Skip to main content

Upfronts 2016: ABC Ups Bet on Family Comedies

Complete Coverage: Upfronts 2016

ABC is playing to its strengths for 2016-2017, including upping its bet on family comedies and loading up on Thursday soapy dramas. One change to Thursday is the addition of legal drama Notorious, which breaks up the Shonda Rhimes block as Scandal moves to mid-season.

The network will use proven comedies such as The Goldbergs and The Middle to help launch new ones.

The network shared its schedule in advance of its upfront presentation at Lincoln Center in New York May 17.

Watch trailers for all of ABC’s 2016-2017 new shows

Mondays feature Dancing With the Stars and Mark Gordon legal drama Conviction.  

Tuesdays offer The Middle before American Housewife, then Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O’Neals. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs at 10 p.m.

The Goldbergs kicks off Wednesdays, Channing Dungey, ABC entertainment president, calling it a “wonderful performer” for the net. That leads into comedy Speechless, Modern Family, black-ish and Kiefer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor.

Related: Diversity Works, Says ABC’s Dungey in Her First Upfront Spiel

Thursdays are Grey’s Anatomy, then Notorious, inspired by the true-life stories of criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, and How to Get Away With Murder. Dungey cited a “real renaissance” for Grey’s this season.

Fridays feature Last Man Standing, Dr. Ken, Shark Tank and 20/20.   

Saturday Night Football drives Saturdays, while Sundays are America’s Funniest Home Videos, Once Upon a Time, Secretsand Lies and Quantico.

Related: Skipper Says ESPN Still Has ‘A Little Swagger’ Despite Sub Losses

“Our new shows reflect the inclusive and empowering storytelling that defines the ABC brand. We will continue to raise the bar for our audience, investing in great storytellers and reflecting the authentic faces and voices of the world around us,” said Dungey.

American Crime will return as a limited series. Special events include Dirty Dancing, a three-hour filmed musical; Ali: The Champion, honoring boxing legend Muhammad Ali; When We Rise, a seven-episode civil rights miniseries, and a new David Blaine special. Air dates are not yet determined.

Live musicals are popular on broadcast TV, and Dungey said ABC is far along in producing its own. "It's a space that’s already become very crowded," she said. "When we make a play in this space, it will be one that speaks to the heart of who we are at ABC and as part of the Disney family."

Related: For Some, Fewer Spots May Mean More

Shonda Rhimes will again take over Thursdays and reach into another night, in the mid-season, when she has four shows on ABC.