Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York continues with a look at ABC's plans for the 2018-19 season. We'll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week. See more upfronts coverage...
Highlights and notes
- With plenty of holes to fill as a result of an aggressive campaign of cancellations, ABC ordered eight new scripted shows for next season. (That will likely be this year's high among all networks, though it depends on the final tally for CBS tomorrow.) Those shows are detailed below.
- For the first time in nearly a decade, none of those newcomers come from producer Shonda Rhimes, who is now developing shows for Netflix. (Her Thursday night ABC lineup, however, remains intact for now.)
- DWTS spinoff Dancing With the Stars: Juniors, originally announced for the 2017-18 season, will finally debut this fall. It will hold down the American Idol Sunday timeslot until the singing competition returns in early 2019.
- Also coming this fall is Alec Baldwin's new talk show The Alec Baldwin Show, which had a sneak preview (under the title Sundays with Alec Baldwin) in March.
- ABC is launching a new Friday night comedy block, and is relocating Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless to that night in the fall. The move was necessitated by the inclusion of 10 comedy shows in ABC's fall lineup—the high among all networks. Sunday nights, meanwhile, will be reserved for unscripted programming.
Renewed and canceled
The status of each of last season's shows is indicated below. Showing a bit less mercy than it did a year ago, ABC canceled a whopping nine programs on Friday afternoon alone and 15 scripted shows altogether, including a trio from last summer, to lead all networks. In fact, heading into the weekend, the only current scripted program still on the bubble was Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that show was finally renewed yesterday afternoon (albeit for just 13 episodes, which won't air until the summer of 2019).
Scripted shows are in bold below.
|Renewed||Canceled or Ended||Fate Uncertain|
America's Funniest Home Videos
Dancing With the Stars
For the People
Fresh Off the Boat
The Good Doctor
How to Get Away With Murder
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Splitting Up Together
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
Once Upon a Time
Somewhere Between **
Ten Days in the Valley
|$100,000 Pyramid *
The Bachelorette *
Battle of the Network Stars
Celebrity Family Feud *
The Gong Show *
The Match Game *
The Proposal *
Steve Harvey's Funderdome
Sundays With Alec Baldwin *
Take Two *
To Tell the Truth *
The Toy Box
ABC's 2018-19 primetime schedule
New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.
|SUN||AFV||Dancing With the Stars: Juniors||Shark Tank||The Alec Baldwin Show|
|MON||Dancing With the Stars||The Good Doctor|
|TUE||Roseanne||The Kids Are Alright||black-ish||Splitting Up Together||The Rookie|
|WED||The Goldbergs||American Housewife*||Modern Family||Single Parents||A Million Little Things|
|THU||Grey's Anatomy||Station 19||How to Get Away With Murder|
|FRI||Fresh Off the Boat*||Speechless*||Child Support*||20/20|
|SAT||Saturday Night College Football **|
ABC's new shows at a glance
The eight first-year series ordered for ABC's 2018-19 season are detailed below. ABC passed on pilots including a gender-reversed, half-hour comedy remake of The Greatest American Hero (which was to star New Girl's Hannah Simone), a remake of 1970s crime drama Get Christie Love (which would have starred Kylie Bunbury), a sort-of gender-reversed, African-American take on Blue Bloods called The Finest, a new Kat Dennings comedy based on the book How May We Hate You, and the quirky fish-out-of-water Pacific Northwest cop show Staties (which, among other characters, had a cop who talked to trees), just to name a few. And the network has neither ordered nor rejected the soapy multi-level-marketing dramedy False Profits, instead commissioning three additional scripts. (A decision on a potential midseason pickup will be made at a later date.) The network is also redeveloping its previously ordered (then un-ordered) sitcom that would have starred Alec Baldwin as a fading TV star. (Baldwin remains as a producer.)
DRAMA coming in midseason
Former prosecutor Marcia Clark (yes, that one) teams with the duo of Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain (Dollhouse, Lie to Me) for a serialized legal drama that shares a few similarities with Clark's own life. Robin Tunney (The Mentalist) stars as a Los Angeles district attorney who loses a high-profile murder trial featuring a celebrity suspect (Lost's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). (He's an actor, not a football player, in case you were wondering.) Devastated, she relocates to the Pacific Northwest for a quieter life out of the spotlight, only to be drawn back into the case eight years later when the celebrity is suspected of another killing. Merrin Dungey, Adam Rayner, and Breckin Meyer also star.
