ABC Commits To 5 Pilots This Year

The network is picking up the cast options for the five projects that it has committed to producing this year through to Sept. 30. They are dramas Rebel, starring Katey Sagal and Andy Garcia and Delroy Lindo’s Harlem’s Kitchen, as well as comedies Bossy, which was formerly known as Kids Matter Now, Topher Grace’s Home Economics and Work Wife. Rolled over into next year’s development season are Adopted, National Parks Service, which was formerly known as ISB and Triage.

‘General Hospital’ Eyes Mid-July Restart

ABC’s General Hospital is joining fellow daytime dramas The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless in setting a target date for return to production. ABC is tentatively planning to resume shooting its long-running soap in mid-July contingent on the CIVID-19 situation in Los Angeles, which has been fluid.

Kimmel Apologizes For Blackface Impression

The latenight host also says waiting to say something about the impersonation “was a mistake.”

Fans Turn Up Heat For ABC’s Canceled ‘Baker And The Beauty’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With cries for equality and justice ringing in the streets, a petition drive to rescue a canceled television series may seem inconsequential. But among the advocates for ABC’s “The Baker and the Beauty,” felled by its ratings after one season, are those who value it as an entertaining and affirmative depiction […]

ABC Changes Fall Schedule After A Day

Black-ish has been moved back up for a fall premiere, taking the place of the new Kari Lizer comedy Call Your Mother. Black-ish will now air at 8:30 p.m. following The Goldbergs, with American Housewife moving to 9:30 p.m. The Conners and Stumptown remain at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively.

ABC’s ‘The Rookie’ To Address Police Brutality

Cop dramas have been under the microscope following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests against police brutality. ABC’s The Rookie, which stars Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the LAPD, is taking steps to address these issues as it heads into season three. ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said that creator Alexi Hawley has brought in a number of experts to discuss the issues around policing in America in 2020.

ABC Sets ‘Cascading’ Fall Schedule

The Disney-owned broadcaster revealed its schedule for the 2020-21 season, without using the word “fall” once. Instead, the Karey Burke-led network hopes that its scripted and unscripted fare can return to work soon enough so that the network’s originals can return either in September or as late as November. In debuting its schedule, the network is relying heavily on unscripted series to help carry the load and reduce the number of scripted originals that will likely need extra time to film episodes with safety protocols put in place amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Kimmel To Host And Exec Produce Emmys

Jimmy Kimmel is returning to host the 72nd Emmy Awards and this time he will also be executive producer of the ABC telecast, but the format is still undecided in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Nominations for the 72nd primetime Emmys will be announced by the TV academy on July 28.

ABC Renews ‘For Life,’ Cancels ‘Baker And Beauty’

For Life has been renewed for a second season at ABC, while The Baker and the Beauty has been canceled after one season. Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., For Life is a fictional serialized  drama about an imprisoned man, Aaron Wallace, who becomes a lawyer litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

2021 Oscars Delayed Due To Coronavirus

The 93rd Academy Awards will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors also decided to extend the eligibility window beyond the calendar year to Feb. 28, 2021, for feature films, and delay the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures from December until April 30, 2021. The awards show will be telecast by ABC.

ABC Names Matt James Its First Black ‘Bachelor’

James, a 28-year-old from North Carolina, was originally chosen to compete for Clare Crawley’s affection on The Bachelorette, but filming was scrapped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DirecTV Loses ABC’s ‘Distant’ Channel, But Keeps Others

TV Nets Resisting Ad Rate Cuts

The nation’s big media companies are trying to avoid great pressure from advertisers and media buyers to take severe cutbacks in ad rates in early talks as part of the industry’s annual upfront ad market, according to three executives familiar with discussions. Their pushback suggests owners of networks like CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox are betting that a return of favorite TV elements like sports will draw new interest from sponsors and generate more demand for TV commercials — and potentially help them avoid capitulating to the most onerous demands.

