Fall Television Schedule Preview- ABC Edition

As summer turns the corner into August, fall television is back and we gear up for another round of fall programming.  With streaming networks seeming to rule the realm these days, major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX, all have to fight to find those new programs to keep pace with the juggernauts of HBO, Netflix, and Prime.  Over the past decade, the original networks seem to grasp on the dying art of sitcoms, as well as more reality-tv and other variety programs to keep a foothold in the door of primetime television. This fall seems to be no exception. 

In order to try to help promote those basic networks to stay relevant, AEE will shine a light on each fall lineup and give viewers a preview of what new programs to expect, along with what classics are returning.

Monday

  • 8 pm: Dancing with the Stars
  • 10 pm: The Good Doctor

ABC will begin the week with a rather mundane two-show card by returning two of its more popular shows to this slot. Not surprisingly, Dancing with the Stars returns for a twentieth-eighth season.  Once again, contestants will foxtrot their way across the screen in hopes to grab the acclaimed MIrrorball trophy. With most of the cast still unknown, fans will have to wait a little while longer before the official lineup is announced.  The show will drop sometime in September. Meanwhile, The Good Doctor steadily makes another round with its third season.  Don’t look for ratings jump on this night as both shows already have their fan bases cemented, and I doubt any new viewers come clamoring to watch either of these programs.

Tuesday

  • 8 pm: The Connors
  • 8:30 pm:  Bless this Mess
  • 9 pm: Mixed-ish
  • 9:30 pm: Black-ish
  • 10 pm: Emergence

The Connors and Black-ish are still the name-brand ratings draw here, with the latter being one of the only shows on ABC to garner continued Emmy recognition. Mixed-ish is another spin-off of Black-ish that hopes to capture similar glory; but let’s be honest, when a network relies solely on marketed spin-offs to keep afloat, one must ask themselves how much longer such programming can help keep its head above water? That being said,  Emergence seems like another formulaic show of crossbreeding police investigations with an unfolding mystery, and I just do not see the star-power here to make this show a hit.  ABC is hoping my prediction here is wrong.  

Wednesday

  • 8 pm: The Goldbergs
  • 8:30 pm: Schooled
  • 9 pm: Modern Family
  • 9:30 pm: Single Parents
  • 10 pm: Stumptown

One of TV’s most uncelebrated gems, The Goldbergs, marches back into the prime Wednesday night slot for a seventh season, while the always celebrated and longest-running series Modern Family approaches its eleventh and final season.  ABC wants to champion its most important show of the last decade by giving it a proper send-off; however, there is no arguing that the loss of this series has to be concerning the network. Will they be able to replace this rating monster?  Stumptown hopes to be their answer by cashing in on the graphic novel cult craze, while boasting a strong ensemble of television vets, such as Cobie Smulders, Michael Ealy, and Jake Johnson. If there is a breakthrough show on their fall lineup, I predict that Stumptown will be that show.  Who doesn’t want to see Jake Johnson return to the television screen? Man, I miss New Girl.

Thursday:

  • 8 pm: Grey’s Anatomy
  • 9 pm: A Million Little Things
  • 10 pm: How to Get Away with Murder

The always contested Thursday night ratings war will undoubtedly remain with ABC flourishing three of its most significant programs.  Grey’s Anatomy remains ABC’s highest-rated drama and will likely remain so unless NBC or CBS can cook up something to dethrone the champ. Whereas, A Million Little Things follows Greys for its second season. Here is a program that hopes to pick up a little steam, and it’s being positioned between two fan-favorite programs just might continue to aid in its growth.  Nonetheless, the best show on this card is the return of How to Get Away with Murder. Arguably the best program on ABC, the always captivating Viola Davis brings her crew of lawyer lackeys back for its sixth and final season.  Already losing Modern Family, the ratings-blessed HTGAWM is another show that ABC really cannot afford to lose.  I just do not know what they have down the pipeline that can mirror the success of shows like these two?  Scripts of the nature of HTGAWM seem to be more attracted to Netflix or other streaming channels.

Friday

  • 8 pm: American Housewife
  • 9 pm: Fresh Off the Boat
  • 10 pm: 20/20

The old-timey timeslot of Friday nights always spells disaster for a program with potential.  The fact that American Housewife is now situated at the 8 pm Friday night spot could be a nail in the coffin for this program.  Moreover, Fresh Off the Boat will continue to hang around for the sixth season; however, one has to wonder how much longer this show can remain?  Friday night appears to be a run-through-the-motions type of night for ABC. Thank god I have a social life.  

Saturday:

8 pm: Saturday Night Football

As a sports fan, there is nothing wrong with this Saturday night lineup, as college football’s Game of the Week is all we need for three hours.  ABC is smart in doing what it can to keep itself relevant in the sports world.

Sunday

  • 7 pm: AFV
  • 8 pm: Kids Say the Darndest Things
  • 9 pm: Shark Tank
  • 10 pm: The Rookie

Meh!  The usual. Maybe my mother finds this lineup interesting. Nuff said.

So there’s your fall preview for ABC.  From a critical perspective, 2019 is a precarious year for ABC, as it will eventually need to replace both Modern Family and How to Get Away with Murder in 2020. Can Stumptown help draw in new viewers?  With just Black-ish, The Goldberg’s, and The Connors as ABC’s only recognizable casts, they sure need to find something revolutionary to rebrand their product. 

Cory Gasaway 

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