ABC Sets Fall Drama Premiere Dates; ‘For Life’ Replaces Canceled ‘Stumptown’ On Schedule, ‘The Rookie’ Pushed

For Life

ABC has rounded out its fall schedule with changes and premiere dates involving its drama series.

Five ABC dramas — returning Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, The Good Doctor and A Million Little Things as well as straight-to-series newcomer Big Sky — which were featured on the fall 2020 schedule unveiled by the network in June, have been assigned November premiere dates and to roll out between Nov. 2 (The Good Doctor) and Nov. 19 (A Million Little Things). All five series are already in production on their new seasons in Vancouver (The Good Doctor, Big Sky, AMLT) and Los Angeles (Grey’s Anatomy and spinoff Station 19).

Flagship Grey’s Anatomy is getting a two-hour Season 17 premiere on Nov. 12.

The major change from the announced ABC fall schedule involves For Life taking over the Wednesday 10 PM slot from the previously renewed Stumptown, which was canceled yesterday. Additionally, The Rookie has been officially pushed to later in the season. ABC already had slated reality series Card Sharks in the Sunday 10 PM hour, starting Oct. 18, to fill in for the Nathan Fillion drama, which is yet to begin production.

For Life, from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Signature, spent the spring on the bubble before earning a Season 2 renewal in June for a midseason 2021 debut.

As Deadline reported last month, For Life got ahead of the game with an August 26 Season 2 start of production in New York, becoming one of the first ABC scripted series to begin filming its new season. With an early start and a timeliness in the era of Black Lives Matter and a growing social justice movement, the series was considered a strong contender for fall. The legal/prison drama is currently on a two-week hiatus after multiple positive COVID-19 tests.

ABC over the past several weeks announced fall premiere dates for its alternative and comedy series. The Wednesday ABC comedies are launching their new seasons on Oct. 21 and Oct. 28. The reality lineup will be rolled out in September and October.

“Our fall schedule is now complete with a dynamic lineup of new and returning drama series,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “From fan-favorite shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor to David E. Kelley’s thrilling new drama Big Sky, our strength is in our storytelling, and we could not be more energized to bring these compelling series to our viewers.”

Here are premiere dates for ABC’s fall drama series( New shows in bold), followed by ABC’s final fall schedule with premiere dates).


10-11 PM — The Good Doctor


8-9 PM — Station 19

9-11 PM — Grey’s Anatomy (two-hour season premiere)


10-11 PM — Big Sky 


10-11 PM — For Life


10-11 PM — A Million Little Things

ABC Fall 2020 Schedule


8-10 PM — Dancing With The Stars (Sept. 14)
10-11 PM — The Good Doctor (Nov. 2)


8-10 PM — The Bachelorette (Oct. 13)
10-11 PM — Big Sky (Nov. 17)


8-8:30 PM — The Goldbergs (Oct. 21)
8:30-9 PM — American Housewife (Oct. 28)
9-9:30 PM — The Conners (Oct. 21)
9:30-10 PM — American Housewife (OCt. 21)
10-11 PM — For Life (Nov. 18)


8-9 PM — Station 19 (Nov. 12)
9-10 PM — Grey’s Anatomy (Nov. 12)
10-11 PM — A Million Little Things (Nov. 12)


8-9 PM — Shark Tank (Oct. 16)
9-11 PM — 20/20


8-11 PM — Saturday Night Football


7-8 PM — America’s Funniest Home Videos (Oct. 18)
8-9 PM — Supermarket Sweep (Oct. 18)
9-10 PM — Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Oct. 18)
10-11 PM — Card Sharks (Oct. 18)


BIG SKY — From visionary storyteller David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies”) comes “Big Sky,” a thriller created by Kelley, who will write multiple episodes and serve as showrunner in its premiere season. Private detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt join forces with his estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. “Big Sky” stars Katheryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt, Kylie Bunbury as Cassie Dewell, Brian Geraghty as Ronald Pergman, Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane, Natalie Alyn Lind as Danielle Sullivan, Jade Pettyjohn as Grace Sullivan, Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie Kennedy, Valerie Mahaffey as Helen Pergman with John Carroll Lynch as Rick Legarski and Ryan Phillippe as Cody Hoyt. Based on the series of books by C.J. Box, “Big Sky” is executive produced by David E. Kelley, Ross Fineman, Matthew Gross, Paul McGuigan, C.J. Box and Gwyneth Horder-Payton, and is produced by 20th Television in association with A+E Studios. 20th Television is a part of Disney Television Studios, alongside ABC Signature and Touchstone Television.

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