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ABC has revealed its fall premiere dates and — despite a regime change and the absence of its highly regarded scheduling exec — is keeping things status quo.
After CBS shifted its strategy to focus on a staggered rollout to avoid the clutter of Premiere Week, ABC is staying the course and will launch its fall season the week of Sept. 20. The Disney-owned broadcaster, now also overseen by Hulu’s Craig Erwich, will launch its Wednesday comedy lineup featuring its Lee Daniels-produced Wonder Years update on Sept. 22. All told, ABC will launch four comedies, two dramas and three unscripted competition series during Premiere Week.
Premiere Week historically was targeted for late September in a bid to work with advertisers (including carmakers) as kids returned to school. In the Peak TV era, however, networks have shifted to more of a year-round release schedule rather than spend millions in marketing dollars to compete with north of 30 shows in the same window.
ABC will launch its new and returning dramas coming out of Premiere Week, with The Rookie (Sept. 26) followed a day later by The Good Doctor. Grey’s Anatomy — the No. 1 drama on primetime — and spinoff Station 19 are back Sept. 30. David E. Kelley’s Big Sky moves into its new home — with its new showrunner taking over for the TV titan — the same night.
Elsewhere, ABC is turning to the Michelle Young-led season of The Bachelorette to launch hip-hop drama Queens on Oct. 19. The Bachelorette will be without embattled host Chris Harrison for its second season in a row. Queens stars Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton and Nadine Velazquez as a hip-hop group from the ’90s who gets a second shot at stardom. It’s also the only new drama series ABC has ordered this season.
The pandemic wiped out Pilot Season 2020, with many of those comedies and dramas competing with scripts ordered by new executive regimes. The pandemic has also accelerated the push to a year-round schedule, as scripted series take longer to produce — and cost more to make — when factoring in COVID protocols.
CBS this week shifted to a staggered rollout of its new and returning shows after the network — headed by its longtime former scheduling chief Kelly Kahl — had long favored the clustered Premiere Week crush. ABC is the third of the five networks to reveal their dates. The CW, which has for years avoided Premiere Week for an early October season start, has kept that strategy in place.
A full list of ABC’s premiere dates follows. Be sure to bookmark THR‘s handy calendar to keep up with all the broadcast, cable and streaming premiere dates.
|MONDAY, SEPT. 20|
|8:00 p.m.||“Dancing with the Stars”|
|WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22|
|8:00 p.m.||“The Goldbergs”|
|8:30 p.m.||“The Wonder Years” (series premiere)|
|9:00 p.m.||“The Conners”|
|9:31 p.m.||“Home Economics” (new time)|
|10:00 p.m.||“A Million Little Things”|
|SUNDAY, SEPT. 26|
|8:00 p.m.||“Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” (new day)|
|9:00 p.m.||“Supermarket Sweep” (new time)|
|10:00 p.m.||“The Rookie”|
|MONDAY, SEPT. 27|
|10:00 p.m.||“The Good Doctor”|
|THURSDAY, SEPT. 30|
|8:00 p.m.||“Station 19”|
|9:00 p.m.||“Grey’s Anatomy”|
|10:01 p.m.||“Big Sky” (new day)|
|SUNDAY, OCT. 3|
|7:00 p.m.||“America’s Funniest Home Videos”|
|FRIDAY, OCT. 8|
|8:00 p.m.||“Shark Tank”|
|9:01 p.m.||“20/20” (two hours)|
|TUESDAY, OCT. 19|
|8:00 p.m.||“The Bachelorette”|
|10:01 p.m.||“Queens” (series premiere)|
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