ABC Renews 13 Additional Series

ABC made it a baker’s dozen on Thursday, handing out renewals to 13 series including bubble shows Stumptown, The Rookie and Mixed-ishAlso scoring additional-season green lights are comedies Black-ishThe ConnersAmerican Housewife and The Goldbergs, as well as Thursday-night drama A Million Little Things and unscripted series The BachelorDancing with the StarsShark Tank and 20/20. The new Jimmy Kimmel-hosted reboot of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire will also be back for another season.

ABC To Air ‘The Last Dance’ Starting Saturday

The hit Michael Jordan docuseries will re-air episodes each week on ABC starting this Saturday. Just like its original run on ESPN, the series will air two weekly episodes.

‘Kimmel’ EP Leiderman Out, Hoffman In

After 14 years at the helm of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and a 25-year career in late-night, Jill Leiderman is stepping down as executive producer of the Jimmy Kimmel-headlined ABC talk show. She will be succeeded in the job by Sharon Hoffman, former executive producer of Entertainment Tonight and CBS Evening News‘ weekend edition.

American Idol’ Renewed For Season 4 At ABC

ABC has renewed American Idol for a fourth season, but for the second year in a row, the pickup comes without new deals for judges Katy Perry, Luke Byran and Lionel Richie and host Ryan Seacrest.

What It Takes To Make ‘Idol’ In Lockdown

Parents as crew members, producers as bandwidth police, 90 new iPhones, confetti cannons in the mail and techniques borrowed from TikTok: Behind the scenes on the original singing-competition show.

EARNINGS CALL

ABC Ad Rev Rose Ahead Of Virus Impact

In Disney’s fiscal second quarter, broadcasting revenues increased 49% to $2.8 billion, largely due to the consolidation of assets acquired from 21st Century Fox, but also due to gains at the legacy broadcasting operations. In addition to the previously mentioned ad sales gain, ABC also benefitted from higher affiliate revenue (retrans for the O&O stations and network reverse-comp). But things are much more complicated in this current quarter.

Broadcast Nets To Air Graduation Special

With the Class of 2020 unable to throw their caps in the air this year due to the coronavirus, LeBron James is putting on a special graduation celebration. The NBA superstar will host the virtual ceremony for the more than 3 million high school seniors. The one-hour special, Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, will air simultaneously across all broadcast platforms — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — and on a host of leading entertainment, social media and streaming platforms

3-Day NFL Draft Averages 8.4M Viewers

Each day attracted record audiences. Thursday’s first round averaged 15.6 million, Friday’s second and third rounds 8.2 million and Saturday’s final four rounds 4.2 million. ESPN and NFL Network had a combined production all three days while ABC had separate telecasts Thursday and Friday before simulcasting the ESPN/NFL Network feed Saturday. ESPN Deportes also had a separate broadcast.

Advertisers Flocking To NFL Draft

Demand for advertising space during the NFL draft broadcast has reached unprecedented levels due to the growing popularity of the event and a lack of other live sports opportunities, Disney Advertising Sales said this week. The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out most of the U.S. sports calendar, but the three-day draft will go forward in a “virtual” format, with players participating from home, and be broadcast on Disney-owned ABC and ESPN starting on Thursday.

How Is ‘American Idol’ Going To Go Live?

Imagine filming a summer action blockbuster in your basement. Or trying to pull off a heavyweight boxing match with the fighters in two different states. That’s basically the challenge facing the team behind American Idol as the show prepares to switch from taped segments to live shows on Sunday. Of course, they can’t actually go live because of social distancing rules imposed due to the pandemic, so producers have had to get very, very creative this time around to keep season 18 afloat amid the most challenging conditions in show history.

ABC Sets Summer Premiere Dates

ABC has unveiled its line-up of summer premiere dates, including the final season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Holey Moley II: The Sequel.

‘View’s Joy Behar To Retire In 2022

After 21 seasons, Joy Behar has set an exit date from The View. Behar, 77, says she would like to retire as the resident liberal on the ABC daytime talk show after her contract ends in the summer of 2022.

Gaga Raises $35M, Curates All-Star TV Event

The pop star announced One World: Together At Home, a televised event featuring Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Billie Eilish aimed at fighting the coronavirus. It will air April 18 at 8 p.m. ET simultaneously on ABC, NBC, CBS, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks.

