Coming This Fall: ABC's Sharks vs. NBC's Sunday Night Football

by Marc Berman  |  05.16.2017

Unlike NBC and Fox, ABC is taking a lot of shots next season. Thirteen new series, in total, are on tap for 2017-18, with five coming this fall. The breakdown is seven dramas, three sitcoms, and three non-scripted entries including spin-offs from Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor, and the already-confirmed return of American Idol, with Katy Perry signing on as a judge.

In addition, ABC announced a revival of Roseanne starring much of the original cast, including Roseanne Barr and John Goodman, that’s on the slate for October 2018 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the show’s premiere. The network also ordered a straight-to-series spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy that will be set in a Seattle firehouse and revolve around a group of heroic firefighters.

With more of an emphasis on scripted dramas, ABC has chosen to pare down its sitcoms from 10 to eight, following the demise of Friday night’s Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken, both of which will be replaced by a retooled Once Upon a Time. With Friday viewing levels declining, the addition of newbie Marvel’s Inhumans out of Once Upon a Time is potentially a step in the right direction. The relocation of Friday night 9 p.m. mainstay Shark Tank to Sunday out of relocated game show To Tell the Truth at 8 p.m. and into new drama Ten Days in the Valley at 10 p.m., means that ABC is banking on the sharks to put a dent in competing Sunday Night Football on NBC. Good luck to Marc Cuban, “Mr. Wonderful” and the “Queen of QVC!”

In addition to Marvel’s Inhumans and Ten Days in the Valley are new ABC dramas The Good Doctor and The Gospel of Kevin; and sitcom The Mayor. Slated for midseason are dramas The Crossing, Deception and For the People; and sitcoms Alex, Inc. and Splitting Up Together.

Three additional ABC series, all sitcoms, will be moving to new time periods next fall. The Tuesday two-hour sitcom block, anchored by veteran The Middle, will now feature Fresh Off the Boat, black-ish and new comedy The Mayor from 8:30-10 p.m., leading into The Gospel of Kevin, starring Jason Ritter. The Wednesday comedy rotation will include relocated American Housewife at 9:30 p.m. out of Modern Family, which has been renewed for two additional seasons, and into sophomore drama Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland.

Overall, the programming changes on ABC will impact five nights of the week, excluding Thursday night’s Shondaland dramas and Saturday Night Football.

Two current dramas, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Quantico, will return in midseason at a reduced episode order. In the specials department, both musicals, are The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! and Rolling Stone 50.

The Spin

“I’m very proud of this year’s slate of series at ABC. We’ve focused on some of the universal themes that unite us – exciting stories, relevant dramas, and of course, lots of laughs,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to focus on the unique points of view of our show creators, but make shows that have broad appeal.”

The Reality

Recognizing the true potential value of Shark Tank and understanding that Friday evening is on the decline, relocating the reality series to reinvigorate its declining Sunday is the boldest programming move, thus far, of any broadcast network. But, let’s be honest: Once Upon a Time, retooled or not, will be of no benefit to Friday, limiting the potential interest in highly touted lead-out Marvel’s Inhumans. But with the target audience—young adult males in particular – the DVR usage and social media interest will be the deciding factor for the new Marvel action adventure.

ABC is hoping, no doubt, that new medical drama The Good Doctor will retain women who are watching lead-in Dancing with the Stars. Given the benchmark in the Monday 10 p.m. this season (dramas Conviction and Quantico), that should not be difficult to improve.

Moving Black-ish to Tuesday, meanwhile, frees up the Wednesday 9:30 p.m. half-hour for new comedy The Mayor while some interest remains in lead-in Modern Family, which the network renewed for two more seasons. Naturally, that could also help new Wednesday 10 p.m. drama The Gospel of Kevin. And spin-offs out of Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor are both attempts to hold interest in both franchises in between editions.

With more new series than any other network, coupled with strategically positioned returnees, the network could be poised for improvement next season.

What follows is the fall 2017 primetime line-up for ABC and the new program descriptions:


8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars (two hours)

10:00 p.m. THE GOOD DOCTOR


8:00 p.m. The Middle

8:30 p.m. Fresh off the Boat (new time)

9:00 p.m. black-ish (new day and time)

9:30 p.m. THE MAYOR



8:00 p.m. The Goldbergs

8:30 p.m. Speechless

9:00 p.m. Modern Family

9:30 p.m. American Housewife (new day and time)

10:00 p.m. Designated Survivor


8:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

9:00 p.m. Scandal

10:00 p.m. How to Get Away with Murder


8:00 p.m. Once Upon a Time (new day)


10:00 p.m. 20/20


8:00 p.m. Saturday Night Football


7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

8:00 p.m. To Tell the Truth (new day and time)

9:00 p.m. Shark Tank (new day)


New Program Descriptions


THE CROSSING (midseason)

Refugees from a war-torn country seek asylum in a small American fishing town, only the country these people are from is America – and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the government tries to uncover the truth behind this mysterious migration only one thing is certain: The lives of the people here — both the townspeople and these newcomers — will never be the same. Writers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie executive produce along with Jason Reed.

