TCA: ABC Unfazed by ‘When We Rise’ Backlash, Announces Midseason Premieres

by Devon Thomas  |  01.10.2017

ABC miniseries When We Rise, which depicts the LGBT community’s fight for civil rights, is sure to spark a firestorm in some corners of the country, but Channing Dungey, ABC president of entertainment, said that won’t affect ABC’s commitment to air programming that might provoke. The miniseries, from Dustin Lance Black, debuts Feb. 27 and will run through March 2.

Speaking with Broadcasting & Cable Tuesday at the TCA 2017 winter press tour in Pasadena, Dungey said the trailer got more than 2 million views in its first 48 hours, and plenty of negative comments from those who do not share the network’s views on inclusive programming.

“What I want to do is tell stories that I think are compelling and important and reflect the world we live in,” Dungey said. “I want to work with filmmakers who have a real voice and vision. No matter what you do, you’ll get backlash from someone about something, and you can’t let that dictate the decisions you make. You have to follow your gut and your passion, and the storytellers whose stories you want to share.”

Earlier in the day, the TV trade magazine reported that When We Rise screenwriter Dustin Lance Black said the miniseries was under attack by the alt-right and that he was “incredibly grateful to ABC for its courage” on the project.

ABC announced a batch of other premiere dates and said its TGIT block returns Thursday, Jan. 26, with Grey’s Anatomy, the season six premiere of Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.

Time After Time gets its two-hour premiere March 5, following Once Upon a Time.

Kiefer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor comes back on Wednesday, March 8. On Sunday, March 12, anthology series American Crime will premiere its third season. Imaginary Mary gets a sneak peak later in the month, before settling into its actual time slot in early April. Pre-taped three-hour musical event Dirty Dancing is slated for Wednesday, May 24.

The full midseason premieres schedule, all announced by ABC, is available through The Wrap.

RELATED: ABC’s ‘When We Rise’ Offers Emotional Look at LGBT Rights Struggle

READ MORE: Broadcasting & Cable, The Wrap

[Image courtesy of ABC via Broadcasting & Cable]

← Back

New from Daily Brief

HOT SPOT: Discover Asia In 2017 Rebrand
Singapore-based TMRRW escorts viewers through tour of continent.
‘Bones’ Says Final Farewell with Retrospective
Spot takes an emotional look at the past 12 seasons and explores why the show has lasted so long.
FYI Unveils 2017 Programming Slate
Network to offer mix of unscripted home, relationship, cooking and competition series.
Hulu Preps Summer Schedule
Streaming service to return two veteran series, three documentary films.
Pair of Princes Partner to Save Their World in ‘Kings of Atlantis’
Animation stars Cody and Joe have scored their own show on YouTube Red.
History’s ‘Road Hauks’ Takes a Ride Through the Past
Expert mechanics combine American icons with powerful off-road vehicles.
Apr 27
PromaxGAMES: The Summit 2017
Apr 27
PromaxGAMES Awards 2017
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
Superestudio Advertisement Gamespot Advertisement