Fall Preview: ABC

Last year, ABC’s went through a big shuffle, blowing up Tuesdays in the hope of capitalizing on Disney’s Marvel movie universe. This time around, ABC keeps a very similar lineup only switching up some new shows while generally standing pat.

Sundays feature the usual cocktail of dramas for ABC, with Once Upon A Time, Resurrection, and Revenge (all return 9/28) returning to their regular slots of 8 and 9 and 10pm respectively. Mondays also feature their usual lineup of Dancing With The Stars (9/15) leading into Castle (9/29). While Dancing with the Stars received a cut in hours last year, the show maintains it’s 2 hour slot this year, preventing any further time related clawbacks for the veteran series.

Tuesdays, which was the alphabet’s trouble spot last year, still maintains the seemingly hodgepodge scheduling ABC gave it last year, but a slight shuffle makes the lineup start to make a little more sense. The night is still built around tentpole show Agents of SHIELD, which moves to 9 pm (9/23), allowing for both the lead in and lead out effect of last year’s most hyped show to positively affect the remainder of the night. The night begins with two new comedies in Selfie and Manhattan Love Story (both debut 9/30), and in a positive development, ABC finally stops pairing non-family comedies with Modern Family. Following Agents in the ABC’s Tuesday 10pm death slot (which killed three series last year) is Forever (9/22 – time slot premiere 9/23), a show that melds crime procedural, medical procedural, and vampires.

Wednesdays are still ABC’s comedy wheelhouse and the lineup resembles what ABC should have gone with last year. The Middle and The Goldbergs hold the 8pm hour firm leading into Modern Family at 9. It’s another year, and another lead out for ABC’s most watched comedy, as the show melds into urban family comedy Blackish at 9:30. Nashville survives another year to round out the lineup at 10 (all shows debut 9/24). The thing I like about this lineup is ABC finally figured out that it should just keep it’s family centric comedies together. At no point was the audience for Modern Family, The Middle, and Surburgatory ever really going to go for a show like Super Fun Night, Happy Endings, or Don’t Trust the B.

Thursdays see a slight shuffle with Grey’s Anatomy moving to 8pm while Scandal finds it’s home in the 9pm slot. New show How to Get Away with Murder premieres at 10. This is a very strong lineup, if only because it effectively counterprograms against the newly enhanced Thursday Night Football menace (more on that tomorrow) by focusing on three shows that will likely skew heavily female (all shows debut 9/25).

Fridays bring the usual mix of Shark Tank, 20/20 (both return 9/26) and the return of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing (10/3), while adding quirky comedy Cristela (10/10) to the mix. ABC has found a surprisingly high amount of success with this hodgepodge lineup over the last couple of seasons and there isn’t much of a reason to change it. Saturdays meanwhile are the domain of College Football, a recurring trend that one can expect to see across over all four networks.

Tomorrow: CBS’s fall lineup features some interesting moves. Keep following us at Manhattan Digest for more.