Tag: how to get away with murder

How to fix ABC in 5 easy steps [My Take]

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As you probably all know by now, ABC is in trouble with two of their new shows, Notorious & Conviction, not surprisingly starting poorly, with no hope for potential recoveries over the next few weeks. They can’t even count on a good word of mouth: they were not well-liked by both critics and curious viewers. The question now is whether the network will let them stay on the schedule until the remainder of their initial order (which consists of 13 episodes), trim it to 10 or even less, or cancel them altogether with an immediate effect. Since ABC didn’t order that many new shows for the entire season overall, they will probably stick with them through the fall, at least.

Not everything is this dark for ABC though: Kiefer Sutherland-starrer Designated Survivor looks like a hit with very decent live numbers and huge DVR; and comedy Speechless fits perfectly with the ABC Funny line-up alongside The Goldbergs & Modern Family. American Housewife has yet to start but stuck between The Middle & Fresh Off The Boat, it’s expected to make decent numbers.

While making too many changes too soon is never a good idea, ABC has to make some anyway so they can stay competitive before starting anew next season, with the first shows developed by the new regime. And by the look of things, Channing Dungey shouldn’t rely too much on procedurals: that’s simply not ABC’s brand, even if they’re more profitable when they actually work.

 

1/ MOVE “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” RIGHT AFTER “GREY’S ANATOMY”

Unless ABC can start the 6th season of Scandal sooner than expected -I doubt it because of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy- they can’t let their best drama lead-in –Grey’s Anatomy– go to waste (Notorious). Since HTGAWM has a hard time at 10 with its live numbers -the +3 & +7 are still potent- it wouldn’t hurt to move it to 9 where it can do a little bit better. The more they wait, the less the move will be effective. They can put Notorious at 10 or…

 

2/ FINALLY SAVE QUANTICO !

Is it too late so save the L+7 blockbuster? Probably. At least, the show helps keeping the lights on at 10 on sundays, where anything new would crash and burn. And that’s probably why they decided to keep it that way this season. BUT as numbers suggest, Quantico is not dead. Not yet. And it’s still an asset for the network. Giving it a push at 10 on thursdays, which was not possible when the TGIT was still a thing, is now very much possible. It probably won’t rise that much, but any rise is good to take, even for a few weeks! Justice for Quantico!

 

3/ PAIR THE BACHELOR WITH STILL STAR-CROSSED

They’d make a perfect march, wouldn’t they? Of course, ABC will be tempted to launch the Shondaland’s Romeo & Juliet soap on their TGIT night come spring, but it certainly would be a better fit with The Bachelor, which is now, by the way, a better lead-in than Dancing With The Stars on the demo. They could also put it on sundays after Once Upon A Time, and it’d be fine but not ideal. If ABC wants a try at another hit this season, they know what to do…

 

4/ GIVE A REAL CHANCE TO TIME AFTER TIME

Don’t make the same mistake you did with Forever, ABC. There are still very angry fans out there, and we can’t really blame them. What you did with Forever made sense somehow but you could have handled things better and give it a push. Give Time After Time -which is not that different tonally- a real chance to shine and find its audience, even though it’s not produced in-house but by Warner Bros. once again. And what does it mean precisely? Don’t hide it somewhere at 10. Don’t put it after Dancing With The Stars for example. It wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t waste it on fridays. But you’re not FOX, I guess you would never do that, right? So what? Yes, it’s a difficult timeslot but sundays at 9 seems to be the best option. Once Upon A Time is not a good lead-in anymore, but at least Time After Time is compatible with it. Doing the same numbers or slightly better would be a victory of some sort.

