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ABC Announces Midseason Schedule

ABC has unveiled its plans in midseason, which will include new drama “Time After Time,” new comedy “Imaginary Mary,” new seasons of dramas “The Catch” and “American Crime,” event series “When We Rise,” live musical event “Dirty Dancing,” and the returns of “Scandal,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Designated Survivor.” Upcoming sitcom “Downward Dog” will be held back until the summer.

What follows is the schedule:

Thursday, January 26:
8:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
9:00 p.m. “Scandal” (season premiere)

Monday, February 27
9:00 p.m. “When We We Rise” (premiere)

Sunday, March 5
8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time” (return)
9:00 p.m. “Time After Time” (premiere, two hours)

Wednesday, March 8
10:00 p.m. “Designated Survivor” (return)

Thursday, March 9
10 p.m. “The Catch” (series premiere)

Sunday, March 12
9:00 p.m. “Time After Time” (time period premiere)
10:00 p.m. “American Crime” (season premiere)

Wednesday, March 29
8:30 p.m. “Imaginary Mary” (preview)

Tuesday, April 4
9:30 p.m. “Imaginary Mary” (time period premiere)

Wednesday, May 4
8:00 p.m. “Dirty Dancing”

New Program Descriptions

“THE CATCH”
“The Catch” is a sexy, scintillating game of cat and mouse between L.A.’s top private investigator, Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos), and the man she loves, Benjamin Jones (Peter Krause), the world’s most formidable con artist. At the beginning of season two, con man Benjamin Jones has gone from committing the ultimate betrayal to performing the ultimate sacrifice, when he turned himself in to the FBI to save Alice from wrongful imprisonment. Now in jail, Ben is forced to reckon with his criminal past, while the team at Anderson Vaughan Investigations must come to terms with getting in bed with the bad guys. How will Alice and Ben game the system — and each other — to stay together and overcome their less-than-legal pasts?

“The Catch” stars Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) as Alice Vaughan, Peter Krause (“Parenthood”) as Benjamin Jones, Jay Hayden as Danny Yoon, Rose Rollins as Valerie Anderson, Sonya Walger (“Lost”) as Margot Bishop, Elvy Yost as Sophie Novak and John Simm as Rhys Griffiths.

“The Catch” is from Shondaland and ABC Studios. Allan Heinberg is the show runner and executive producer. Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Julie Anne Robinson serve as executive producers.

DIRTY DANCING
“Dirty Dancing,” the global pop-cultural phenomenon, becomes a three-hour filmed musical event this season on the ABC Television Network. The adaptation of the beloved 1987 romantic drama and instant movie classic “Dirty Dancing,” which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017, 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”) and Grammy Award-nominee Adam Anders (“Glee,” “Rock of Ages”), who also serves as executive music producer. The teleplay is by Jessica Sharzer. Wayne Blair (“The Sapphires,” “Septembers of Shiraz”) is the director, and two-time Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton,” “Bring It On,” “In the Heights”) is the choreographer.

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle, and nothing is ever the same for anyone in the Houseman family. Not only are the memorable songs from the original movie included, but there are additional songs from the era that will be featured, showcasing double the number of musical performances by the stellar cast.

“Dirty Dancing” stars Abigail Breslin (“Scream Queens”) as Baby, Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) as Marjorie Houseman, Bruce Greenwood (“American Crime Story: The People vs, OJ Simpson”) as Dr. Jake Houseman, Nicole Scherzinger (“Dancing with the Stars”) as Penny, Colt Prattes (“Rock of Ages,” Pink’s music video “Try”) as Johnny, Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”) as Lisa Houseman, Tony Roberts (“Annie Hall”) as Max Kellerman, Trevor Einhorn (“Mad Men,”) as Neil, Shane Harper (“The Passion”) as Robbie Gould, J. Quinton Johnson (“Everyone Wants Some”) as Marco, Beau “Casper” Smart (“Step Up 3D”) as Billy, Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”) as Vivian Pressman and Billy Dee Williams (“Star Wars”) as Tito.

