Every year during upfronts week, ABC would consistently lead the pack among broadcasters by ordering more new series for the upcoming season—usually a double-digit number—than any of its rivals. But under new ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke, who took over for Channing Dungey last November, the network has trimmed its new series orders to a number more in line with the other broadcast networks: adding just two dramas and one new comedy airing next fall, and introducing three more series at midseason.
The one new freshman comedy, Black-ish spinoff Mixed-ish, will take over its parent show’s Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot, with Black-ish shifting a half-hour later, to 9:30 p.m.
Last year, ABC launched seven new shows in the fall and four in midseason, “which was just too many,” Burke told reporters. Going forward,“we’ll only be launching the few [shows] that we think can break through.”
Mixed-ish, which ABC picked up earlier this month, will focus on the childhood of Rainbow Johnson, the character played by Tracee Ellis Ross, and her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s.
The network said Tuesday morning that Tiffany Haddish will host and executive produce a revival of the classic variety show, Kids Say the Darndest Things. Burke said since she arrived at ABC, she has been asked who she would most like to bring to the network, and Haddish was always her answer.
Separately, ABC has signed Jimmy Kimmel to a new three-year deal to continue hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Before the combined Disney upfront this afternoon at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York, ABC unveiled what it called the most stable schedule in more than a decade.
All new series fulfill Burke’s top upfront priority, which she explained to Adweek earlier this year: “Whether it’s up or down, ABC has always been No. 1 with women 18-49, and we lost that mantle this fall. So my biggest priority is getting that back.” To that end, she’s looking for new shows with “female-forward stories that are not female-exclusive or male-repellant. But that have, at their core, an idea or character or concept that is appealing to women. I want to get back that idea—and we’re not far from it—that the home for the best shows for women on broadcast television is at ABC.”
ABC is keeping Mondays unchanged, with Dancing With the Stars (“We’re going after bigger stars than we have a long time,” said Burke) leading into The Good Doctor.
Tuesday will kick off with The Conners, followed by Bless This Mess, in a new time slot. Mixed-ish takes over at 9 p.m., leading into Black-ish and new drama Emergence, about a police chief (Allison Tolman) who takes in a young kid she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what occurred.
The Wednesday comedy block is intact, with The Goldbergs, Goldbergs spinoff Schooled, Modern Family (renewed in February for its 11th and final season) and Single Parents. The night concludes with new drama Stumptown, based on the graphic novel series about an outspoken army veteran (Cobie Smulders) who becomes a private investigator.
On Thursday, ABC benches Grey’s spinoff Station 19 in the fall in favor of the lineup it aired at midseason: Grey’s Anatomy, A Million Little Things and How to Get Away With Murder.
Friday starts with the relocated American Housewife, followed by Fresh Off the Boat, shifting an half-hour later, and two hours of 20/20.
Saturday Night Football will air on Saturday.
Sunday kicks off with America’s Funniest Home Videos, Kids Say the Darndest Things, Shark Tank and relocated drama The Rookie.
ABC has three new shows set for midseason: dramas The Baker and the Beauty (about a Cuban baker who falls for a superstar and fashion mogul) and For Life (about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, helping fellow inmates with their cases while trying to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit). There’s also family comedy United We Fall, starring Christina Vidal and Will Sasso as parents of two young kids.
ABC fall 2019-20 schedule
(New programs in ALL CAPS)
8-9 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars
9-10 p.m. — The Good Doctor
8-8:30 p.m. — The Conners
8:30-9 p.m. — Bless This Mess (new time slot)
9-9:30 p.m. — MIXED-ISH
9:30-10 p.m. — Black-ish (new time slot)
10-11 p.m. — EMERGENCE
8-8:30 p.m. — The Goldbergs
8:30-9 p.m. — Schooled
9-9:30 p.m. — Modern Family
9:30-10 p.m. — Single Parents
10-11 p.m. — STUMPTOWN
8-9 p.m. — Grey’s Anatomy
9-10 p.m. — A Million Little Things
10-11 p.m. — How to Get Away With Murder
8-8:30 p.m. — American Housewife (new time slot)
8:30-9 p.m. — Fresh Off the Boat (new time slot)
9-11 p.m. — 20/20
8-11 p.m. — Saturday Night Football
7-8 p.m. — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8-9 p.m. — KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
9-10 p.m. — Shark Tank
10-11 p.m. — The Rookie (new time slot)
American Idol, The Bachelor, THE BAKER AND THE BEAUTY, FOR LIFE, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Station 19, UNITED WE FALL.