After featuring The Bachelorette on the fall schedule the last two years, ABC is relocating another summer Bachelor franchise staple to fall, Bachelor In Paradise , which will keep its twice-a-week air pattern to help fill in the void left by veteran Dancing with the Stars moving to Disney+. Hot freshman Abbott Elementary has officially been crowned as ABC's new flagship comedy series by giving it Modern Family 's Wednesday 9 PM tentpole time slot.
Here is ABC's fall schedule, which features three new series, dramas Alaska starring Hilary Swank and The Rookie: Feds , headlined by Niecy Nash, as well as Celebrity Jeopardy! , followed by analysis, including comments by ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich, and detailed descriptions of ABC's new series for next season that have been picked up so far.
ABC FALL SCHEDULE (New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
THURSDAY ALASKA DAILY (fka Alaska)
In 2020, ABC's summer fixture The Bachelorette shifted to fall by necessity as its production was delayed by the pandemic. The stunt worked so well in the ratings that the network did it again this past fall. Next fall, ABC is doing it with another Bachelo r series that airs in the summer, Bachelor In Paradise . For the last two years, ABC aired Dancing with the Stars on Monday and The Bachelorette on Tuesday. Bachelor In Paradise will keep its Monday-Tuesday air pattern which is very convenient since Dancing is relocating to Disney+.
"Slotting Bachelor in Paradise in to take over for Dancing with the Stars is an opportunity for us to do even better; the Live+Same Day numbers of Bachelor In Paradise match or exceed Dancing with the Stars '," Erwich said.
On why ABC opted not to bring The Bachelorette back for fall, Erwich noted that "It was in the cycle for Bachelor in Paradise, it is the perfect show to kick off the fall season."
He pointed to Bachelor in Paradise 's last season being up in the ratings and "probably one of the most talked about installments of the reality show we have had in a long time." "Because there are so many characters and storylines, it's the perfect show to expand over the course two nights," Erwich said.
While Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy have worked great together as a programming block, allowing for frequent crossovers, ABC opted to keep The Rookie in its current Sunday 10 PM slot and not pair it with spinoff The Rookie: Feds , which is slated behind Bachelor In Paradise in ABC's longtime challenging Tuesday 10 PM time period that most recently hosted short-lived drama Queens last fall.
"One of our strategies and themes for the fall was stability, which allows us to focus on a few key priorities, so keeping The Rookie in its Sunday time slot where it has been performing extremely well, especially coming out of Idol, we think the show will continue to grow in the numbers, it felt like the right thing to do, and because it's on Sunday night, we could message and kick it off and still do incredible crossovers on Tuesday," Erwich said. "And then we look at Bachelor in Paradise, I do believe it will be one of the strongest opportunities of a lead-in for any new show. The Rookie: Feds is a huge priority for us, so it felt like we wanted to give the show that opportunity."
Abbott Elementary 's move from Tuesday to ABC's signature Wednesday comedy block was expected. The question was which of this season's ABC Wednesday comedies will come off to make room for Abbott Elementary since all four have been renewed for next season. It was The Wonder Years, which just parted ways with EP Fred Savage after an investigation into inappropriate behavior.
Erwich said that the controversy did not play a part in the decision to hold the comedy back for midseason.
"The Wonder Years is a show we are extraordinarily proud of, reaction from the fans and the critics has been overwhelming. The show premiered extremely strongly, it's one of the highest rated premieres we have had in the past few years," he said. "The midseason order will allow us to develop a plan to relaunch it with a lot of care and attention."
As Abbott Elementary is taking over the Wednesday 9 PM slot, The Conners, which had succeeded Modern Family there , is sliding to 8 PM, supplanting longtime anchor The Goldbergs, which is shifting to 8:30 AM.
"We start the night with our biggest and broadest comedy, The Conners , especially coming off our incredibly strong stations I think that's a great kick-off," Erwich said.
The Wonder Years reboot has been benched until midseason along with A Million Little Things which is not on the fall schedule for the first time in its run with what is expected to be its fifth and final season. As AMLT is shifting to midseason, its Wednesday 10 PM slot is being assigned to Big Sky , which is moving from Thursday 10 PM to make room for newcomer Alaska, which is getting prime real estate behind the highly rated Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy two-hour block.
Erwich believes that Big Sky fans will follow the show to its third time slot in that many seasons, noting the new cast addition Reba McEntire. "We think that's a great way to generate conversation and get attention for that show," he said.
ABC NEW FALL SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
From the mind of Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"), "Alaska" stars Hilary Swank as Eileen Fitzgerald, a recently disgraced reporter who leaves her high-profile New York life behind to join a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage on a journey to find both personal and professional redemption. Alongside Swank, "Alaska" stars Jeff Perry as Stanley Cornik, Matt Malloy as Bob Young, Meredith Holzman as Claire Muncy, Grace Dove as Rosalind "Roz" Friendly, Pablo Castelblanco as Gabriel Martin, Ami Park as Jieun Park and Craig Frank as Austin Greene. Tom McCarthy is creator and executive producer. Hilary Swank, Melissa Wells, Bert Salke, Kyle Hopkins (Anchorage Daily News) and Ryan Binkley (Anchorage Daily News) are executive producers on the series. "Alaska" is produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. The pilot episode is written and directed by Tom McCarthy. Follow "Alaska" (#Alaska, #AlaskaABC) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
THE ROOKIE: FEDS
From the executive producers of flagship series "The Rookie" comes "The Rookie: Feds" starring Niecy Nash-Betts as Simone Clark, the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy. The spinoff was introduced as a two-part event during the current fourth season of "The Rookie," where Officer John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and the LA division of the FBI enlist the help of Simone Clark when one of her former students is a suspect in a terror attack. "The Rookie: Feds" stars Niecy Nash-Betts as Simone Clark, Frankie Faison as Christopher "Cutty" Clark and Felix Solis as Special Agent Matthew Garza. Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter are co-creators and executive producers. Mark Gordon, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nathan Fillion, Michelle Chapman, Bill Norcross and Corey Miller are executive producers. Entertainment One (eOne) is the lead studio and international distributor of "The Rookie: Feds," a co-production with ABC Signature. Follow "The Rookie: Feds" (#TheRookieFeds) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
NEW MIDSEASON SERIES
From creators David Windsor and Casey Johnson ("This Is Us," "The Real O'Neals") and starring Gina Rodriguez, "Not Dead Yet" follows Nell Stevens (Rodriguez), a broke and newly single self-described disaster, working to restart the life and career she left behind 10 years ago. When she lands the only job she can find – writing obituaries, Nell starts getting life advice from an unlikely source. The series is adapted from the book "Confessions of a 40-something F**k Up" by Alexandra Potter. "Not Dead Yet" stars Gina Rodriguez as Nell, Joshua Banday as Dennis and Angela Gibbs as Cricket. Casey Johnson and David Windsor are creators and executive producers. Also executive producing is Gina Rodriguez and Wonderland Sound and Vision's McG, Mary Viola and Corey Marsh. The series is produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. Follow "Not Dead Yet" (#NotDeadYet) on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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