 

5/ GIVE A PRESTIGE FEEL TO YOUR SUNDAYS

Meaning doing this (either during the winter hiatus -if there’s one- or this spring)…

8- IMAGINARY MARY / DOWNWARD DOG

9- AMERICAN CRIME

10- WHEN WE RISE

I know most of you will call me crazy but it’s all about changing the narrative! Let me explain. Can we agree that ABC is dead on sunday for multiple reasons (football on NBC, no sports before 8 to support the night like this is the case on CBS, The Walking Dead on AMC… and of course shows which are not Desperate Housewives)? Yes we can. What if ABC self-proclaimed sunday night as their “prestige night” by scheduling there the shows that critics give much praise to but viewers don’t massively go to? The only “veteran” American Crime could be put at the center, at 9. Right before that, they have two midseason comedies waiting in the wings with a real cable feel: Imaginary Mary & Downward Dog. Make it a combo. And put When We Rise, a period drama about the LGBT movement, at 10. ABC could use the Oscars to promote the four of them heavily for a March launch. Of course, the numbers won’t be impressive but at least ABC could proudly turn a bad night into a prestige night where numbers don’t matter that much.

 

What’s your opinion? Feel free to comment!

ABC 2016/2017 Schedule / TRAILERS & THOUGHTS

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MONDAYS

8- DANCING WITH THE STARS

9- DANCING WITH THE STARS

10- CONVICTION

TUESDAYS

8- THE MIDDLE / AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE

9- FRESH OFF THE BOAT / THE REAL O’NEALS

10- AGENTS OF SHIELD

speechless

 

WESNESDAYS

8- THE GOLDBERGS / SPEECHLESS

9- MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH

10- DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

 


notroois

 

THURSDAYS

8- GREY’S ANATOMY

9- NOTORIOUS

10- HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER


FRIDAYS

8- LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN

9- THE SHARK TANK

10- 20/20

 

SUNDAYS

8- ONCE UPON A TIME

9- SECRETS & LIES (Midseason TIME AFTER TIME)

10- QUANTICO

 

timeaftertime

 

 

MIDSEASON

TIME AFTER TIME

STILL STAR-CROSSED

SCANDAL

AMERICAN CRIME

WHEN WE RISE (february 2017)

THE CATCH

DOWNARD DOG

IMAGINARY MARY





THOUGHTS

What’s good:

  • EVERYTHING is right where it should be. It’s almost exactly the fantasy schedule I made and explained (HERE). So yeah, I’m very happy with this smart and solid plan.

What’s bad:

  • Nothing. Except the fact that The Real O’Neals could have gotten a better timeslot in order to improve. It’ll be more complicated at 9.30.

ABC | 2016/2017 – Fantasy Schedule

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Those are predictions based on feelings and ABC final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Tuesday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

Dramas renewed: GREY’S ANATOMY | ONCE UPON A TIME | SCANDAL | AGENTS OF SHIELD | HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER | AMERICAN CRIME | SECRETS & LIES | QUANTICO | THE CATCH

New dramas ordered: DESIGNATED SURVIVOR | WHEN WE RISE | CONVICTION | NOTORIOUS | TIME AFTER TIME | STILL STAR-CROSSED

Comedies renewed: MODERN FAMILY | THE MIDDLE | LAST MAN STANDING | THE GOLDBERGS | BLACKISH | FRESH OFF THE BOAT | THE REAL O’NEALS | DR KEN

New comedies ordered: SPEECHLESS | DOWNWARD DOG | THE SECOND HOUSEWIFE IN WESTPORT | IMAGINARY MARY

 

ABC new president Channing Dungey didn’t prove to be very greedy (or satisfied?) in the drama department for her first pilot season with only 4 pilots getting picked-up + straight-to-series Designated Survivor. Which is even more surprising when you take into account the fact that both veterans Castle & Nashville have been cancelled. Last year, they ordered six new dramas. On the comedy side, they’re even with 4 orders, meaning a new hour of comedies could be added in the schedule. It will be an important year for ABC after the 2015/2016 disaster but let’s be realistic: it will take time before things look good again. Will the new schedule be conservative or a bit more ambitious with unexpected moves? There’s a lot of opportunities, especially with Scandal not coming back in the fall –apparently– which could lead towards a revamped TGIT. Here are my predictions.

