the retooled Once Upon a Time, leading into new Marvel entry Inhumans. The Friday slot puts considerably less pressure on the Disney co. love child. Even in success, linear expectations are not high at the start of the weekend. (20/20 will remain at 10 p.m.) Several years of middling returns for Sunday dramas may change with the addition of alternative programming. After all, ABC’s biggest Sunday draw is still 7 o’clock’s America’s Funniest Home Videos. It’s not all reality, though. Previously ordered Ten Days in the Valley is getting the 10 o’clock slot.
As for moves, there are some interesting ones. Tuesday’s comedy block is heavily tweaked. The Middle still anchoring the night, it will now lead directly into Fresh Off the Boat. 9 o’clock sees a new night for Black-ish, which is being paired with freshman The Mayor. The night will end with dramedy The Gospel of Kevin. Wednesday remains intact, with the exception of American Housewife moving into the old Black-ish home.
All in all, ABC is staying the course with what’s worked this season and making new plays in the slots where it has had trouble. What’s on deck for midseason is substantial — and that’s before considering the still-undated return of American Idol. Holding are newcomers The Crossing, Deception, For the People, Alex, Inc. and Splitting Up Together as well as recently announced spinoffs The Bachelor Winter Games and Dancing With the Stars Junior. Returning dramas Agents of SHIELD and Quantico are still on the bench.
ABC’s full fall schedule
8 p.m. — Dancing with the Stars
10 p.m. — The Good Doctor
8 p.m. — The Middle
8:30 p.m. — Fresh Off the Boat
9 p.m. — Black-ish
9:30 p.m. — The Mayor
10 p.m. — The Gospel of Kevin
8 p.m. — The Goldbergs
8:30 p.m. — Speechless
9 p.m. — Modern Family
9:30 p.m. — American Housewife
10 p.m. — Designated Survivor
8 p.m. — Grey’s Anatomy
9 p.m. — Scandal
10 p.m. — How to Get Away With Murder
8 p.m. — Once Upon a Time
9 p.m. — Inhumans
10 p.m. — 20/20
8 p.m. — Saturday Night Football
7 p.m. — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 p.m. — To Tell the Truth
9 p.m. — Shark Tank
10 p.m. — Ten Days in the Valley