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ABC in 2019-20: Four New Scripted Series This Fall; 7 in Total for the Season

The Alphabet Net's Modest Approach is No Solution to its Deteriorating Traditional Nielsen Ratings

Touting the “most stable schedule in over one decade” (which is a false statement considering the overall primetime ratings are actually down year-to-year), ABC is taking an unusually modest approach to next fall with only 4 new series (two dramas, one comedy and a revival of “Kids Say the Darndest Things”) featured on its fall line-up. They are dramas “Emergence” (Tuesday 10 p.m. ET) and “Stumptown” (Wednesday 10 p.m.), sitcom “mixed-ish” (Tuesday 9 p.m. into relocated parent series “black-ish”), and “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” hosted by Tiffany Haddish (Sunday 8 p.m. out of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and into “Shark Tank”). 

The network will keep its Monday, Thursday and Saturday line-ups intact (no broadcast network aggressively programs forgotten Saturday), with the Sunday 8 p.m. hour still a mystery (that the network said it will solve at its official 2019-20 upfront presentation in New York City this afternoon).

In addition to “black-ish,” returning series moving to new time periods are sitcoms “Bless This Mess” (Tuesday 8:30 p.m. out of “The Conners”), “American Housewife” and “Fresh Off the Boat” (which will be paired in the Friday 8 p.m. hour), and sophomore drama “The Rookie” (Sunday 10 p.m. out of “Shark Tank”). 

Mirroring NBC’s “Dateline,” veteran ABC newsmagazine “20/20” will be expanded to two hours on Friday (from 9-11 p.m.) despite its deteriorating traditional ratings.

Three additional new scripted series (dramas “The Baker and the Beauty” and “For Life” and sitcom “United We Fall” will debut on ABC in midseason. Also featured will be new seasons of dramas “A Million Little Things” and “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”

What follows is ABC’s line-up in primetime this fall (with new series in caps):

Monday
8:00 p.m. “Dancing With the Stars” (two hours)
10:00 p.m. “The Good Doctor”

Tuesday
8:00 p.m. “The Conners”
8:30 p.m. “Bless This Mess” (new time)
9:00 p.m. “MIX-ISH”
9:30 p.m. “black-ish”
10:00 p.m. “EMERGENCE”

Wednesday
8:00 p.m. “The Goldbergs”
8:30 p.m. “Schooled”
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “Single Parents”
10:00 p.m. “STUMPTOWN”

Thursday
8:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
9:00 p.m. “Station 19”
10:00 p.m. “How to Get Away With Murder”

Friday
8:00 p.m. “American Housewife” (new day)
8:30 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (new time)
9:00 p.m. “20/20” (two hours)

Saturday
8:00 p.m. College Football

Sunday
7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Kids Say the Darndest Things”
9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
10:00 p.m. “The Rookie” (new day)

New Program Descriptions

DRAMAS
 
THE BAKER AND THE BEAUTY (midseason)

Daniel Garcia is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton, an international superstar and fashion mogul, and his life moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull their families into a culture clash? Dean Georgaris writes and executive produces with Becky Hartman Edwards and director David Frankel. In addition, Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan are executive producers, along with Assi Azar. Based on a hit Israeli show created by Assi Azar originally for Keshet Broadcasting, the series is produced by Universal Television and ABC Studios in association with Keshet Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20 th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
 
Cast: Victor Rasuk as Daniel, Nathalie Kelley as Noa Hamilton, Carlos Gómez as Rafael Garcia, Dan Bucatinsky as Lewis, Lisa Vidal as Mari Garcia, David Del Rio as Mateo Garcia, Belissa Escobedo as Natalie and Michelle Veintimilla as Vanessa. 
 
EMERGENCE 

A character-driven genre thriller, “Emergence” is about a police chief who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.

Written and executive produced by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Paul McGuigan directs the pilot
and is an executive producer. “Emergence” is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20 th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

Cast: Allison Tolman as Jo, Alexa Swinton as Piper, Owain Yeoman as Benny, Ashley Aufderheide as Bree, Robert Bailey Jr. as Officer Chris, Zabryna Guevara as Abby with Donald Faison as Alex and Clancy Brown as Ed.