 

MONDAYS

DANCING WITH THE STARS

DANCING WITH THE STARS

CONVICTION

Dancing With The Stars is not the hit it once was but stays very relevant on mondays against The Voice. There’s no reason to change that. The interesting thing though is that The Bachelor is stronger now in the demo when it takes over the slot between two editions. It’s one of their strongest lead-in, actually. During 8 years, only Castle aired at 10pm. Now that it’s gone, there are two options: launching a new drama or moving an older show and giving it a boost. Procedural Conviction looks like the safer bet. BUT airing Secrets & Lies season 2 then lauching something new behind The Bachelor is a convicing idea too. And what about The Catch? ABC renewed it against all odds, and with its older-skewing, a spot after DTWS would make sense. That’s a tough one. I’ll go with Conviction anyway.

 

TUESDAYS

THE MIDDLE / THE REAL O’NEALS

FRESH OFF THE BOAT / SECOND FATTEST

AGENTS OF SHIELD

Comedies are among ABC’s strongest assets right now: it’s time to finally expand to 2 hours on Tuesdays. But adding two new shows at 9 is not the best way to go. Weakened on wednesdays but still potent The Middle could move at 8 to anchor the night, followed by a compatible comedy that needs a boost: recent entry The Real O’Neals. At 9, Fresh Off The Boat can take the lead, followed by a new show, preferably Second Fattest Housewife in Wesport. At 10, Agents of SHIELD can die peacefully. ABC could also dump it to sundays but I don’t see it happening yet, sadly.

 

WEDNESDAYS

THE GOLDBERGS / SPEECHLESS

MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

The Goldbergs is strong enough to anchor the wednesdays comedy block and help launching a new show. Speechless is the best contender for that, it’s very compatible, totally on-brand and it has potential for a long run. Modern Family & Blackish can stay together. I have the feeling Blackish could totally collapse in another timeslot. At 10, it’s go big or go home now that Nashville is gone for good. Some may argue it’s a waste not using Designated Survivor for a 9pm slot but quite frankly, as good as it looks, I’m not sure it’s such a good fit with ABC’s lineup. That timeslot is less risky. If the numbers are good, the affiliates will be happy –which is important– and ABC can give it a better exposition for season 2.

 

THURSDAYS – TGIT

GREY’S ANATOMY

NOTORIOUS

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

What ABC will do with the TGIT is unpredictable, due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. It has not been confirmed that Scandal will air on midseason but it’s talked about and at this point it’s a safe bet. It opens many doors and it’s hard to tell which one ABC will choose. Designated Survivor is a debatable possibility. It would make sense if they want to make noise BUT very dangerous. Too dangerous in my opinion. It’s not a good fit at all with Grey’s Anatomy. Thursday should remain female-oriented. It makes Conviction tempting and it would be an interesting pair, but Notorious is definitely the most logical option. It should satisfy Scandal fans AND give a boost to How To Get Away With Murder if it works. Scandal could take over when the Viola Davis-starrer ends or sooner if Notorious flops.

FRIDAYS

LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN

THE SHARK TANK

20/20

Why fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed?

 

SUNDAYS

ONCE UPON A TIME

SECRETS & LIES

QUANTICO

Sunday is another big question mark. Once Upon A Time is not strong anymore but moving it would only make it worse. Delayed Secrets & Lies should finally air at 9, where season 1 managed to get okay numbers. Once it’s gone –it’s only 10 episodes– ABC has Still Star-Crossed & Time After Time as possibilities I would go with the first one. I have no idea what they can do with Time After Time but it needs to be taken care of properly, it has a big potential. At 10, I’m sad to tell that Quantico should stay here. ABC wasted it there for the first season, and it’s too late now to move it to another night. New viewers won’t jump on the occasion and those who are used to watch the show in +3 or +7 will probaby keep doing the same, if they don’t give up on it. It makes me sad but that’s the way it is.

 

MIDSEASON

SCANDAL / THE CATCH / STILL STAR-CROSSED / TIME AFTER TIME / AMERICAN CRIME / WHEN WE RISE / DOWNWARD DOG / IMAGINARY MARY

 

Any thoughts? Feel free to comment.