‘Modern Family’ Promises Satisfying End To Run

ABC’s Modern Family, a show that gently pushed at social boundaries while remaining something parents and kids watched together, will end its 11-season run on Wednesday. The show’s finale will be proceeded by the documentary A Modern Farewell looking back at its creation and run.

‘General Hospital’ Shifts To Four Days A Week

Iconic daytime medical drama General Hospital is being forced to switch up its schedule, joining a growing list of shows that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

ABC Nixes ‘Bachelor Summer Games’

The Bachelor Summer Games, ABC’s planned counterprogramming to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is not going forward as the television industry continues to hit the pause button amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources confirm.

Big Three Broadcast Nets Vow To Stay On Air

News executives from NBC, ABC and CBS pledge that no matter what, they’ll continue to stay on the air as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, even if those broadcasts are from someone’s living room. “That low-tech aesthetic may include fewer camera angles, or robotic cameras, staffers using iPhones and Zoom calls,” Jeremy Barr writes.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season To End Early

Fifteen days ago, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy became one of the first series to suspend production as the U.S. and Hollywood were just starting to grasp the scope of the coronavirus health crisis. The decision was made after the medical drama had wrapped production on Episode 21 of its 25-episode 16th season. At the time, the hiatus was going to be for at least two weeks. Now it has been made permanent for Season 16.

ABC Shifts Schedule For ‘American Idol’

ABC has shifted scheduling for American Idol amidst of the coronavirus pandemic and is exploring “multiple” options for its live shows. The network is spreading its next two episodes, set in Aulani, Hawaii, across two weeks rather than one. The next two episodes will air on Sunday, March 29, between 8 and 10 p.m. and Sunday, April 5, in the same timeslot. It was previously planned to have the Hawaii showcase eps run on March 29 and March 30.

‘Kimmel’ To Swap Slots With ‘Nightline’

Reruns of Jimmy Kimmel Live will be pushed back a half-hour in the coming week as ABC seeks to give a bigger platform to Nightline episodes focused on the coronavirus pandemic. ABC said Sunday that Kimmel repeats will shift to the 12:05 a.m. slot starting Tuesday through Friday as Nightline goes all-in on coverage of the latest in the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Station 19’ Renewed For Season 4 At ABC

The Disney-owned broadcast network has handed out an early fourth-season renewal for Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19. The news comes as the current third cycle — the first since Grey’s showrunner Krista Vernoff took over the series — is having its most-watched season.

Kyra Sedgwick To Star In ABC Empty Nester Comedy Pilot ‘My Village’

ABC’s ‘For Life’ Hopes To Change TV

Nicholas Pinnock, the star of ABC’s new drama about a prison inmate unjustly incarcerated who becomes a lawyer, thinks the show “is going to change the shape and the way network television is viewed and how it can move forward and compete with the likes of streaming channels like Netflix and Amazon and Apple and really, really challenge the outlook of network television.”

‘The Bachelor’ Team Seeking Senior Citizens For New ABC Dating Show

ABC Marketing Chief Rebecca Daugherty Exits

Veteran marketing executive Rebecca Daugherty is leaving her role as EVP of marketing for ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. Daugherty tenure at ABC spans 33 years and includes campaigns for such signature series as Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and The Conners.

‘Fresh Off The Boat’ Leaving Indelible Mark

Even before Fresh Off the Boat hit the airwaves on ABC in February 2015, the show was facing pressure that other new shows weren’t. It was set to be the first network TV comedy with an all-Asian cast since Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl premiered 20 years earlier. ABC canceled that series after one season, and some wondered how long this show would last too. Now, after six seasons, Fresh Off the Boat will make its final voyage Friday.

Streaming Has Broadcast Nets Rethinking Pilots

Now more than ever, the broadcast networks are feeling the need to change up their typical pilot season strategy. With existing streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Amazon and new competitors like HBO Max and Peacock developing shows year-round, the broadcasters are slowly but surely shifting their plans to include more off-cycle pickups.