ABC has firmed up its midseason scheduling plans, announcing premiere dates for dramas American Crime and Secrets And Lies. They will air in the two slots earmarked for them back in May — Thursday 10 PM and Sunday 9 PM — which become available in midseason because their respective fall occupants, How To Get Away With Murder and Resurrection, have short orders.
John Ridley’s American Crime, originally penciled in for the Sunday 9 PM berth, will succeed HTGAWM on Thursday, as I hear it was considered too dark for 9 PM. The series, starring Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton, debuts March 5. HTGAWM will end its freshman season with a two-hour finale on February 26. Murder mystery Secrets And Lies, based on an Australian format, will succeed Resurrection on Sunday. The series, starring Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis, will launch with a two-hour premiere from 9-11 PM on March 1 before moving into its regular 9-10 PM slot the following week.
American Crime, written, directed and exec produced by Ridley, chronicles the aftermath of a brutal attack on a young couple. Huffman, Hutton, W. Earl Brown, Richard Cabral, Caitlin Gerard, Benito Martinez, Penelope Ann Miller, Elvis Nolasco and Johnny Ortiz star. Michael J. McDonald also exec produces for ABC Studios.
Secrets And Lies centers on Ben Crawford (Phillippe), who goes from Good Samaritan to murder suspect overnight after he discovers the body of his neighbor’s young son. Phillippe, Lewis, KaDee Strickland, Natalie Martinez, Dan Fogler, Indiana Evans, Natalie Crawford and Belle Shouse star. Barbie Kligman developed the series based on the Australian drama created by Stephen Irwin. Kligman executive produces with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield, Timothy Busfield and Charles McDougall, who directed the pilot. ABC Studios is the studio.