 

SEE FOX 2016/2017 FANTASY SCHEDULE

SEE NBC 2016/2017 FANTASY SCHEDULE

Notorious (ABC) pilot preview: How To Get Away With Scandal

PIPER

Created and executive produced by Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva, The Mob Doctor, Bones, CSI) & Allie Hagan. Directed by Michael Engler (Downton Abbey, The Big C, 30 Rock, Party of Five). Also executive produced by Josh Barry (Salem), Mark Geragos, Wendy Walker & Kenny Meiselas. For ABC, Sony Pictures Television, ABC Studios, The Firm & Osprey Productions. 63 pages.

Description: The professional and personal relationship between Jake Gregorian, a charismatic attorney and Julia George, a powerhouse television producer, as they attempt to control the media, the justice system, and ultimately – each other. Julia decides what our country cares about. She creates heroes and monsters, victims and villains. Jack boasts a roaster of celebrity clients and will win at any cost…

With Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs, Looper, Coyote Ugly), Daniel Sunjata (Graceland, Grey’s Anatomy, Rescue Me), Aimee Teegarden (Star-Crossed, Friday Night Lights), Kate Jennings Grant (Frost/Nixon, Love & Other Drugs), J. August Richards (Angel, Agents of SHIELD, Raising The Bar), Ryan Guzman (Heroes Reborn, Pretty Little Liars, Step Up All In), Kevin Zegers (Gracepoint, Gossip Girl, Transamerica), Sepideh Moafi (Blackbox)…

 

rate rate rate

Notorious is the most ABC-like project I’ve read this year so far. Totally what they used us to those past few years. Good news: it’s not CBS or NBC wanting to be ABC but ABC doing what they know how to do best. It’s right where it belongs. Bad news: it’s almost a cliché of a Shondaland show, not produced by Shondaland. It may miss what makes Shonda Rhimes’ shows so special and ultimately successful. But it’s not bad. Not bad at all. As long as you do like soaps. And it’s the promise of something that can run for years, highly serialized but with new scandalous cases every week. Is it what ABC’s new bosses are looking for? Is it the missing piece that could help the TGIT thrives again in the ratings? Is it a show worth fighting for? So many questions. I do think ABC has to give it a chance anyway.

First things first: like Scandal, which was inspired by a real-life crisis expert, Notorious is based on the relationship between famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos –who defended Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder or Chris Brown, among others, and who also represents Kesha in her lawsuit against Dr Luke– and long-time Larry King Live executive producer Wendy Walker, both co-produce. So we are led to believe that there is truth in the way those two act and in the stories they are telling us. Which is not easy. There’s something that doesn’t feel real, or at least that is highly exaggerated. It’s TV. We are not naive. We know they need to spice things up a little bit. Reality is often boring and doesn’t make entertaining television. But still. We need to believe in what we’re watching, so we can connect with the characters. And it’s hard for now. It may take time. But they probably won’t have that much time to convince so…

You know what I like about Julia & Jack? They’re cynical. So cynical. It’s refreshing. Not that this is that provocative or anything. We’ve seen UnREAL (if you haven’t, you should!). There’s a lot of Quinn King in Julia when she is working behind-the-scenes of the Louise Herrick Live show. She’s manipulative. Those scenes are definitely exciting and sometimes jaw-dropping. They reminded me of The Newsroom too. But I won’t compare both shows. That would be an insult to Aaron Sorkin. Regarding the atmosphere, the cases that are tackled, the rhythm, we’re totally in Scandal territory. Julia’s fiancée is a recently appointed Federal Judge, who has been cheating on her with high priced escorts. We’re not that far from politics. We’ll come to it at some point. They could even do crossovers if it was produced by Shonda Rhimes. That would fit perfectly. Olivia Pope helping Jake, who is in love with a client’s wife who may be a murderer… And when you think Scandal, you’re one step away from How To Get Away With Murder. The legal part of the show, especially Jack’s and his brother’s firm, works the same way as the Viola Davis show. Same kind of stories and one character, Ella, Jake’s protégée, an ambitious and not that naive young lawyer, could easily be one of the “Keating Five”.

