ABC is adding five new series to its fall schedule, and later next season will air its own live musical, Disney's The Little Mermaid; a new Dancing with the Stars Junior, featuring celebrity kids; and The Bachelor Winter Games, an athletic challenge with all-star contestants to air opposite NBC's winter Olympics.
Fall dramas include Marvel's Inhumans, getting a splashy debut on IMAX screens ahead of its ABC launch; The Gospel of Kevin, a drama starring Jason Ritter (Parenthood) as a man on a downward spiral who, in a vision, is tasked with saving the world; The Good Doctor, starring Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) as an savant physician with autism; and Ten Days in the Valley, starring Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) as a single mother and TV crime-show writer whose own daughter goes missing. The lone new comedy is The Mayor, about a California rapper who runs for office as a publicity stunt — and unexpectedly wins.
Mayor will air Tuesdays following a relocated Black-ish, which is swapping nights with American Housewife, Modern Family's new Wednesday companion. Once Upon a Time will move to Fridays, where it will be followed by Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. once Inhumans completes its run. And Shark Tank will move from Fridays to Sundays, joining a mostly unscripted lineup that also includes To Tell the Truth and America's Funniest Home Videos.
Shonda Rhimes' Thursday trio remains intact, though ABC confirmed this will be Scandal's final season. A new series set in a Seattle firehouse from Rhimes has been ordered, but the premiere date has not been announced. Quantico also returns in midseason, when five new series will join the schedule, along with an eight-episode revival of former ABC hit Roseanne featuring the original cast. And ABC is reviving American Idol, canceled by Fox only last May after a 15-year run, with Katy Perry confirmed Tuesday as "anchor judge" and Ryan Seacrest likely to return as host.
ABC is coming off a tough season: The network ranks third among all viewers, averaging 6.2 million (down 8% from last season), and fourth among its target audience of adults ages 18 to 49 (2.1 million, down 11%).
That may be one reason for the interest in Idol as a potential 2018 boost, and the cancellation of several series, including comedies Last Man Standing, The Real O'Neals and Dr. Ken; low-rated limited series Secrets and Lies and American Crime; and freshmen bombs Time After Time, Imaginary Mary, Conviction and Notorious.
ABC's fall lineup (all times ET/PT; new shows in bold; new time slots in italics)
Monday: 8, Dancing with the Stars; 10, The Good Doctor
Tuesday: 8, The Middle; 8:30, Fresh Off the Boat; 9, Black-ish; 9:30, The Mayor; 10, The Gospel of Kevin
Wednesday:8, The Goldbergs; 8:30, Speechless; 9, Modern Family; 9:30, American Housewife; 10, Designated Survivor
Thursday: 8, Grey's Anatomy; 9, Scandal; 10, How to Get Away with Murder
Friday: 8, Once Upon a Time; 9, Marvel's Inhumans; 10, 20/20
Saturday: 8, Saturday Night Football
Sunday: 7, America's Funniest Home Videos; 8, To Tell the Truth; 9, Shark Tank; 10, Ten Days in the Valley