American Crime is on the move. John Ridley’s praised limited series will return for a second season on a new night, Wednesday, where it will air in Nashville‘s 10 PM slot while the country music drama is on winter hiatus. American Crime‘s second season, slated to premiere on January 6, is set in the U.S. Midwest at two high schools, one public and one private.
The first season of the show, which followed a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial, aired in the Thursday 10 PM slot, succeeding How To Get Away With Murder, which has shorter (18-episode) seasons per star Viola Davis’ contract. This season, the plan is to keep the Shondaland branding on the night intact with the latest Shonda Rhimes-produced drama, The Catch, following HTGAWM in the 10 PM hour.
That left ABC with few choices for American Crime, whose subject matter makes it hard to play it before 10 PM. Still, its Wednesday scheduling makes for a huge tonal swing between ABC’s 8-10 PM family comedy block and one of the darkest drama series on broadcast television that tackles tough issues such as race and class.
In Season 2, issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy are posted on social media following a school party. Circumstances become more complicated when the boy accuses two players on an elite private high school’s championship basketball team of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online.
Many of the Season 1 cast members are back, including stars Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton (pictured above as Coach Dan Sullivan), as well as co-stars Regina King — who won an Emmy for her role — Lili Taylor and Elvis Nolasco, who are joined by Trevor Jackson, Connor Jessup, Joey Pollari and Angelique Rivera.
Ridley executive produces with Michael J. McDonald for ABC Studios.