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Fall Schedule Predictions: ABC Needs a Big Change

Likely Renewed: America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Castle, Dancing with the Stars, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, Last Man Standing, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Middle, Modern Family, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Resurrection, Revenge, Scandal, Shark Tank, Suburgatory, 20/20
Likely Canceled: Betrayal, Mixology, The Neighbors, Super Fun Night, The Taste, Trophy Wife
Already Canceled/Ended: Back in the Game, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

*ABC hasn’t made an official decisions regarding their shows yet. But most of the ones that are likely to be renewed are pretty much no-brainers. I would be shocked if any of those series didn’t make it. The only question marks I have are with Nashville and Resurrection. Nashville isn’t doing that well in the ratings but it still brings some buzz and attention to the network, which it desperately needs. Resurrection did amazing in its premiere, but has fallen off a little bit in subsequent weeks. Suburgatory is a minor question mark. But it probably only needs one more season to make it to syndication. So it’s chances are good for that reason alone.*

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7PM: America’s Funniest Home Videos
8PM: Once Upon a Time
9PM: How to Get Away with Murder
10PM: American Crime

*ABC used to own this night. Now it’s struggling to survive. I think it needs a major change. Keeping the first two hours the same gives ABC some stability. AFV and Once Upon a Time are both solid performers that won’t do much better on a different night now. Resurrection has been doing very well in its timeslot, but I don’t know if ABC can bank on it enough to lead off the 9PM hour into another new series. ABC’s best bet is to wipe the slate clean and give its two biggest shows a showcase here. How to Get Away with Murder has the powerhouse combo of Viola Davis and creator Shonda Rhimes behind it. With enough promotion and marketing, people are going to watch it. American Crime is the other biggest pilot that ABC has this year. Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton and Oscar winning screenwriter John Ridley are going to be big selling points for viewers. ABC needs to rebrand their Sunday nights and having two of their biggest new series would go a long way towards accomplishing that.*

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8PM: Dancing with the Stars
10PM: Castle

*I have no idea what ABC is going to do with this night. Dancing with the Stars is still solid but its not the juggernaut it used to be. It hasn’t been able to launch a new series ever. There’s no reason to change anything on this night. This looks to be Castle‘s final season and ABC probably won’t move it to another night because of that.*

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8PM: Keep It Together
8:30PM: Saint Francis
9PM: Revenge
10PM: Nashville

*Tuesday is a complete disaster for ABC. The Marvel series was supposed to be their saving grace, but the competition against NCIS proved too tough. They’ve got nothing good going for it. ABC has several multi-camera series that seem likely to be ordered to series. Keep It Together has the starpower of producer Kevin Hart behind it. That might be enough to lead-off the hour. Saint Francis is another multi-camera starring Michael Imperioli that has some buzz behind it. The other two hours of the evening? Throw some of their aging series there. Revenge and Nashville both have loyal audiences that will follow it to another evening. Neither of those shows are strong enough in their current timeslots, but they aren’t low enough to be canceled. Move them both to Tuesday to give ABC some traction that they have never been able to build with new series.*

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8PM: The Middle
8:30PM: The Goldbergs
9PM: Modern Family
9:30PM: Black-ish
10PM: Secrets & Lies

*As much as we think: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The Middle and Modern Family have both been consistently great in their timeslots. But they’ve failed to launch any series in five seasons. Despite that being the case, I don’t see ABC messing with their times yet. Their too successful. The Goldbergs is likely to survive to a second season. Sandwiched between The Middle and MF should help their ratings greatly. The other two time slots? I have no clue. Black-ish is a single-camera family comedy starring Anthony Anderson. It’s been getting some positive buzz so far. I can see it working there. Secrets & Lies is my guess for the 10PM hour. It’s a crime drama mixed with some serial elements. A little bit of a call back to Revenge, which was very successful in its first season in the same time period.*

8PM: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9PM: Grey’s Anatomy
10PM: Scandal

*Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are the strongest aspects of ABC’s schedule. They won’t be moving anywhere. The Thursday at 8 P.M. time slot has been a huge trouble spot for ABC. I think their best move is to place Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. here. S.H.I.E.L.D. has done well in the ratings when it hasn’t gone up against a new episode of NCIS. There’s obviously an audience for the show but the conflicting time periods is a problem. Moving it to Thursday will allow the loyal audience to follow it and give ABC a fighting chance in that time period.*

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

*Shark Tank is one of ABC’s highest rated series. Many have been talking about moving to a more competitive night, but I don’t see it doing as well during a different night of the week. It’s doing fine on Fridays with 20/20. Last Man Standing has been doing pretty well on Friday nights and it needs another season to make it to syndication. It’s a lock for renewal. I doubt The Neighbors is coming back for another season, so that leaves the time slot behind LMS open. Cristela has been gaining some positive momentum and it has the same production team of LMS. It should be compatible.*

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Midseason: The Bachelor, Fresh Off the Boat, Sea of Fire, Suburgatory, The Whispers

*The Bachelor switching off with DWTS has been successful and I don’t see ABC changing that. Suburgatory is getting closer to syndication, so it would be risky for ABC to cancel it now. And they need some new series for midseason. None of their new comedy pilots sound all that new or exciting, but Fresh Off the Boat has been getting the most notices from other sites so it’s probably ahead of the pack.*