FOR LIFE (midseason)

Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., “For Life” is a fictional serialized legal and family drama about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit.  His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves and reclaim the life that was stolen from him.  The show will also, through the window of his ferocious struggle and his complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden, examine the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems. From Hank Steinberg, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson via G-Unit Film & Television, Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan of Doug Robinson Productions and Isaac Wright Jr. The pilot is directed and executive produced by George Tillman Jr. (“The Hate U Give”). “For Life” is a co-production of Sony Pictures Television Inc. and ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20 th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

Cast: Nicholas Pinnock as Aaron, Indira Varma as Safiya, Joy Bryant as Marie, Glenn Fleshler as Frank, Dorian Missick as Jamal, Tyla Harris as Jasmine with Mary Stuart Masterson as Anya and Boris McGiver as DA Maskins.

STUMPTOWN

Based on the “Stumptown” graphic novel series, “Stumptown” follows Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) – a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.

Writer Jason Richman produces the series with Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad (The District), Greg Rucka (author of the “Stumptown” graphic novel series), Matthew Southworth, and Justin Greenwood (illustrators of the “Stumptown” graphic novel series).

James Griffiths is an executive producer and directed the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

Cast: Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, Tantoo Cardinal as Sue Lynn Blackbird, Cole Sibus as Ansel Parios, Adrian Martinez as Tookie with Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Cosgrove and Michael Ealy as Detective Miles Hoffman.
 

COMEDIES
 
MIXED-ISH

In “mixed-ish,” Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.

Peter Saji and Kenya Barris are writers and executive producers along with Tracee Ellis Ross, Randall Winston, Artists First (Brian Dobbins), Cinema Gypsy (Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland) and Anthony Anderson. Anton Cropper directed the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

Cast: Arica Himmel as Bow Johnson, Tika Sumpter as Alicia Johnson, Gary Cole as Harrison Johnson, Christina Anthony as Denise, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Santamonica Johnson and Ethan Childress as Johan Johnson.

UNITED WE FALL (midseason)

“United We Fall” is a profoundly realistic family sitcom that follows the trials and tribulations of Jo
(Christina Vidal) and Bill (Will Sasso), parents of two young kids, as they try to make it day to day as a functioning family. Bill’s very judgmental live-in mother and Jo’s large, Latinx Catholic family will never hesitate to let our couple know they’re seemingly screwing up, but Bill and Jo will always have each other’s backs, united against everyone – other parents, teachers, doctors, specialists, coaches, co-workers and, especially, their kids. Julius “Goldy” Sharpe (“Making History”) wrote and executive produced the pilot. Seth Gordon and Julia Gunn are also executive producers. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot, which was produced by Sony Pictures, Exhibit A Film and ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20 th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.

Cast: Will Sasso as Bill Ryan, Christina Vidal as Jo Ryan, Jane Curtin as Sandy Ryan.

4 Comments

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  1. Agreed Marc. Very lazy. By the way, I think it’s A Million Little Things in the fall and Station 19 at mid season. ABC can ramble on that they are number two in the demo but I would argue it’s means very little in this day and age. Also, ABC reportedly didn’t like their development slate and how it turned out which tells me the “stability” has more to do with them having nothing else to air in the low rated shows place.

  2. I won’t be watching new from this lineup. I thank you, ABC. Once again Dancing, Doctor and HTGAWM only 3 shows for me on ABC.

  3. ABC was really lazy with this lineup and so damn stupid this was by far the worst upfront I’ve seen this season and maybe close to ever. This is what it looks like when a network gives up. Putting BTM behind a multi-cam made no sense I don’t think the whole rural situation will matter much. Why not bring United We Fall in the fall behind The Conners?

    Both new dramas look DOA because of their slots as ABC just doesn’t learn their lesson about new dramas at 10pm doesn’t work for them open up earlier timeslot and stop having so many comedy hours. Stumptown is about to get destroyed by CPD and SWAT making it another Whiskey Cavalier.

    The Rookie against SNF is laughable too so ABC will continue to suck going into next season.