ABC’s 2017-18 Schedule and New Shows

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Updated 2:35p with late news about an additional series and a new special.

Updated 1:54p with new trailers and details on American Idol.

Our comprehensive coverage of the TV network upfront presentations this week in New York continues with a look at ABC’s plans for the 2017-18 season. We’ll have additional reports for the other networks each day this week. See more upfronts coverage…


Highlights and notes

  • ABC has ordered 10 11 new scripted programs for 2017-18: three comedies, and seven eight dramas (including a surprise last-minute announcement of a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff). The network will launch five of those newcomers this fall, more than any other network.
  • Overshadowing the scripted newcomers is news that ABC will be the new home for singing competition American Idol, which aired on Fox for 15 seasons (but was off the air this past season). Katy Perry is currently in negotiations to join has signed on as a judge (despite turning down such offers in the past), while Ryan Seacrest could return as the host, though no one other than Perry is locked in yet. The network is expected to hold the debut of the new Idol until just after its Academy Awards broadcast in early March, though no date has been confirmed.
  • In even bigger revival news, ABC (which aired the original series) has landed the return of 1990s sitcom hit Roseanne. Eight new episodes set in the present day will air next season, with stars Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, and both Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke returning (with the latter playing a different role). Expect a 2018 debut.
  • Speaking of the Oscars: ABC announced that Jimmy Kimmel would return as host.
  • Though Once Upon a Time was among the network’s renewals, the show will undergo a major shake-up for its seventh season, with much of the current cast (except for Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Colin O’Donoghue) departing the series. The show will also move to Friday nights, which will get a much bigger emphasis this fall (thanks to the arrival of Marvel’s Inhumans, which will also air Fridays).
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., meanwhile, will be held back to midseason.
  • The network confirmed that Scandal will end with the upcoming 7th season. It will remain in the middle of ABC’s unchanged TGIT lineup on Thursdays, where it will now go head to head with NBC’s hit This Is Us.
  • Reality hits Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor will each get a spinoff next season.
  • ABC will be the latest network to jump on the live musical trend, with a production of The Little Mermaid Live! set for the fall. One twist: it will blend live action and animation. The network will also air a new animated Frozen holiday special late this year, reuniting the cast of the hit feature film. On tap for February is a three-hour celebration of the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone magazine, Rolling Stone 50.
  • The network has also announced a (still-untitled) live sitcom special from Jimmy Kimmel and Justin Theroux. The special will find a group of comedians re-enacting classic sitcom episodes from the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s.
  • Alex Rodriguez, Richard Branson, and Bethenny Frankel are among the guests slated to appear on the next season of Shark Tank, which moves to Sundays.

Renewed and canceled

Heading into yesterday, Quantico was the network’s only remaining scripted show still on the bubble. Last night, it earned a last-minute renewal, though the series will have a new showrunner and a shorter (13-episode) season next year.

Scripted shows are in bold below.

Renewed   Canceled or Ended   Fate Uncertain

American Housewife
The Bachelor
The Bachelorette

Dancing With the Stars

Designated Survivor

Fresh Off the Boat

The Goldbergs

Grey’s Anatomy

How to Get Away With Murder

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Middle

Modern Family

Once Upon a Time


Shark Tank

To Tell the Truth
  American Crime

The Catch


Dr. Ken

Imaginary Mary

Last Man Standing



The Real O’Neals

Secrets & Lies

Time After Time

Uncle Buck
  $100,000 Pyramid *

Bachelor in Paradise *

Battle of the Network Stars *

Boston EMS

Boy Band *

Celebrity Family Feud *

Downward Dog *
The Gong Show *

Greatest Hits

The Match Game
Somewhere Between *
Steve Harvey’s Funderdome *

Still Star-Crossed *

The Toy Box

ABC’s 2017-18 primetime schedule

New programs are indicated in bold in the schedule below. All times are ET/PT unless otherwise indicated.

ABC Fall 2017 Schedule
  7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30
SUN AFV To Tell the Truth Shark Tank* Ten Days in the Valley
MON   Dancing With the Stars The Good Doctor
TUE   The Middle Fresh Off the Boat* black-ish* The Mayor The Gospel of Kevin
WED   The Goldbergs Speechless Modern Family American Housewife* Designated Survivor
THU   Grey’s Anatomy Scandal How to Get Away With Murder
FRI   Once Upon a Time* Marvel’s Inhumans 20/20
SAT   Saturday Night College Football **

ABC’s new shows at a glance

The 12 13 first-year series ordered for ABC’s 2017-18 season are detailed below. ABC passed on pilots including the Amy Poehler-produced Carol Burnett comeback vehicle Household Name (which may be retooled and could be picked up later, or shopped to other networks), the political comedy Libby and Malcolm (which was to star Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance, and could still surface at a different network), a spinoff from The Goldbergs set in the 1990s, an adaptation of the UK comedy Raised by Wolves, the CIA workplace dramedy Unit Zero, and the political thriller Doomsday. In addition, ABC was developing a Black-ish spinoff (centering on Yara Shahidi’s Zoey as she heads off to college), but that series is now expected to land at sister network Freeform.

Alex Inc.Alex Inc. [fka StartUp]
COMEDY tbd midseason

The first season of Gimlet Media’s hit podcast StartUp provides the source material for this new workplace/family comedy from former Scrubs producer Matt Tarses. Here, he reunites with the star of that series, Zach Braff, who plays a veteran radio journalist who quits his job to launch a new podcast company. Braff also directs the pilot, and his fellow cast members include Michael Imperioli and real-life tech industry venture capitalist Chris Sacca. (Because there’s already a Crackle show with the name StartUp, ABC’s series needed to be titled something else.)

