ABC Slates Midseason Premiere Dates For ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Spinoff, ‘For the People’ & More, Sets ‘American Idol’ Air Pattern


Ahead of its TCA presentation today, ABC has unveiled its midseason scheduling plans, slating its new mdseason series: Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, For the People, The Crossing, Deception, Alex, Inc. and Splitting Up Together and setting a series finale date for Scandal. Additionally, the network has announced that American Idol, whose ABC debut had been announced for March 11, will air on Sunday and Monday, resembling the singing competition’s air pattern early in its run on Fox, before it reverted to one outing a week. ABC also has set is a premiere date for the next, all-athlete cycle of Dancing with the Stars, which will follow Idol on Monday on April 30, and the return of Quantico. On Sunday, Idol will be used to launch new crime procedural Deception. There, the show will continue to air throughout the season, while on Monday it will have a seven-week run.

As expected, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff (no title yet but expected in the next couple of weeks) will join the TGIT/Shondaland Thursday lineup. It will have a special two-hour premiere on March 22  from 9-11 PM before assuming its regular Thursday 9 PM time slot the next week where it will follow the mothership Grey’s Anatomy. This is a strategy regularly employed by CBS where Criminal Minds and NCIS offshoots have been slotted behind the original seres.


Scandal, which airs in the Thursday 9 PM hour, will slide to 10 PM for its four final episodes, beginning March 29, with the finale airing April 19. TGIT’s first vacancy, which will be filled by the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, comes from How To Get Away With Murder, which produces 15-episode seasons per star Viola Davis’ contract. (Before HTGAWM ends its season, it will stage a crossover with Scandal.) There will be another TGIT opening after Scandal ends its 18-episode final season. Surprisingly, ABC will not fill it with the other new Shondaland drama this season, For the People. Instead, Quantico will join the Thursday lineup at 10 PM starting April 26. Meanwhile, legal drama For the People will be assigned ABC’s very challenging Tuesday 10 PM slot, which has claimed a slew of short-lived drama series. It will replaced there newbie Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, which only got a three-episode back order.

Like HTGAWM, breakout new drama The Good Doctor also has shorter seasons, 18 episodes, per star Fredde Highmore’s deal. The final episodes of the medical drama, which airs Mondays at 10 PM, will follow Idol on the night. After The Good Doctor‘s season finale, new supernatural drama The Crossing will take over the Monday 10 PM hour beginning April 2.


New midseason comedy series Alex, Inc. and Splitting Up together will join ABC’s Wednesday and Tuesday comedy blocks, respectively. Also Tuesday-bound is the Roseanne reboot, which, as previously announced, kicks off with a special one-hour premiere on March 27  from 8-9 PM before moving into its regular 8-8:30 PM time slot. It will be followed by The Middle at its new time, 8:30 PM, which will succeed Fresh Off the Boat, whose finale airs March 20. (Its season consists of 19 episodes, 3 shy of the full-season 22.)

Replacing new comedy The Mayor — recently pulled from the schedule — in the post-Black-ish Tuesday 9:30 PM slot will be Splitting Up Together. Meanwhile, Alex, Inc., starring Zach Braff, will succeed Speechless in the Wednesday 8:30 PM time period after the sophomore comedy wraps its 18-episode season March 21.

Here are ABC’s midseason premiere dates, followed by descriptipson of the network’s new series:

8:00-10:00 p.m. “American Idol”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Deception”

8:00-10:00 p.m. “American Idol”

10:00-11:00 p.m. “For The People”

9:00-11:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff (two-hour premiere)

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Roseanne” (one-hour premiere)
9:30-10:00 p.m. “Splitting Up Together”

8:30-9:00 p.m. “Alex, Inc.”

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff (time-period premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Scandal” (new time)

10:00-11:00 p.m. “The Crossing”

8:00-8:30 p.m. “Roseanne” (time-period premiere)
8:30-9:00 p.m. “The Middle” (new time)

10:00-11:00 p.m. “Quantico” (Season 3 premiere)

8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” All-Athletes Edition

“Alex, Inc.”

Based on Alex Blumberg’s successful podcast “StartUp,” comedy series “Alex, Inc.” is all about the things that happen – the good, the bad and the ugly – when a journalist and family man quits his job to start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought.

The series stars Zach Braff as Alex Schuman, Michael Imperioli as Eddie, Tiya Sircar as Rooni Schuman, Hillary Anne Matthews as Deirdre, Elisha Henig as Ben Schuman and Audyssie James as Soraya Schuman.

Matt Tarses is executive producer and writer. In addition to his role in front of the camera, Zach Braff is executive producer and director. John Davis and John Fox are executive producers from Davis Entertainment, as are Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti and Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media) in association with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.

“American Idol”

The iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre returns to airwaves at its new home on ABC. Helping to determine who America will ultimately vote for to become the next singing sensation are music industry forces and superstar judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Emmy® Award-winning host and producer Ryan Seacrest will return as host of the beloved series.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

“The Crossing” 

Jude Ellis (Steve Zahn) is the sheriff of Port Canaan, a small fishing town, whose plans for a quiet life change instantly when refugees from a war-torn country wash up on his beach seeking asylum, only the country these people are from is America – and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the Feds set out to uncover the truth behind the mysterious migration, Jude will launch an investigation of his own with the help of his loyal sheriff’s deputy, Nestor Rosario (Rick Gomez). Reece (Natalie Martinez) is a refugee but she’s different. She’s an “Apex,” a member of a genetically engineered human population. Her only goal once she arrives in town is to find her daughter, Leah (Bailey Skodje), from whom she is separated during the Crossing.

