6:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
ABC Scorecard: Complete Guide to What's New, Renewed and Canceled
ABC's big swings this past season didn't really improve the network's standings, so much as offer it the stability to stem broadcast's overall trend of ratings fatigue.
American Idol, renewed and still expensive as hell, delivered on its promised ratings to advertisers — though it remains a shadow of its former self from the Fox heyday. Much more inspiring for everyone in broadcast TV, were the launches for The Good Doctor and Roseanne. The medical drama averaged a welcome 15 million viewers during its freshman season, the biggest new hourlong by far. And the strength of Roseanne, revived after nearly two decades off the air, is still nothing short of gobsmacking. Most-current, live-plus-seven-day averages give it a 6.1 rating in the key demo and more than 21 million viewers. Wrap your head around that.
But ABC can't rest on the laurels of sitcom nostalgia. Changes are afoot. This coming broadcast season will be the first in years without a dominating presence from super-producer Shonda Rhimes, who left her longtime deal with ABC Studios for a richer pact with Netflix last summer. Rhimes still has powerhouse Grey's Anatomy at ABC, potentially with sister Station 19 in tow, but Scandal took its last bow in April and freshman For the People might as well have run on QVC. At least there's still How to Get Away With Murder — right? Among comedies, Modern Family has at least another year left in it, as does The Goldbergs, so the family comedy brand is not under any immediate threat. But ABC needs to find their heirs, ideally in its crop of new orders.
Sure, ABC is still slumming it in last place and narrowly trailing Fox in the key demo with an average 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 in primetime, but the lack of sports (football in particular) remains the biggest reason for that status. And ABC has something none of its peers do this spring — momentum. ABC's May 15 meeting with media buyers will focus on Roseanne and how the already-renewed comedy is proof that big, broad hits are something that broadcast still does best.
Keep track of all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders with THR's scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW and with all the latest pilot pickups and passes with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.
Agents of SHIELD | Marvel Television's first scripted drama starring Clark Gregg has featured a bit of an Avengers: Infinity War tie-in at the end its current fifth season. A year after reducing its licensing fee, the ABC Studios series remains a reliable performer in its new home on Fridays (and on DVR) and is a prime example of corporate synergy. The series will return for a 13-episode sixth season, its first run less than 22.
Black-ish | The critically acclaimed comedy has been picked up for a fifth season renewal as creator Kenya Barris, sources say, continues to negotiate out of his deal with producers ABC Studios for a lucrative pact at Netflix. Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne star in the single-camera comedy.
Fresh Off the Boat | The single-camera comedy from Nahnatchka Khan will return for a fifth season. Starring breakout Constance Wu and Randall Park, the Asian-American family comedy is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and stands to become a Disney property given the pending Fox-Disney deal. The series has become a critical favorite as part of ABC's Tuesday comedy block.
Station 19 | The firefighter-themed Grey's Anatomy spinoff starring Jaina Ortiz and flagship favorite Jason George has been a respectable performer for ABC after launching midseason. The second offshoot to come from veteran Grey's could help ABC maintain what's left of its TGIT-branded Thursday night lineup following the conclusion of Scandal. The series has averaged a 1.9 in the demo with seven days of DVR and will be back for a second season.
How to Get Away With Murder | The Viola Davis-led Shondaland will continue on for a fifth season. The twisty courtroom/law school drama from creator Pete Nowalk is one of ABC's last remaining series produced by Shonda Rhimes and carries increasing value for the network after Scandal wrapped its run this year. Plus Nowalk recently extended his overall deal with the studio.
American Housewife | The single-camera comedy starring Katy Mixon is produced in-house at ABC Studios and has become a staple as part of ABC's Wednesday comedy block. The comedy revolves around a wife and mother who navigates the pretentious housewives in Connecticut. The series will return for a third season of 22 episodes.
Splitting Up Together | The Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson comedy about a married couple who divorce and continue to live together as co-parents has performed well after its midseason debut. The Warner Bros. Television single-camera comedy from Suburgatory's Emily Kapnek and EP Ellen DeGeneres will return for a second season.
Speechless | From Friends grad Scott Silveri and inspired by the showrunner's late brother, the 20th Century Fox Television single-camera comedy about a family whose son (Micah Fowler) has cerebral palsy has been renewed for a full 22-episode third season, per star Minnie Driver. Co-starring John Ross Bowie, the comedy emerged this season as a critical favorite and airs as part of ABC's Wednesday comedy block, in the prime spot between The Goldbergs and Modern Family. Also working in its favor is the fact that it could soon become a Disney property.