The Crossing stars Steve Zahn as Jude Miller, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Rick Gomez as Nestor, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Marcuis Harris as Caleb, Simone Kessel as Rebecca, Kelly Missal as Hannah, Rob Campbell as Paul, Grant Harvey as Roy, Bailey Skodje as Leah, Jon D’Leo as Will, Luc Roderique as Bryce and Tommy Bastow as Marshall.

DECEPTION (midseason)

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion — the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (Chuck) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter. Illusionist David Kwong (Now You See Me) will co-produce.

Deception stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen.

FOR THE PEOPLE (midseason)

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” this new Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country – all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The series, from ABC Studios, stars Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.


Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from David Shore (House), and Lost and Hawaii Five-O star Daniel Dae Kim.

The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim and Sebastian Lee are also executive producers. Seth Gordon directed the pilot and is also an executive producer.


Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, Parenthood), a cluelessly self-serving person, is on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Once Upon a Time) and niece. On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette appears to him and presents him with a mission – to save the world. A light drama from executive producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Resurrection, Reaper).

The Gospel of Kevin stars Jason Ritter as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Amy, J. August Richards as Nate, Chloe East as Reese, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler and India de Beaufort as Kristin.


Marvel’s Inhumans explores the never-before-told epic adventure of the royal family including Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans, with a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city. After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself.

The legendary comic book series will be brought to life in a way that has never been done before, as a version of the first two episodes will be shown globally in IMAX theaters for a two-week period beginning September 1, 2017. ABC will then air the entirety of the series on the network, with additional exclusive content that can only been seen on ABC.

Marvel’s Inhumans stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Ken Leung as Karnak, Ellen Woglom as an undisclosed character, Sonya Balmores as Auran and Mike Moh as Triton.


Ten Days in the Valley stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.

The series also stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as John Bird, Kick Gurry as Pete Greene, Erika Christensen as Ali Petrovich, Felix Solis as David Gomez, Josh Randall as Tom Petrovich, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Matt Abigail Pniowsky as Lake and Francois Battiste as Gus.


ALEX, INC. (midseason)

Based on the podcast StartUp, Alex Schuman (Zach Braff, Scrubs) is a brilliant radio journalist, husband and father of two who is about to do something crazy – quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought. Zach Braff stars, directs and is executive producer with Matt Tarses (Scrubs) and Davis Entertainment (Dr. Ken, The Blacklist).


Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century – running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, Community) and friends, including Valentina (Glee’s Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

The series stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, Marcel Spears as TK and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina.


Based on the Danish series, Splitting Up Together is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, The Office, Oliver Hudson, Scream Queens) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.

The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, and Van Crosby as Mason.


AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)

ABC is bringing back American Idol, which ended its 16-season run on Fox last year. The network, along with producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, will revive television’s most successful and recognized music competition series for the 2017-2018 season.


America’s favorite participants from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, from arch rivals to villains, will take competitive dating to a chilling new level. In an ode to the Winter Olympic Games and slated to premiere in February 2018, The Bachelor Winter Games will reunite the all-stars at a luxurious winter resort, where they will go head-to-head in winter-themed athletic challenges, including the toughest sport of all – love.


A fresh new take on an established favorite, Dancing with the Stars Junior will pair celebrity kids and kids of celebrities with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, to be announced at a later date.

← Back


New from Daily Brief

Chip Returns to Venice in Season 2 of ‘Flaked’
His web of lies becomes more tangled as he tries to move on from the past.
ABC’s Marla Provencio to Receive PromaxBDA Lifetime Achievement Award
Longtime marketing executive will be honored June 5 at PromaxBDA: The Conference in Los Angeles.
Clone Sisters Fight for Freedom in Final Season of ‘Orphan Black’
The sestras must face off against Rachel in BBC America’s action-packed promo.
Creative Review: La Comunidad
Incorporating American and Argentinian cultures has led to major campaigns in both countries.
Nat Geo Partners with Mini Countryman for Integrated Branded Spot
Promo by 2C Creative ties together upcoming series "America’s Natural Parks,” sweepstakes for show and new Mini Countryman car.
Creative Review: La Comunidad
La incorporación de la cultura americana y argentina que derivó en grandes campañas en ambos países.
Jun 5
The Conference 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design North America Awards 2017
Jun 8
PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Global Excellence Awards 2017
Jun 19
Station Summit 2017
Jun 22
The PromaxBDA Awards at Station Summit
FG|PG Advertisement Power Your Career Advertisement