1:15pm PT by Rick Porter
ABC Sets First Scripted Premiere Dates for Fall
ABC will get its Wednesday comedy block back on the air in late October as the network continues to fill out its fall schedule.
The Goldbergs, The Conners and Black-ish will all open their seasons on Oct. 21, a month after the Nielsen-designated official start of the 2020-21 season. American Housewife will debut a week later to complete the comedy block.
"We couldn't be more excited to spread some much-needed joy with our Wednesday night comedy lineup,” said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. "While we had to be incredibly flexible this year, we are so lucky that we're able to continue our long tradition of making Wednesday night comedy a strong a staple of our fall broadcast schedule."
ABC is also airing two special, election-themed episodes of Black-ish — including an animated installment — on Oct. 4, but they're considered a standalone event and not part of the show's seventh season.
The four comedies are the first scripted series to cement their place on ABC's fall schedule, which in the early fall will lean heavily on unscripted programming, along with the NBA Finals, which start Sept. 30.
ABC had initially planned what Burke called a "cascading" fall rollout, pending the ability to film during the coronavirus pandemic. Production on a number of shows has begun with strict safety protocols in place, but the late start means most network comedies and dramas are premiering in late October and November (which also largely moves them away from pre-emptions for election coverage).
The network's first wave of premieres will feature unscripted shows on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights, starting with Dancing With the Stars on Sept. 14. Dates for the network's dramas, including the long-running Grey's Anatomy, newcomer Big Sky and second-year series Stumptown, which is slotted for 10 p.m. Wednesdays, will be announced later.
The Conners — ABC's highest-rated returning comedy — is moving from Tuesday to Wednesday nights for its third season, taking over the 9 p.m. slot previously occupied by Modern Family. The Goldbergs will begin its eighth season with two episodes on Oct. 21. Black-ish is entering its seventh season and American Housewife its fifth.
ABC's comedy premiere dates are below.
Wednesday, Oct. 21
8 p.m.: The Goldbergs (two episodes)
9 p.m.: The Conners
9:30 p.m.: Black-ish
Wednesday, Oct. 28
8:30 p.m.: American Housewife