ABC may be finishing the year in 3rd place overall in the 18-49, but they are doing it in style. They are the only network to post year to year gains. In an era where a 1.8 gets renewed and a 1.5 gets canceled, that is saying something. They had shows that people actually talked about this year. The Thursday night “T.G.I.T” lineup has been a real force. Grey’s solved the 8pm problem, and How to Get Away With Murder was a big hit. Black-ish was the perfect companion for Modern Family, and Fresh Off The Boat, was a nice surprise. ABC long known for being the lady net, have expanded to being the lady AND family net. They have really solidified their #brand and I see that helping them climb up the board in years to come.
Canceled Shows: Manhattan Love Story, Selfie, Revenge, Forever, Resurrection, The Taste, Cristela
New Shows: The Muppets, Quantico, Dr. Ken, Oil, Of Kings and Prophets, The Catch, The Family, The Real O’Neals, Uncle Buck, Wicked City
ABC is not ordering a lot, and most of what they’re ordering is holding off for the midseason. They have a few nights that just work (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday), so it makes no sense to shake them up too much. Nashville got a surprise season 4, but when original music comes out of a show, that bodes well for it. I’m also surprised to see both Galavant and Agent Carter getting second seasons. If you look into what ABC head Paul Lee’s been saying, he does not want many repeats on the schedule, so planning on having shows like those, American Crime (which is returning with a new story and same cast), and Secrets and Lies come back to fill in gaps between longer seasons. It’s a smart move. They don’t have to light up ratings board, but if they keep repeats off the schedule, they’ll keep other shows from eroding.
What is going to work: The Muppets looks like such a homerun. Maybe its the fact that I’m a Muppet guy, but it looks like Disney has finally found a way to capitalize on owning them. It will also probably help bolster Fresh Off the Boat, which follows it, and SHIELD. The Catch is the other safe bet. It’s a Shondaland show taking over for the abbreviated HTGAWM season, so I’m sure it will be heavily sampled. Outside of that, I feel like their comedies will go 50/50. Which ones work is beyond me, because none look great.
What isn’t going to work: 50% of their new comedies, Quantico, Oil, and Of Kings and Prophets. Their Sunday night after OUAT just falls flat, and there is no reason to see that trend stopping. Prophets looks like A.D. on NBC, which no one is already watching, albeit with more sex. Still looks stupid. Wicked City I can barely understand the premise, and Quantico sounds like something that NBC would have loved to put on this year in lieu of Allegiance or American Odyssey. That said, if NBC wants it, you probably shouldn’t…