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Craig Erwich has made his renewal decisions at ABC.
The network’s newly installed entertainment president has handed out renewals for five of its 10 scripted originals that were on the bubble. Returning for the 2021-22 broadcast season are dramas A Million Little Things (for season four) and The Rookie (season four) as well as comedies The Goldbergs (season nine), The Conners (season four) and Home Economics (season two).
Still remaining on the bubble are comedy veteran American Housewife, Black-ish spinoff Mixed-ish and rookie Rebel as well as sophomore drama For Life. Kyra Sedgwick multicamera comedy Call Your Mother has been canceled. ABC is expected to make decisions on its remaining scripted originals today, though none of the four remaining shows are expected to return.
There are no surprises with the half-hour renewals after The Conners stars recently inked new deals to return for another season and with The Goldbergs remaining one of ABC’s top-rated comedies. The Rookie, starring network favorite Nathan Fillion, is also one of ABC’s most watched dramas while D.J. Nash’s A Million Little Things is a strong DVR and streaming performer. Home Economics launched well out of the gate and is an internal favorite.
The five returning series join a schedule that also includes the eighth and final season of Black-ish, The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and Big Sky. ABC has yet to formally pick up any new scripted originals, though Lee Daniels’ The Wonder Years update is considered a lock to join the schedule.
The renewals are a bit more aggressive than the moves Erwich’s predecessor, Karey Burke, made a year ago during her first upfront atop the broadcast network. Burke was promoted to oversee Disney’s studio, 20th Television, in December, with Erwich adding oversight of the network to his purview as head of originals for Disney-backed streamer Hulu.
ABC is set to unveil its fall schedule in a virtual presentation as part of Disney’s upfront pitch to Madison Avenue ad buyers on Tuesday. While the presentations will all be virtual again this year amid the pandemic, the return of the traditional upfronts week illustrates a desire to revive the traditional broadcast calendar after the pandemic delayed the start of the 2020 fall season and reduced the total number of scripted originals.
In terms of ownership, ABC will fully own nearly all of its returning shows, with The Goldbergs produced by Sony, which also co-owns The Good Doctor, while Topher Grace-led Home Economics is a co-production with Lionsgate TV. David E. Kelley’s Big Sky is also a co-pro (with A+E Studios).
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