The Bachelor Winter Games
REALITY tbd February 2018

Why watch the real Winter Olympic Games on NBC next February when you could spend your time watching past contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette chilling at a luxurious winter resort? Why indeed.

The CrossingThe Crossing
DRAMA tbd midseason

From the creators of MTV’s Scream comes this mysterious thriller about a group of refugees from a war-torn country who seek asylum in a small American fishing town. Where are the refugees from, you ask? That’s the mysterious part: The refugees are from America, and the war they are fleeing doesn’t take place for another 250 years. Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez, Jay Karnes, and Sandrine Holt star.

Dancing With the Stars Junior

This inevitable Dancing With the Stars spinoff will feature both celebrity kids and kids of celebrities (with their celebrity status apparently inherited). Though not confirmed, the introduction of this spinoff makes it likely that the adult version of Dancing With the Stars will air only in the fall and will not have a spring cycle.

DRAMA tbd midseason

Is producer Greg Berlanti finally running out of ideas? He’ll have seven shows on the air in 2017-18 (including fellow newcomer Black Lightning, headed for the CW), but this is the only one revolving around a disgraced magician (i.e., a magician) who solves crimes as a consultant for the FBI. Actually, Berlanti isn’t really to blame; the series comes from writer/producer Chris Fedak (Forever, Chuck)—or possibly a random word generator that spit out the terms “illusionist” and “FBI agent.” Jack Cutmore-Scott (Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life) stars.

For the PeopleFor the People
DRAMA tbd midseason

Shonda Rhimes’s latest ABC series is already being described as a legal version of Grey’s Anatomy. Set in a federal court (specifically, the Southern District of New York, one of the oldest courts in the country) and focusing on the personal and professional lives of new lawyers on opposite sides, the drama comes from Scandal writer Paul William Davies and stars Hope Davis, Ben Rappaport, Britne Oldford, Anna Deavere Smith, and Vondie Curtis Hall, though several other roles from the pilot are expected to be recast.

The Good DoctorThe Good Doctor
DRAMA Mondays at 10p

A brilliant but socially awkward doctor who works in a prestigious hospital, in a drama created by David Shore? You’ve seen it before, and you’ll see it again next season. But The Good Doctor‘s Shaun Murphy (Bates Motel‘s Freddie Highmore) isn’t exactly the second coming of Dr. Gregory House. For one thing, he’s a surgeon. And that lack of social grace? Rather than misanthropy, it’s autism. Shore adapted the drama (along with actor Daniel Dae Kim, who produces but does not star) from a South Korean series. Richard Schiff also stars.

The Gospel of KevinThe Gospel of Kevin
DRAMA Tuesdays at 10p

Jason Ritter stars as the latest in a long tradition of TV characters who are able to talk to God. Specifically, in this lighthearted drama from the duo of Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (Agent Carter, Reaper), Ritter plays a clueless, self-serving man caught in a downward spiral until a celestial being gives him a mission to save the world. JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Cristela Alonzo co-starred in the pilot, but the latter’s role—God—will now be re-cast.

InhumansMarvel’s Inhumans
DRAMA Fridays at 9p

ABC’s highest-profile newcomer was given an eight-episode order last fall, bypassing the normal pilot process. The network’s third Marvel series is not a spinoff from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (nor a replacement for the planned but delayed Inhumans feature film) but rather a separate series focusing on the super-powered Inhumans royal family. (Think of them as a Disney-owned version of the X-Men mutants.) Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) heads the cast as Black Bolt and Serinda Swan (Ballers) plays his wife Medusa, while Scott Buck (Dexter, Marvel’s Iron Fist) serves as showrunner. The Hawaii-set series will get an unconventional (and unprecedented) rollout: the first two episodes will debut on 1,000 IMAX screens beginning Labor Day weekend before the show launches on ABC in late September. (Those big-screen episodes will actually be filmed entirely with IMAX cameras and be financed by IMAX.) Unexpectedly for such a highly promoted series, Inhumans will air on Friday nights, with Once Upon a Time moving to that night as its lead-in.

The MayorThe Mayor
COMEDY/MUSICAL Tuesdays at 9:30p

What happens when a young, aspiring rapper runs for the office of mayor of his hometown as a publicity stunt—and wins? Presumably, you’ll find out in this new musical workplace comedy series from Jeremy Bronson (Speechless), who produces with Tony-winning Hamilton star Daveed Diggs. Brandon Micheal Hall (Search Party) stars alongside Yvette Nicole Brown and Lea Michele.

Splitting Up TogetherSplitting Up Together
COMEDY tbd midseason

Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek returns to ABC with her latest single-camera comedy, an adaptation of a Danish series. The rom-com stars Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson as a couple whose divorce winds up re-igniting their relationship. Ellen DeGeneres is among the producers.

Ten Days in the ValleyTen Days in the Valley
DRAMA Sundays at 10p

Ordered straight to series last August, this 10-episode thriller from Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) stars Kyra Sedgwick as an overworked producer of a controversial TV show and mother in the middle of separating from her husband. When her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night, her work and personal lives implode. Joining Sedgwick (who takes over for the originally cast Demi Moore) in the cast are Erika Christensen and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

untitled Grey’s Anatomy spinoff
DRAMA tbd midseason

Announced Tuesday afternoon well after ABC’s other newcomers, this straight-to-series pickup from Shonda Rhimes will focus on a group of firefighters in Seattle. There’s no word yet on casting, but the series will launch in early 2018, likely after the new faces first appear in a Grey’s Anatomy episode.

Bonus trailer:


More coverage of the 2017-18 upfront presentations …


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