DRAMA coming in midseason
Based on a Spanish series and produced by Eva Longoria, this primetime soap is set inside a family-owned luxury Miami Beach hotel. Demián Bichir heads the cast as the hotel's wealthy owner while Roselyn Sanchez plays his (current) second wife, and the upstairs/downstairs storylines will revolve around their family as well as the hotel's staff and guests. The adaptation comes from Brian Tanen (Devious Maids, Ugly Betty).
The Kids Are Alright
COMEDY Tuesdays at 8:30p
Not content to have comedies set in the 1980s (The Goldbergs) and '90s (Fresh Off the Boat plus newcomer Schooled; see below) next season, ABC will have a '70s-set sitcom too. Created by Tim Doyle (Last Man Standing), the ensemble comedy follows a large Irish-Catholic family with 10 people living under one roof. Michael Cudlitz and Mary McCormack head the cast. Kids won the ABC lottery and will have Roseanne as its lead-in this fall.
A Million Little Things
DRAMA Wednesdays at 10p
The first new pilot pickup announced by ABC last week, Things appears to be the network's answer to This Is Us (or, perhaps, The Big Chill). It's the first drama series from comedy veteran D.J. Nash (Up All Night), and it follows a group of eight friends in Boston who receive a wake-up call when a member of their group dies unexpectedly. The ensemble includes Ron Livingston (Office Space), Romany Malco (Weeds), James Roday (Psych), Stéphanie Szostak (Satisfaction), Christina Moses (The Originals), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Christina Ochoa (Blood Drive), and Allison Miller (Go On). (Note that one role is being recast.)
DRAMA Tuesdays at 10p
Castle fans won't have long to mourn the show's demise. That show's creator, Andrew Marlowe, has a very similar-sounding procedural, Take Two, launching on ABC next month. And Castle star Nathan Fillion has his own (not entirely dissimilar) newcomer arriving this fall. Ordered straight to series without a pilot last October, The Rookie comes from one-time Castle showrunner Alexi Hawley (brother of Fargo's Noah Hawley) and stars Fillion as a "small-town guy" who gives up his life to move to Los Angeles and become the LAPD's oldest rookie cop. It's based on a true story, and it looks like it will share some of Castle's sense of humor, though it may be a bit more action-oriented. Afton Williamson (Banshee), Richard T. Jones (Wisdom of the Crowd), Eric Winter (Rosewood), and Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter) also star. Rather than landing in Castle's old Monday timeslot (where The Good Doctor is currently performing well), Rookie will air on Tuesdays.
COMEDY coming in midseason
A year ago, ABC passed on picking up a spinoff to its hit 1980s comedy The Goldbergs even though the pilot tested well. But the network reconsidered, and snuck that pilot on the air as an episode of The Goldbergs in January. It performed better than expected, and ABC ordered the spinoff to series last month. Set during the 1990s, Schooled focuses on the faculty and staff at Philadelphia's William Penn Academy. Tim Meadows, Bryan Callen, and AJ Michalka lead the ensemble, with all three reprising their characters from The Goldbergs. Nia Long, who was one of the featured actors in that pilot, will not be in the new series, having joined the cast of NCIS: Los Angeles.
COMEDY Wednesdays at 9:30p
Apparently the hottest comedy pilot ABC had this spring, Single Parents stars SNL's Taran Killam as just that—a single man trying to raise his seven-year-old daughter. He seeks help managing his life by joining a support group for single parents, where he meets the likes of Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett. The ensemble comedy comes from New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and writer J.J. Philbin, another New Girl alumnus (and former SNL writer).
DRAMA/COMEDY coming in midseason
An hourlong action-dramedy from TV veteran David Hemingson (The Catch, Kitchen Confidential) and produced by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Cougar Town), Whiskey Cavalier centers on an FBI/CIA inter-agency task force led by Scott Foley (Scandal) and Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead). Note that Cohan will continue to appear part-time on TWD, at least during this fall's half-season.