But what makes this show different? Not that much and that’s the whole problem in my opinion. “The unique, sexy, and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media” is how the show is sold. In Scandal & HTGAWM, the media is part of the story without being explored thoroughfully. Notorious is complementary in that way, but I’m not sure the audience will want another show in the same vein, especially when the others are still on the air, alive and quite well. Plus, Notorious doesn’t offer in this pilot that many efficient cliffhangers and OMG moments. Or it’s just that we are so prepared and used to this type of storytelling that nothing can surprise us anymore. Anyway, if writers Josh Berman and Allie Hagan were on a mission to create a Shondaland-like show, they succeeded. But if they were supposed to add their own touch and find a new angle, they kinda failed, with dignity though.

Notorious possesses a sexy, crazy attractive cast, especially with those mouth-watering actors. The script is a little bit more than okay. The options for the future of the show are countless. There is a ton of potential. It shouldn’t be hard to sell. But it’s so ABC, so Shondaland, that it’s predictable most of the time and it doesn’t offer anything new. I’d say it would be a good companion for Scandal when the third season of How To Get Away With Murder will end. But that’s only if they keep the TGIT intact next year. And it’s not a done deal yet. 

Shonda Rhimes: her shows you will never get the chance to watch!

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Who thought one day the writer behind Disney’s The Princess Diaries and Britney Spears’ movie Crossroads would become THE producer everyone in Hollywood talks about, dreams to work with, dies to be? Shonda Rhimes, the queen of her own empire modestly called Shondaland, the queen of Thursday nights (#TGIT!), the queen of ABC, the queen of television, well THE QUEEN, has had a lot of success since she launched medical drama Grey’s Anatomy in 2004, still on the air 12 years later and probably for at least a couple more. Spin-off Private Practice quietly lived 6 years after a rocky start; Scandal got bigger and bigger; How To Get Away With Murder started strong right out of the gate last year. The Catch, coming this midseason, is a question mark for now, but the cast is just great (Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Sonya Walger…). The only disappointment so far was another medical drama Off The Map, cancelled after 13 episodes in 2011. But Shonda Rhimes knows failures too. She also developed many projets and pilots that were not picked up to series over the years, like every other producer out there. Here’s your guide to the dark side of Shondaland: the shows you will never see (except if they are revisited some day)…

 

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PILOTS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT

INSIDE THE BOX – ABC (2009)

Description: Welcome to the fast-paced, cutthroat world of network news. CNS is a hotbed of professional backstabbing and personal betrayals. The only way to survive here is through strength, talent and friendship. When the DC Bureau Chief retires, everyone assumes that Catherine Powell is a shoe-in for his job. She’s dedicated and savvy and she practically runs the newsroom already. So no one is more shocked than Catherine when the board passes her over in favor of the charismatic, but shallow Englishman, Kenneth Donnegan. Kenneth welcomes Catherine to stay onboard as part of his team but he makes it clear that it’s his team. There’s no way Catherine’s going to take this lying down. She quickly pulls together an investigative team of her own, including her loyal, right-hand man Jake Fisher and talented, but brutally ambitious reporter, Samantha Hathaway…

Cast: Indira Varma, Kim Raver, Jennifer Finnigan, Jason George, Martin Henderson, Sarah Drew…

I will tell you later in the article how Shonda Rhimes attempted to create a show revolving around journalists twice. But she finally made it the third time. Well. Almost. ABC ordered Inside the Box pilot the same year as The Deep End (basically Grey’s Anatomy with lawyers), The Forgotten (that we’ve all… yeah… forgotten, just one of those Christian Slater’s cancelled shows), Eastwick, V and high-concept and much talked-about Flash Forward. Despite quite an interesting cast (with an Indian lead! We had to wait for Quantico, starting this year, to get another one in a drama!) and a result that was said to be “great” from insiders, Inside The Box was not picked-up to series and it was announced that it would be redeveloped at a later time. Which it never was. Shonda used the cast for her other shows though. For having read the pilot script, I have to say I’m very surprised ABC didn’t even try. Yes, it was a bit generic, yet another soap not that different from the others, but it explored a new world and it had a real potential! That was a weird decision quite frankly. I would even call it a mistake.

