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TV Upfront

ABC upfronts: 'Roseanne' comes to fall, TGIT persists, TGIF returns

By Published on .

'Roseanne' on ABC.
'Roseanne' on ABC. Credit: ABC

ABC will bring its "Roseanne" reboot back in the fall, a move that should help give the alphabet network an early boost to ratings, executives said Tuesday morning ahead of their afternoon presentation to ad buyers.

"Roseanne," which debuted in March to around 18 million viewers (not including delayed viewing), will air on Tuesday nights in the fall as a lead-in to ABC's new comedy "The Kids Are Alright," an ensemble show about an Irish-Catholic family in the 1970s.

Next season, "Roseanne" will move away from politics and instead focus more on family issues, Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said during a call with press.

"Roseanne" will return for 13 episodes, but it isn't clear yet whether it will get a back half order, she added.

Tuesday night is rounded out by "Black-ish" at 9 p.m., the recently-debuted comedy "Splitting Up Together" at 9:30 and "The Rookie," a new drama about the Los Angeles Police Department's oldest rookie cop, at 10.

"Black-ish" was renewed for a fifth season despite friction between ABC and show creator Kenya Barris this season. In February, an episode titled "Please, Baby, Please" didn't air because of creative differences.

"We have long been supportive of Kenya and his team tackling challenging and controversial themes in the show… But this episode there were a number of elements we couldn't come to terms on," Dungey said.

"It was a mutual decision to not put the episode out and I think we feel it was the best decision overall."

Following the news, there were reports that Barris was looking to get out of his contract with ABC Studios. On ABC and Barris' relationship, Dungey said "conversations have been incredibly collaborative" and that they are in discussions on additional projects.

"The Good Doctor," ABC's new (non-revival) breakout hit of the 2017-18 season, will return to Monday nights at 10 p.m. coming out of "Dancing with the Stars."

Shonda Rhimes will continue to be a centerpiece of ABC's schedule even after the prolific showrunner decamped for with Netflix: Thursday will remain a night dedicated to Rhimes dramas under the "TGIT" rubric, with "Grey's Anatomy," "Station 19" and "How to Get Away with Murder." When "Murder" goes off the air mid-season, ABC will fill the slot with another Rhimes drama, "For the People."

Wednesdays will continue to be home to "The Goldbergs," "Modern Family" and "American Housewife." They will be joined by the new comedy "Single Parents," which follows a group of, yes, single parents raising 7-year-old kids.

While there's been some chatter that this could be the final season for "Modern Family," Dungey said no decision has been made, saying the sitcom is still doing well both creatively and in the ratings. "If producers are interested in continuing, there's a case for us wanting to continue," she said.

ABC also picked up the "Goldbergs" spin-off "Schooled," which is focused on one of the show's characters Lainey Lewis, all grown up and returning to teach at her old high school. The show will air midseason, but no decision has been made if it will run directly leading out of "The Goldbergs."

At 10 p.m. on Wednesdays, ABC will introduce "A Million Little Things," a drama about a group of Boston friends who try to live their lives more fully after one of them dies.

"Fresh off the Boat" and "Speechless" were moved to Friday nights, joining "Child Support."

Dungey said that marks the return of ABC's old TGIF Friday-night comedly lineup.

"We did really well with comedies on Fridays for many years. ... We are returning to form with this," she said. "'Fresh off the Boat' and 'Speechless' are strong enough to survive the move and will bring loyal audiences with them on Friday."

"We decided to do TGIF again because we have enough strong comedies to have comedies on three nights of the week," Dungey added. "The audience demonstrated they will take as much comedy as we give them."

In response to Fox's decision to bring back "Last Man Standing," the Tim Allen comedy that ABC cancelled last season, Dungey said the decision that was made with "the best information we had at the time."

Sundays will again be home to "America's Funnies Home Videos" and "Shark Tank." "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors," announced last year, will air on Sundays this fall, along with "The Alec Baldwin Show," a one-hour series featuring the actor in conversations with various personalities.

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," which was renewed for a sixth season, will return in the summer of 2019.

ABC picked up eight new series for the 2018-19 season, more than either Fox or NBC.

ABC's cancellations this season include "Designated Survivor" and "Quantico." Dungey said the cancellation of "Designated Survivor" was a hard one, but that the drama starring Kiefer Sutherland had becoming challening in the 10 p.m. hour.

The network is on track to end the season in third place in total viewers, averaging 6 million people in primetime, and is tied with Fox for last place among the big four in the 18-to-49 demo that most advertisers pursue, with a 1.5 rating.

ABC's fall prime-time schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern/Pacific). New shows are in bold:

MONDAY:

8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars"

10:00 p.m. "The Good Doctor"

TUESDAY:

8:00 p.m. "Roseanne"

8:30 p.m. "The Kids Are Alright"

9:00 p.m. "black-ish"

9:30 p.m. "Splitting Up Together"

10:00 p.m. "The Rookie"

WEDNESDAY:

8:00 p.m. "The Goldbergs"

8:30 p.m. "American Housewife" (new time)

9:00 p.m. "Modern Family"

9:30 p.m. "Single Parents"

10:00 p.m. "A Million Little Things"

THURSDAY:

8:00 p.m. "Grey's Anatomy"

9:00 p.m. "Station 19"

10:00 p.m. "How to Get Away with Murder"

FRIDAY:

8:00 p.m. "Fresh Off the Boat" (new day and time)

8:30 p.m. "Speechless" (new day and time)

9:00 p.m. "Child Support" (new time)

10:00 p.m. "20/20"

SATURDAY:

8:00 p.m. "Saturday Night Football"

SUNDAY:

7:00 p.m. "America's Funniest Home Videos"

8:00 p.m. "Dancing with the Stars: Juniors"

9:00 p.m. "Shark Tank"

10:00 p.m. "The Alec Baldwin Show" (new title)

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