The Goldbergs | The 1980s-themed semi-autobiographical comedy from Adam F. Goldberg is in the second year of its two-season renewal and entering its sixth season. A decision on if the Wendi McLendon-Covey starrer will end with season six has yet to be determined, though Goldberg has been open about wanting to do more.
Grey's Anatomy | The Shondaland drama starring Ellen Pompeo will be back for its 15th season. Showrunner Krista Vernoff will return at the helm as Shonda Rhimes focuses on her Netflix pact. Meanwhile, star Ellen Pompeo signed a two-year deal that includes a potential 16th season after becoming TV's highest-paid actress on a drama series.
Modern Family | Co-created by Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, the family comedy is in the second year of its two-season renewal and will be back for a 10th season. Levitan had been open about season 10 being the end of the series, but that was before Disney was poised to take over ownership of the 20th Century Fox Television-produced single-camera comedy. The ensemble comedy starring Sofia Vergara and Ty Burrell could likely continue beyond season 10 once it becomes a Disney property.
The Good Doctor | The Freddie Highmore-led medical drama from Sony Pictures Television Studios was the breakout drama of the fall and earned an early season two renewal.
Roseanne | Revived after nearly two decades off the air, the blue-collar comedy has been the breakout series of the TV season and ranks as the most-watched show on broadcast television. It will be back for an expanded 13-episode season, its 11th overall.
The Kids Are Alright | Not to be confused with the similarly titled feature film, the single-camera comedy from Tim Doyle (Last Man Standing) has been the network's comedy front-runner. Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) stars in the ensemble comedy about a traditional Irish-Catholic family of 10 living in a three-bedroom house outside L.A. as they navigate changes big and small in the turbulent decade of the 1970s. The household is turned upside down when the oldest son returns home and announces he plans to quit the seminary to go off and save the world. Inspired by Doyle's childhood, Mary McCormack co-stars in the comedy from ABC Studios.
Grand Hotel | The upstairs/downstairs drama set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Demian Bichir and Roselyn Sanchez star in the drama that revolves around the couple and their adult children, the hotel's wealthy guests, scandals, secrets and escalating debt. Devious Maids alum Brian Tanen penned the script and exec produces the ABC Studios drama alongside Eva Longoria. (Based on the Spanish format.)
Whiskey Cavalier | The high-octane action dramedy revolves around two agents, played by Scandal's Scott Foley and The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan, as they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies while also navigating friendships, romance and office politics. The drama hails from Warner Bros. Television-based Bill Lawrence and writer Dave Hemingson (The Catch), with Foley also exec producing. Ana Ortiz and Tyler James Williams co-star. The pickup solidifies Cohan's departure from The Walking Dead, where she will return for a handful of episodes.
The Fix | The drama from exec producer Marcia Clark and writers Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain revolves around former prosecutor Maya Travis (Robin Tunney, The Mentalist), after losing the biggest case of her career and being shredded by the media, leaves Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural Oregon. Eight years after her devastating defeat, the killer (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Lost) strikes again, forcing Maya to return to Los Angeles to confront him one more time. Will she play by the rules, or will she do whatever it takes to get him behind bars? Part legal thriller and part confessional. Merrin Dungey co-stars in the drama from ABC Studios and Mandeville.
A Million Little Things | The hourlong dramedy revolves around a group of friends who, for different reasons and in different ways, are all stuck in their lives. But when one of them dies unexpectedly, it's the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. The ABC Studios/Kapital Entertainment series stars James Roday, David Giuntoli, Romany Malco and Ron Livingston. DJ Nash (Up All Night) serves as showrunner.
The Rookie | Two years after Castle's surprising cancellation, star Nathan Fillion is back at the network and reuniting with former showrunner Alexi Hawley. The drama, inspired by a true story and picked up straight to series, sees Fillion as the LAPD's oldest rookie. From Entertainment One and ABC Studios, Mercedes Mason co-stars.
Take Two | Picked up straight to series, the procedural from Castle creators Andrew Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller revolves around Rachel Bilson as a former star of a cop show who shadows a private investigator (played by Eddie Cibrian) for a potential comeback. From ABC Studios, StudioCanal and Tandem Productions.