 

THE GILDED LILYS – ABC (2012)

Description: After a year away in Paris in 1895, Violet Langton Lily – a beautiful young socialite from the renowned Lily family – gets blindsided by love on a New York-bound luxury liner. His name is John Kidd, a handsome working-class man whom Violet’s family definitely wouldn’t approve of. This sudden yet profound encounter makes her question everything including her future. Ultimately, Violet will have to choose between what her heart wants, and what her family expects. Back in New York, Violet returns to discover her father, Edwin Lily, has sunk the family fortune into the construction of the City’s first Luxury Hotel, The Lillian. Eager to get in on the action and attention, Edwin’s brother, Julius, offers to become equal partner and financier. Through years of reckless behavior, Julius has earned a reputation for being a playboy and lout. He’s the Black Sheep, and this is his chance at familial redemption. And he’s willing to get it no matter the cost…

Cast: Sarah Bolger, Matt Long, John Barrowman, Matt Lauria, Blythe Danner, Brian F. O’Byrne, Madeline Zima…

When the world fell in love with the English show Downton Abbey in 2010, Shonda Rhimes was among the early fans. So when The Nine writer K.J. Steinberg came to her with an idea of a similar show located in the US she couldn’t resist and accepted to produce it. The script was convincing enough for ABC to order a big-budgeted pilot. But it was not good enough to order it to series, so it seems. It’s hard to know what went wrong but one thing’s for sure: period dramas are always a tough sell, especially on a network, and it might be what doomed it in the end. And according to The Daily Mail at the time, John Barrowman as the lead was not considered a big enough star in the US to carry the show. The pilot had to compete that year with Nasvhille, Last Resort, Zero Hour, 666 Park Avenue and Devious Maids (first developed for ABC, then sold to Lifetime). Even though most of them came quickly to an end, they had very decent pilots… One year later, K.J. Steinberg created Mistresses for ABC, but without Shonda.

 

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PROJECTS THAT WEREN’T ORDERED TO PILOT

CORRESPONDENTS – ABC (2006)

Description: drama about four female journalists from different media who travel the country…

Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

In 2003, Shonda Rhimes sells her first script deal for a TV series to ABC, about four female war correspondents who strive to maintain some semblance of normal life despite their demanding careers. She’s virtually no one at the time and the project doesn’t pass the script stage but Disney is impressed and wants her to write something else. One year later, it becomes a little show called Grey’s Anatomy. But the woman is obsessed with the idea of a journalist-centric TV show so she comes back with a similar idea, this time without the “war” part, with Pete Horton, Grey’s Anatomy‘s pilot director, on board. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is meant to be part of the cast after his highly-praised recurring role on Grey’s Anatomy as Denny Duquette. Again, the script was never ordered to pilot. Probably because she is already very busy working on two different shows at the same time and not experienced enough to be able to add another one. Yet.

 

THE CIRCLE – ABC (2012)

Description: drama about 10 friends, adopted as children by a billionaire philanthropist, who begin to question their past when one of their own is murdered

Created by Richard Robbins, like Inside The Box, The Circle was developed the same year as The Gilded Lilys. Maybe ABC didn’t want to order two Shondaland pilots at the same time, especially since Shonda already worked on two shows. Or maybe the script was just not good enough. We’ll never know. But even if the premise is exciting, it’s hard to imagine something really good coming out of it for the long haul.

 

WILDWOOD – FOX (2012)

Description: period drama about a wise-beyond-her-years teenager who poses as an adult in order to land a job at a popular bar on the jersey shore in 1985

The first time Shonda developed a show for another network than ABC -but it was still ABC Studios-produced of course- it sounded a lot different than what she’s used to make. The coming of age 80s dramedy was written by Diane Ruggiero, whom she never worked with before, a prominent Veronica Mars‘ writers, who later created iZombie for The CW. It sounded cool, and reminds me now of The Carrie Diaries. Retrospectively, FOX may have missed a great opportunity to get a hit but it may have been considered too teenage-y for the network.

