Three seems to be the magic number as each of the three broadcast networks who have unveiled their fall schedules so far are launching three new scripted series at the start of the season. For ABC, those are dramas Stumptown, reverting to its original title after a brief stint as Untitled Cobie Smulders, and Emergence as well as the black-ish spinoff comedy mixed-ish. All three hail from ABC Studios. Additionally, ABC is adding a Kids Say the Darndest Things reboot for fall with Tiffany Haddish as host.
Here is ABC’s fall 2019-20 schedule, followed by brief analysis and detailed descriptions of the network’s new series.
ABC FALL 2019-20 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE)
8 PM — Dancing with the Stars
10 PM — The Good Doctor
8 PM –The Conners
8:30 PM — Bless This Mess
9 PM — MIXED-ISH
9:30 PM — black-ish
10 PM — EMERGENCE
8 PM — The Goldbergs
8:30 PM — Schooled
9 PM — Modern Family
9:30 PM — Single Parents
10 PM — STUMPTOWN
8 PM — Grey’s Anatomy
9 PM — A Million Little Things
10 PM — How to Get Away with Murder
8 PM — American Housewife
8:30 PM — Fresh Off the Boat
9 PM — 20/20 (two hours)
8 PM — Saturday Night Football
7 PM — America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM -KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS\
9 PM — Shark Tank
10 PM — The Rookie
There is little difference between ABC’s midseason 2019 schedule and the fall 2019 one. The network is keeping the Thursday (non- fully TGIT) lineup it tried out in early 2019, with A Million Little Things sandwiched between Shondaland juggernaut Grey’s Anatomy and another long-running Shondaland drama, How To Get Away with Murder. The move from Wednesday to Thursday gave freshman AMLT a ratings boost, and it is staying there for Season 2. The heavily serialized AMLT and HTGAWM produce shorter seasons, so there is room for the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, now overseen by Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff, to rejoin the mothership series later in the season.
ABC also is keeping the current configuration of its Wednesday comedy block. With new additions Schooled and Single Parents both receiving second-season renewals, they are keeping their spot behind anchors The Goldbergs and Modern Family, respectively.
ABC’s two comedy franchises are both staying together — sequel Schooled is following The Goldbergs and the young Rainbow-focused prequel mixed-ish is airing just before black-ish on Tuesday, possibly because mixed-ish features younger protagonists and could reach wider family audience at 9 PM. (And ABC is keeping the chronology in both franchises.)
With The Kids Are Alright canceled, the plum post-The Conners slot on Tuesday has been given to Bless This Mess, a big vote of confidence to the recently debuted comedy. Displaced comedy American Housewives is moving to Friday, taking the spot vacated by the cancellation of Speechless.
The two new ABC fall dramas are going to Tuesday 10 PM, Emergence, which was picked up by ABC at the last minute after originating as an NBC pilot, and Wednesday 10 PM, Stumptown. They replace The Rookie, which is relocating to Sunday 10 PM, and canceled Whiskey Cavalier, respectively.
On Sunday, ABC has a new addition to its 7-10 family friendly unscripted block, with the new incarnation of Kids Say The Darndest Things linking America’s Funniest Home Videos and Shark Tank. Mondays remain the same for a third straight season.
“Since the beginning of the year, ABC has been the No. 1 network with a schedule that is working, and we are going to nurture it,” said Karey Burke. “Going into next season, our priorities are stability and launching shows in a way our audience will know we are committed to them.”
Here are descriptions of ABC’s new series:
NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
MIXED-ISH — In “mixed-ish,” Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.
Peter Saji and Kenya Barris are writers and executive producers along with Tracee Ellis Ross, Randall Winston, Artists First (Brian Dobbins), Cinema Gypsy (Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland) and Anthony Anderson. Anton Cropper directed the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Arica Himmel as Bow Johnson, Tika Sumpter as Alicia Johnson, Gary Cole as Harrison Johnson, Christina Anthony as Denise, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Santamonica Johnson and Ethan Childress as Johan Johnson.