Schooled | The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg ventures to the 1990s with stars AJ Michalka, Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen reprising their roles from The Goldbergs for the single-camera comedy that landed a 13-episode order after being redeveloped from last season. From Sony Pictures Television Studios.
Designated Survivor | The Kiefer Sutherland-led drama has been canceled after two seasons and four showrunner changes. The ABC Studios political drama from the Mark Gordon Co. had a lucrative SVOD pact with Netflix and was a strong international player.
Quantico | The Priyanka Chopra terrorism drama returned in late April with a new showrunner and an abbreviated episode count. After being off the air for nearly a year, the premiere opened to a lackluster 0.5 in the adults 18-49 demo and less than 3 million total viewers — tying its series low. Strong international sales were not enough to save the ABC Studios-produced drama, which has been canceled after three seasons.
The Crossing | Starring Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez, the sci-fi thriller launched quietly in April and has been averaging a 0.9 in the demo, growing to a 1.5 with seven days of DVR. The ABC Studios-produced drama took over for The Good Doctor on Mondays and has been airing with little fanfare. It's been canceled after one season.
Deception | The Greg Berlanti- and Martin Gero-produced drama about a magician (Jack Cutmore-Scott) who partners with the FBI to help solve crimes has struggled to cut through on Sundays. The Warner Bros. Television drama, which opened to poor reviews, has averaged a 1.4 in the demo — with seven days of DVR. It will not return for a second season
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World | The drama about a down-on-his-luck guy (Jason Ritter) who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world earned a spot on the fall schedule after ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey was looking to pepper her schedule with lighter fare. From ABC Studios and Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, the drama averaged a 1.1 in the key demo after wrapping its 16-episode run in March. The series will not return for a second season.
Inhumans | The critically panned Marvel drama starring Anson Mount was picked up straight to series with Imax on board to launch the series in theaters. While the idea was great on paper, the series was critically panned and limped off the schedule in the fall averaging only a 1.2 in the demo and 4 million total viewers (with seven days of DVR). For his part, Mount already booked a follow-up and has joined season two of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery.
Alex, Inc. | The Zach Braff-led single-camera comedy, from Sony TV and based on the podcast Start Up, revolved around a journalist who quits his stable job to open his own podcast business. The midseason comedy had been averaging a 1.0 in the adults 18-49 demographic and adding a modest 30 percent with seven days of delayed viewing. The comedy will not return for a second season.
The Middle | Despite a recent ratings injection thanks to lead-in Roseanne, the veteran comedy was produced by an outside studio (Warner Bros. Television) — meaning the network did not have an ownership stake and had to pay a licensing fee for the Patricia Heaton-led single-camera comedy. Season nine was its last.
Scandal | The Shonda Rhimes-created series bid farewell in April after seven seasons. The Washington, D.C.-set political soap made history for star Kerry Washington, who became the first African-American woman to topline a primetime drama series in nearly 40 years. Rhimes, who left ABC Studios last summer for a nine-figure deal at Netflix, always stressed that the drama would never have a run similar to Grey's Anatomy given the way the writers burned through story. The series also helped usher in a new era of inclusion on screen and off, helping Rhimes become a global brand of her own.
Once Upon a Time | A year after undergoing a major creative reboot with nearly all of its original stars exiting, ABC tried to open a new chapter in the Disney-themed fairy tale drama. The reboot, starring Andrew J. West, fizzled in its new home on Fridays. Despite the corporate synergy, the Adam Horowitz- and Eddy Kitsis-created drama is ending after seven seasons.
The Mayor | Despite a timely premise, the single-camera effort about an aspiring rapper who runs for mayor as a PR move and wins failed to cut through the cluttered landscape. Even strong reviews and a big marketing push for the Brandon Micheal Hall and Lea Michele single-camera comedy from ABC Studios couldn't help it register votes.
Somewhere Between | The Paula Patton-led drama, a co-production from ABC Studios and ITV Studios, was picked up straight to series and aired in summer 2017. Despite a name lead in Patton, the drama about a mother who attempts to change the fate of her daughter's murder limped off the schedule with less than 2 million total viewers.
Ten Days in the Valley | The Kyra Sedgwick drama from the creator of Rookie Blue launched in October in the prime Sundays at 10 p.m. slot where it struggled to cut through the clutter. After four episodes, the series about a TV writer whose child is kidnapped was burned off on Saturdays.