 

UNDER THE GUN – NBC (2013)

Description: drama about a woman who goes to work for the FBI as she struggles to make sense of a terrible event in her past that ruined her life and tore her family apart. While her young and fragile appearance doesn’t typically suggest that she’s best suited to work as a field agent, her dark past helps her get inside the head of criminals who were normal one day and cracked the next…

Two years before Pete Nowalk created How To Get Away With Murder -after writing mostly for Grey’s Anatomy- he came to Shonda Rhimes with the idea of Under The Gun. The script was sold to NBC and not to the Alphabet network. Not ABC enough? Not good enough for NBC either? Anyway, it sounded like a procedural we’ve already seen.

 

MILA 20 – ABC (2013)

Description: sci-fi thriller about a young woman who discovers that she is a Mobile Intel Life-like Android, Mila, an experiment in artificial intelligence created by the U.S. government and her scientist mother, who kidnapped her when she was found to have human emotions…

This Bionic Woman-like story, based on a book for teenagers, was written by David DiGilio, who created the really good but cancelled too soon Traveler for ABC in 2007. It didn’t sound good and I’m not sure Shonda Rhimes and her fellow associate Betsy Beers were the right persons to work on it… But the idea of a sci-fi show produced by Shondaland is appealing in the future!

 

THE MIX – ABC (2013)

Description: drama about the public and not-so-private lives of five very different women who sit in the hot seats as hosts of an influential morning talk show

I’m still not over the fact that this very promising idea never came to fruition. Inspired by ABC’s incredibly popular morning show The View, it was created by screenwriter John Hoffman, who co-produced HBO’s Looking later on. I was already picturing it as the new Desperate Housewives! Going too far?

 

COOKING UP FOR NEXT PILOT SEASON…

WARMTH OF THE OTHER SUNS – FX (2016)

Description: llimited series based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book which chronicles the movement of some 6 million African-Americans from the south into the north and western regions of the country from the period of 1915 to 1970

Shonda Rhimes is working for the first time for a cable network! And it’s a historic drama, another first for her. It might never see the light of day but the high-profile project is in development right now, written by Dee Rees, who made recently HBO movie Bessie.

 

UNTITLED CONVENT DRAMA – ABC (2016)

Description: It revolves around a group of Catholic nuns fighting the closure of their Bronx-based convent who must suddenly deal with three young novices whose arrival unearths long-buried secrets.

This is SO EXCITING, good lord! It’s original –Sister Act is long gone- and it exactly sounds like what Shonda Rhimes does best, with the right amount of soapy elements and feminism, in a very different environment than before. It’s too soon to tell if ABC will give it the thumb up for shooting a pilot but as of now it’s one of the best things that ABC has in store, at least on paper. And creator Alison Schapker has written for AliasBrothers & Sisters, Lost, Fringe and The Flash. Impressing. That can’t be bad, right?

 

SPLITSVILLE – ABC (2016)

Description: in the wake of a wave of divorces, the single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac join forces to raise their kids and get through it together…

Shonda Rhimes has yet to produce a comedy series. She develops a few projects but this one seems to have a better chance to land a pilot order next cycle. Emily Halpern (Private Practice) & Sarah Haskins, the women behind great and cancelled too soon Trophy Wife, are writing it right now…

 

ABC | 2015/2016 – Fantasy Schedule

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Those are predictions based on feelings and ABC final schedule may end up very differently! It will be announced on Tuesday. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy the read!

Dramas renewed: GREY’S ANATOMY – CASTLE – ONCE UPON A TIME – SCANDAL – NASHVILLE – AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – SECRETS & LIES – AMERICAN CRIME – AGENT CARTER

New dramas ordered: QUANTICO – THE CATCH – THE FAMILY – KINGS AND PROPHETS – WICKED CITY – BOOM

Comedies renewed: MODERN FAMILY – THE MIDDLE – LAST MAN STANDING (soon) – THE GOLDBERGS – BLACKISH – FRESH OFF THE BOAT – GALAVANT

New comedies ordered: THE MUPPETS – THE REAL O’NEALS – DR KEN – UNCLE BUCK

MONDAYS

8pm- DANCING WITH THE STARS

9pm- DANCING WITH THE STARS

10pm- CASTLE

For years, ABC played the safe card and never moved Castle from the post-Dancing With The Stars. Though season 8 could very much be its last, I don’t see them deciding to move it to another night to end its run. It’s too late and only a procedural seems to be working here. But ABC didn’t order any. Let’s leave it that way. ABC has biggest fishes to fry.

