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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

UPFRONTS 2017: What ABC Should Do

Here is my ABC suggestion as my Upfronts Preview continues. ABC has one thing going strong for them and that is comedy. By far, they have the best identity and keep churning out new shows that fit the brand. They also have longtime stalwart Dancing with the Stars and their TGIT lineup is still a player, albeit a less explosive one. For not having the NFL, ABC does pretty well for itself but their issues are glaring and that primarily is dramas outside of TGIT. Designated Survivor is doing passable numbers but every other new drama plus several returnees like Quantico, American Crime, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Catch have seen the bottoms come out from under them. Many speculate some will get renewed but if ABC is serious about making a change, it's time to cancel the dead weight on their network or at least stop giving them good slots. Some could get an announced final season but ABC needs to move on.

Past ABC suggestions: 2016   2015   2014   2013   2012   2011

For a list of ABC pilots, click here

MONDAYS
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 DECEPTION
ABC tried and failed to get a lighthearted procedural drama out of Dancing with the Stars last year because Conviction just wasn't a great show. But I liked the idea and I think they have a potential winning pairing with the magic-themed Deception. It sounds to me, on paper, to be a much better fit than Conviction.

TUESDAYS
8:00 The Middle
8:30 American Housewife
9:00 Black-ish
9:30 LIBBY AND MALCOLM
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Since I have ABC premiering seven new shows in the fall, I would hold off on Marvel's The Inhumans and instead let Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. get one last announced final season. It can air for awhile and then be replaced by Inhumans. For the comedy lineup, I would leave the 8pm hour as is but then bring over Black-ish for the 9pm hour to lead into Libby and Malcolm. That pilot has gotten mixed buzz but I still think it's worthy of a shot and could pair well with Black-ish.

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 The Goldbergs
8:30 RAISED BY WOLVES
9:00 Modern Family
9:30 LOSING IT
10:00 Designated Survivor
I would leave the anchors as is on Wednesday but bring in some new comedies for the half hour slots. As I said before, comedies are working for ABC, why not keep it going? I think Raised by Wolves and Losing It both seem like they're in the ABC wheelhouse. Designated Survivor is really the only non-TGIT drama that deserves to come back for something other than an announced final season.

THURSDAYS
8:00 Grey's Anatomy
9:00 UNTITLED PAUL WILLIAM DAVIES (BLACK'S LAW)
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder
I think TGIT needs to be the brand in the fall (unlike this past fall thanks to Notorious) but Scandal should once again be held for midseason. They actually have a Shonda show they can premiere this time and it's time to do that with the Untitled Paul William Davies Project, previously known as Black's Law. If any new show is going to work in TGIT, it's this one. If it does work, Scandal can go on another night or replace Murder. If it doesn't, they have Scandal ready to go again.

FRIDAYS
8:00 Last Man Standing
8:30 HOUSEHOLD NAME
9:00 Fresh Off the Boat
9:30 Speechless
10:00 20/20
I completely believe that ABC should expand their comedies by another hour but I'm mixed on whether to do it on Fridays or Sundays. I went with Fridays in my suggestion because I think it's a better fit. Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless both seem like they could fit on Fridays for a modern day TGIF. I would air the new Carol Burnett comedy Household Name after Last Man Standing, which definitely deserves a renewal.

SATURDAYS
8:00 College Football

SUNDAYS
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 Shark Tank
9:00 UNTITLED MARC CHERRY
10:00 Once Upon a Time
Sundays have been a disaster this year and it's definitely time for Once Upon a Time to leave 8pm. I'd move it to 10pm, out of the way of being a lead-in, and give it an announced final season. I don't love the idea of moving Shark Tank to Sundays but if comedy expands on Fridays, it's the only place it could go. At 9pm, I'd slot the new Marc Cherry/Reba McEntire drama in the old Desperate Housewives slot.

MIDSEASON: THE GOOD DOCTOR, THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN, MARVEL'S THE INHUMANS, SALAMANDER, CHARLIE FOXTROT, UNTITLED CITY MAYOR PROJECT, The Bachelor, Dr. Ken, The Great American Baking Show, The Great Christmas Light Fight, Scandal
I would stock up on newbies, especially dramas, because they need to find some dramas that work and there's not a lot of midseason returners other than short-term fillers like The Bachelor and the holiday shows.

CANCELLED/ENDED: American Crime, Big Fan, The Catch, Conviction, Imaginary Mary, Notorious, People Icons, Quantico, The Real O'Neals, Secrets and Lies, Time After Time, The Toy Box
I fully expect some of these like Quantico and The Catch to get a reprieve, but they don't deserve it.

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