Leading the investigation for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is Emma Ren (Sandrine Holt), whose pursuit of the truth is complicated by the fact that her boss, DHS Undersecretary Craig Lindauer (Jay Karnes), seems to know a lot more about the migration than he’s telling her. Emma’s second-in-command is Bryce Foster (Luc Roderique), an empathetic agent who comes to find himself in over his head. Another vital member of the government team is Dr. Sophie Forbin (Georgina Haig), who has her own personal reasons for researching the Apex phenomenon and what it could mean to the future of science. Caleb (Marcuis W. Harris) and his wife, Rebecca (Simone Kessell), Hannah (Kelley Missal) and Paul (Rob Campbell) are all survivors from the crossing who come bearing dark secrets and a desperate pursuit for a better life.

“The Crossing” stars Steve Zahn as Jude Ellis, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Georgina Haig as Dr. Sophie Forbin, Tommy Bastow as Marshall, Rob Campbell as Paul, Rick Gomez as Nestor Rosario, Marcuis W. Harris as Caleb, Grant Harvey as Roy Aronson, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Simone Kessell as Rebecca, Kelley Missal as Hannah, Luc Roderique as Bryce Foster and Bailey Skodje as Leah. The series was created by executive producers Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie. Matt Olmstead, Jason Reed and David Von Ancken also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by ABC Studios.


When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion – the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (“Chuck”) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter. Illusionist David Kwong (“Now You See Me”) will co-produce.

“Deception” stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as FBI Agent Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as FBI Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen. 

The series is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television. “Deception” is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer.

“For The People”

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (a.k.a. “The Mother Court”), the new Shondaland series show follows six talented young lawyers working on opposite sides of the law and handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country.

Best friends Sandra Bell (Britt Robertson) and Allison Adams (Jasmin Savoy Brown) serve as public defenders alongside Jay Simmons (Wesam Keesh) and their boss, Federal Public Defender Jill Carlan (Hope Davis). They face off against prosecutors Seth Oliver (Ben Rappaport), Leonard Knox (Regé-Jean Page), Kate Littlejohn (Susannah Flood) and their supervisor, chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Roger Gunn (Ben Shenkman). Our lawyers are joined by Judge Nicholas Byrne (Vondie Curtis-Hall), who rules on some of the court’s most controversial cases, and Tina Krissman (Anna Deavere Smith), the formidable clerk of Court who keeps everyone in line.

These young lawyers will be put to the test both personally and professionally as their lives intersect in and out of America’s most prestigious trial court.

“For The People” stars Britt Robertson as Sandra Bell, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Allison Adams, Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.

The series from ABC Studios is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies, who executive produces alongside Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Tom Verica .

“Grey’s Anatomy” Spinoff

The latest series from the executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” follows a group of heroic firefighters at Seattle Fire Station 19 – from captain to newest recruit – as they risk their lives and hearts both in the line of duty and off the clock. These brave men and women are like family, literally and figuratively, and together they put their own lives in jeopardy as first responders to save the lives of others.

The series stars Jaina Lee Ortiz as Andy Herrera, Jason George as Ben Warren, Grey Damon as Jack Gibson, Barrett Doss as Victoria Hughes, Alberto Frezza as Ryan Tanner, Jay Hayden as Travis Montgomery, Okieriete Onaodowan as Dean Miller, Danielle Savre as Maya Bishop and Miguel Sandoval as Captain Pruitt Herrera.

The drama is produced by ABC studios. Stacy McKee (“Grey’s Anatomy”) serves as showrunner and executive producer, along with Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder”) and Betsy Beers (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder”) who also serve as executive producers. Paris Barclay (“Pitch,” “Sons of Anarchy,”) serves as the producing director and executive producer.


The timeless sitcom that broke new ground and dominated ratings in its original run returns to ABC with all-new episodes. Featuring the complete original cast, new series regulars and notable returning guest stars, the revival will explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the Conner household. With the inimitable Roseanne at its epicenter, fresh stories that tackle today’s issues and even more laughs from a brilliant cast and crew that haven’t missed a beat, audiences old and new will celebrate the homecoming of America’s favorite working-class family.

The series stars Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role.

“Roseanne” is produced by Carsey-Werner Television. Executive producers include Roseanne Barr, Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings and Tony Hernandez.

“Splitting Up Together”

From executive producers Ellen DeGeneres, Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”), Jeff Kleeman (“Little Big Shots”) and Dean Holland (“Parks and Recreation”) comes “Splitting Up Together,” the story of Lena (Jenna Fischer, “The Office”) and Martin (Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”), whose marriage is reignited by their divorce.

“Splitting Up Together” stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo.

Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen and Hella Joof are also executive producers, along with DeGeneres, Kapnek, Kleeman and Holland, of “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the original Danish series of the same name created by Heeno. The series is produced by A Very Good Production and Piece of Pie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

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