TUESDAYS

8pm- THE MIDDLE / THE REAL O’NEALS

9pm- KINGS AND PROPHETS

10pm- AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Even though The Middle is still a strong asset for ABC, it started to fade on the younger demo on Wednesdays and became the weakest link the past few months. The best way to finally start Tuesday night with a bang is to move it at 8 (as Fresh Off The Boat proved there is an appetite for family comedy on Tuesdays too) and associate it with something new. The Real O’Neals would fit perfectly with it and could even do better on the younger demo. A match made in heaven! And since we’re talking about heaven, Kings and Prophets, religious-themed drama with a Game Of Thrones feel, could take the 9pm slot, moving Agents Of SHIELD to 10 where its underwhelming performances would be no longer an issue, at least for the next two years, until it gets a syndication deal. It’s a male oriented night from 9 to 11. Of course, it’s a real bet on Kings and prophets but ABC seems to be very high on it so… It’s a go big or go home situation!

WEDNESDAYS

8pm- THE GOLDBERGS / FRESH OFF THE BOAT

9pm- MODERN FAMILY / BLACKISH

10pm- QUANTICO

The Goldbergs blossomed beautifully on Wesnesdays and constantly did better on the younger demo than The Middle. It’s strong enough now to anchor the night, paired with Fresh Off The Boat that is too promising to stay on Tuesday. Hopefully, Fresh Off will become the new The Goldbergs! At 9, slowly fading Modern Family won’t move, of course. And Blackish is probably too young and too fragile for now to be tried elsewhere on the schedule (whatever happens with Empire on FOX). Plus it’s in-house produced, so ABC would better not mess with it. At 10, Quantico is one of the rare new dramas ordered that could deliver 22 episodes per season. It’s probably not the best option to make it a hit (in the #TGIT, it would have been one instantly) but with a black lead and a very diversified cast, it makes sense to put it right after Blackish. If CBS and NBC doesn’t put big guns there -and there’s a fair chance they won’t- the show can really explode!

THURSDAYS

8pm- GREY’S ANATOMY

9pm- SCANDAL

10pm- HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

What can I say except: why fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed? ABC would be crazy to mess with its successful TGIT night. Plus now, with a new Shondaland drama –The Catch– they can air a “real” TGIT from September to May. That being said, ABC could be tempted to launch The Catch during fall. But it would be a mistake in my opinion…

FRIDAYS

8pm- LAST MAN STANDING / DR KEN

9pm- THE SHARK TANK

10pm- 20/20

Maybe Dr Ken will be able to break the curse? More family-oriented than Cristela was, it’s the perfect companion for Last Man Standing. And it’s co-owned by ABC so they’ll make a little more money with it.

SUNDAYS

8pm- ONCE UPON A TIME

9pm- THE FAMILY

10pm- NASHVILLE

Once Upon A Time has no reason to move and Nashville has to take the Revenge spot to get its 88 episodes and die there. The Family seems to be the best option for 9pm. First because it fits with the female and soapy oriented shows all around, and because similar dark stories Resurrection and Secrets & Lies proved there is an audience there. Since The Family is way better than those two, a miracle could happen!

MID-SEASON

THE MUPPETS / GALAVANT / UNCLE BUCK / AGENT CARTER / SECRETS & LIES / AMERICAN CRIME / WICKED CITY / BOOM / THE CATCH

The Muppets & Galavant would make a great quirky pair when Once Upon a Time is away on January. Secrets & Lies could fit once again towards the end of the season in the same slot, sunday at 9 (I suspect The Family won’t have more than 15 episodes). Agent Carter will take Agents of SHIELD‘s slot during the midseason break. The Catch will replace How To Get Away in the TGIT. Uncle Buck is a back-up if another comedy fails. BoomWicked City & American Crime are wild cards, back-ups, break fillers or bound to a summer run.

What do YOU think?

 

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