Monday, December 1, 2014

Midseason Schedule: ABC

Updated December 10 with Fresh Off the Boat premiere information

With only one real freshman hit this fall in How to Get Away with Murder and two huge sitcom failures (and the complete collapse of Resurrection in its second season), ABC has a lot riding on its midseason schedule. Murder will only be around until the end of February sweeps because lead Viola Davis is only contracted for a maximum of fifteen episodes per season, so the other nights will need to play strongly in its absence.

Mondays

8:00 - The Bachelor (beginning January 5)
10:00 - Castle

Dancing with the Stars will, presumably, take back its Monday night timeslot sometime in March. Mondays have been a steady, unchanged stalwart for ABC.

Tuesdays

8:00 - Fresh Off the Boat (NEW - beginning February 10)
9:00 - Agent Carter (NEW - Beginning January 6)
9:00 - Agents of SHIELD (Beginning in March)
10:00 - Forever

Fresh Off the Boat will get a sampling on February 4 when it airs twice during the Wednesday night lineup at 8:30 and 9:30, before moving to its permanent home here. ABC doesn't seem deterred by the dual failures of Selfie and Manhattan Love Story this fall, though it may come down to just not having the schedule space to put the new comedy anywhere else. At least it's getting a bit more exposure with the previews airing on a more successful night. Limited series Agent Carter assumes its parent series' timeslot for eight weeks while SHIELD goes on hiatus. If Carter performs at the same level as SHIELD, I imagine ABC will be satisfied.

Wednesdays

8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - The Goldbergs
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - Black-ish
10:00 - Nashville

No changes here. The Goldbergs has been thriving in the family-comedy lineup, often outperforming its lead-in and its own performance last year on Tuesdays. Black-ish is doing well for ABC also, and it's the first post-Modern Family freshman to air at 9:30 for the entire season (aside from Cougar Town, which premiered alongside Modern Family in 2009).

Thursdays

8:00 - The Taste (Beginning December 4)
8:00 - Grey's Anatomy (Beginning January 29)
9:00 - Scandal (Beginning January 29)
10:00 - How to Get Away with Murder (Beginning January 29)
10:00 - American Crime (NEW - Beginning March 5)

The Taste airs its third season in two-hour increments as holiday filler until TGIT returns just in time for February sweeps. After a two-hour finale, How to Get Away with Murder vacates the schedule to make room for American Crime, which was originally slated to air on Sundays at 9:00 but is apparently too dark for the earlier hour.

Fridays

8:00 - Last Man Standing
8:30 - Cristela
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - 20/20

Cristela continues its underdog victory lap with a full-season order. The pilot was a last-minute addition, filmed on a shoestring budget on the Last Man Standing set with much of that show's crew, before being ordered to series in May. Now it has a full 22-episode pickup, cementing its reputation as The Little Show That Could.

Sundays

8:00 - Galavant (NEW - Beginning January 4)
8:00 - Once Upon a Time (Beginning March 1)
9:00 - Resurrection
9:00 - Secrets & Lies (NEW - Beginning March 1)
10:00 - Revenge

With Resurrection absolutely bombing in its already-short (13 episodes) sophomore season and Revenge hitting all-time lows, the Ryan Phillipe-led Secrets & Lies has a low bar set for it when it debuts the first Sunday in March, one week after the Oscars. Galavant looks strange and fanciful, but it's getting the burn-off treatment when it airs back-to-back episodes for four weeks in January and February.

After all is said and done, ABC still has one freshman drama (The Whispers) to slot in, as well as the new Shark Tank spin-off Beyond the Tank.

For descriptions of the new shows debuting midseason, see the 2014 upfronts schedule announcement from May.

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