DOWNWARD DOG

Based on a web series, “Downward Dog” is about a struggling millennial, Nan (Allison Tolman), as observed from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges). Just one session at obedience school makes them realize that even at their worst they may be the best thing for each other. While Martin lays around at home questioning the motives of the neighborhood cat and exercises newly acquired “superpowers” to open the doggie door with his mind, Nan spends her days at advertising agency Clark and Bow, struggling to prove herself to clients and senior management. Despite her boss Kevin’s (Barry Rothbart) patronizing and demoralizing criticisms, Nan and her best friend and co-worker, Jenn (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), find creative ways to persevere. Because of Nan’s long hours at work, she relies on ex-boyfriend Jason (Lucas Neff) to help take care of Martin. Jason’s easy-going and sometimes unemployed lifestyle strengthens his friendship with Martin, but makes it difficult for Nan to move on.

“Downward Dog” stars Allison Tolman (Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated, “Fargo”) as Nan, Lucas Neff (“Raising Hope”) as Jason, Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“Love”) as Jenn, Barry Rothbart (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and co-creator Samm Hodges as the voice of Martin.

“Downward Dog” creators/writers Michael Killen and Samm Hodges executive produce with Mosaic’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen, and Animal’s Kathy Dzubiek. Showrunners Kat Likkel and John Hoberg also executive produce. The series is produced by Legendary Television and ABC Studios.

IMAGINARY MARY
Alice (Jenna Elfman) 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 (“Dharma and Greg”) as Alice, Stephen Schneider as Ben, Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”) 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.

TIME AFTER TIME
Using the 1979 novel and movie as a launching point, “Time After Time” chronicles the adventures of a young H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma) as he travels through centuries, decades and days in the time machine he created. While in the pursuit of the charismatic (yet secretly psychopathic) Dr. John Stevenson (Josh Bowman), better known as “Jack the Ripper,” Wells travels to modern day New York City in search of Stevenson following the doctor’s brazen escape from authorities in Wells’ London home. But instead of the Utopia he imagined, Wells finds a world more aligned with Stevenson’s temperament that leads him on a daring adventure full of mystery, romance and intrigue. Using creative elements from many of Wells’ classic stories, beginning with “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man” to “The Island of Dr. Moreau” and others, “Time After Time” creates a fantasy world surrounding the events that inspired these great literary works that focus on the best and worst of human nature and its relationship to science and technology. Using the time machine to launch the series, “Time After Time” is not a time travel show, rather it’s a series that looks at the world of today through the eyes of yesterday while fully charged with danger and adventure and centered in thrills, satire, humor – and most of all – an epic love story.

“Time After Time” stars Freddie Stroma (“UnReal”) as H.G. Wells, Josh Bowman (“Revenge”) as Dr. John Stevenson (Jack the Ripper), Genesis Rodriguez (“Big Hero 6”) as Jane Walker, Nicole Ari Parker (“Rosewood”) as Vanessa Anders, Jennifer Ferrin (“Hell On Wheels”) as Brooke and Will Chase (“Nashville”) as Griffin.

“Time After Time” is from Warner Bros Television. Kevin Williamson is the creator and executive producer. Marcos Siega is executive producer and a director.

WHEN WE RISE
“When We Rise” is written and created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. This mini-series event chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs 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.

Starring in the mini-series are Guy Pearce (“Memento,” “L.A. Confidential”) as LGBT activist Cleve Jones, Mary-Louise Parker (“Weeds,” “Angels in America”) as women’s rights leader Roma Guy, Rachel Griffiths (“Brothers and Sisters,” “Six Feet Under”) as her wife, social justice activist Diane, Michael K. Williams (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Wire”) as African American community organizer Ken Jones and Ivory Aquino as transgender activist Cecilia Chung. Joining them are Austin McKenzie (“Spring Awakening”) as Younger Cleve Jones, Emily Skeggs (“Fun Home”) as Younger Roma Guy, newcomer Jonathan Majors as Younger Ken Jones, and Fiona Dourif (“The Master”) as Younger Diane.

“When We Rise” is executive produced by the Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “Big Love,” “J. Edgar”), Gus Van Sant (“Milk,” “Elephant,” “Good Will Hunting”) Laurence Mark (“Julie & Julia,”“Dreamgirls,”“I, Robot,” “Jerry Maguire”), and Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty,” “Milk,” “Silver Linings Playbook”). Van Sant directs the two-hour premiere of the eight-hour mini-series event. “When We Rise” is produced by ABC Studios.

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Written by Marc Berman

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Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of weekly column “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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