UNITED WE FALL — “United We Fall” is a profoundly realistic family sitcom that follows the trials and tribulations of Jo (Christina Vidal) and Bill (Will Sasso), parents of two young kids, as they try to make it day to day as a functioning family. Bill’s very judgmental live-in mother and Jo’s large, Latinx Catholic family will never hesitate to let our couple know they’re seemingly screwing up, but Bill and Jo will always have each other’s backs, united against everyone – other parents, teachers, doctors, specialists, coaches, co-workers and, especially, their kids.
Julius “Goldy” Sharpe (“Making History”) wrote and executive produced the pilot. Seth Gordon and Julia Gunn are also executive producers. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot, which was produced by Sony Pictures, Exhibit A Film and ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Will Sasso as Bill Ryan, Christina Vidal as Jo Ryan, Jane Curtin as Sandy Ryan and Ella Grace Helton as Emily Ryan.
THE BAKER AND THE BEAUTY — Daniel Garcia is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton, an international superstar and fashion mogul, and his life moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull their families into a culture clash?
Dean Georgaris writes and executive produces with Becky Hartman Edwards and director David Frankel. In addition, Keshet’s Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan are executive producers, along with Assi Azar. Based on a hit Israeli show created by Assi Azar originally for Keshet Broadcasting, the series is produced by Universal Television and ABC Studios in association with Keshet Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Victor Rasuk as Daniel, Nathalie Kelley as Noa Hamilton, Carlos Gómez as Rafael Garcia, Dan Bucatinsky as Lewis, Lisa Vidal as Mari Garcia, David Del Rio as Mateo Garcia, Belissa Escobedo as Natalie and Michelle Veintimilla as Vanessa.
EMERGENCE — A character-driven genre thriller, “Emergence” is about a police chief who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.
Written and executive produced by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Paul McGuigan directs the pilot and is an executive producer. “Emergence” is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Allison Tolman as Jo, Alexa Swinton as Piper, Owain Yeoman as Benny, Ashley Aufderheide as Bree, Robert Bailey Jr. as Officer Chris, Zabryna Guevara as Abby with Donald Faison as Alex and Clancy Brown as Ed.
FOR LIFE — Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., “For Life” is a fictional serialized legal and family drama about a prisoner who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves and reclaim the life that was stolen from him. The show will also, through the window of his ferocious struggle and his complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden, examine the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems.
From Hank Steinberg, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson via G-Unit Film & Television, Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan of Doug Robinson Productions and Isaac Wright Jr. The pilot is directed and executive produced by George Tillman Jr. (“The Hate U Give”). “For Life” is a co-production of Sony Pictures Television Inc. and ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Nicholas Pinnock as Aaron, Indira Varma as Safiya, Joy Bryant as Marie, Glenn Fleshler as Frank, Dorian Missick as Jamal, Tyla Harris as Jasmine with Mary Stuart Masterson as Anya and Boris McGiver as DA Maskins.
STUMPTOWN — Based on the “Stumptown” graphic novel series, “Stumptown” follows Dex Parios (Cobie Smulders) – a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.
Writer Jason Richman produces the series with Ruben Fleischer and David Bernad (The District), Greg Rucka (author of the “Stumptown” graphic novel series), Matthew Southworth, and Justin Greenwood (illustrators of the “Stumptown” graphic novel series).
James Griffiths is an executive producer and directed the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios is a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.
Cast: Cobie Smulders as Dex Parios, Tantoo Cardinal as Sue Lynn Blackbird, Cole Sibus as Ansel Parios, Adrian Martinez as Tookie with Camryn Manheim as Lieutenant Cosgrove and Michael Ealy as Detective Miles Hoffman.
KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS — Hosted and executive produced by Tiffany Haddish. The hilarious reimagined format showcases a mix of in-studio segments and taped pieces from across the country, all set in front of a live studio audience. The series will capture Haddish’s unique voice and sensibility as she interacts with real kids – and their innocently entertaining points of view.
Produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Anvil 1893 Entertainment, Inc. and She Ready Productions, “Kids Say the Darndest Things” is executive produced by Eric Schotz and Tiffany Haddish.