Ellen Pompeo and fellow original stars Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. have all closed rich new pacts to return to the flagship drama, with spinoff Station 19 also scoring a Season 5 pickup for the 2021-22 broadcast season.
A beloved doctor is checking out of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams is exiting the hit ABC medical drama after 12 seasons. His character Jackson Avery’s pending exit from the series was revealed in Thursday’s episode, “Look Up Child.” Williams’ last episode, titled “Tradition,” will air May 20.
A first look at Disney’s new Digital Center 3 (DC3) in The Woodlands, Texas, a massive, 187,000-square-foot plant consolidating playout, transmission and media operations. (Sam Exley photo)
In addition, series executive producer Elwood Reid will take over as showrunner for Season 2. His past credits include The Chi, The Bridge, Hawaii Five-O and Barkskins. He takes over running the show from series creator and executive producer David E. Kelley. Season 1 is still currently airing, with the finale set for May 18.
Season to date, The Good Doctor is averaging 4.23 million total viewers and just shy of a 0.6 demo rating (in Live+Same Day numbers) — down about 30% from Season 3. Among the eight dramas ABC has aired this TV season, it ranks third in both measures (trailing Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy).
The fight between broadcasters (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) and Locast is nearing its day in court, but the lawyers representing the broadcasters (plaintiffs) have filed a request for summary judgement with the U.S. District Court in New York as they do not believe, and provide reasoning, as to why Locast is not a nonprofit entity and therefore cannot rebroadcast their signals.
ABC’s Academy Awards telecast may not draw as many viewers as it has in the past, but it will still air a full suite of commercials. The network has sold out all of its available advertising inventory for the annual awards event, Jerry Daniello, SVP, entertainment brand solutions, for Disney Advertising Sales, said in an interview. The company finalized its sales earlier this week, he said.
Over the past year, the scheduling chiefs at Fox, The CW, NBC, CBS and ABC have busted out every trick in the book in the name of “keeping the lights on,” and especially during a long stretch where it was unclear when productions might resume (and how slow a trickle of episodes would then follow).
American Idol judge Luke Bryan will miss Monday’s live broadcast after testing positive for COVID. The ABC series has tapped an original Idol judge to fill in for him. Paula Abdul will fill Bryan’s spot at the judges’ table on Monday, marking her first appearance on the show since it moved to ABC from Fox.
ABC has released its summer unscripted schedule and it looks like things are back to normal after last year’s COVID interruption. The Disney-owned network has renewed game shows including The Chase and The Hustler and has confirmed that Bachelor in Paradise will return this summer after missing out in 2020.
The strike was initiated at 9 a.m. ET today “after the companies refused to agree to cover writers’ work under the Writers Guild of America’s Minimum Basic Agreement,” according to a statement from The Writers Guilds of America, East and West.
The $113 billion deal
announced by the NFL and media companies last Thursday spreads professional football content broadly, with CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, ESPN and Amazon all getting pieces, and locks it in at a time little else can attract such a wide audience. “If you think of the future of network television, there is nothing more important to it than the NFL,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst for LightShed Partners, an industry research firm. During the current television season, the eight most-watched recurring programs are football.
“Our plan is that this year’s Oscars will look like a movie, not a television show,” said show producers Jesse Collins, Stacy Sher and Steven Soderbergh in a statement Friday. They’ve enlisted Emmy and Tony Award winning director Glenn Weiss to direct the live broadcast on ABC on April 25.
A crew member for ABC’s The Conners died on set on Thursday. The man, whose identity was not disclosed, had also worked on Roseanne.
For the first time in the history of the franchise, The Bachelorette will produce two cycles in the same calendar year. The summer staple has been renewed by ABC for Seasons 17 and 18 to air in 2021. They will be headlined by two Bachelor Nation favorites, Katie Thurston and Michelle Young, who both had been heavily speculated to be the next Bachelorette after becoming breakouts of the just concluded, marked by controversy 25th season of The Bachelor.
After a pandemic year that shuttered most movie theaters, none of the expected best-picture nominees will have hardly any box office to speak of. It will be an Oscars not just without blockbusters but with many movies that have hardly played on the big screen. Streaming services are set to dominate Hollywood’s biggest and most sought-after awards. Nominations will be announced beginning at 8:19 a.m. ET and the film academy and ABC will telecast the Oscars on April 25 (delayed two months due to the pandemic).
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” ABC and Warner Horizon said in a statement on Friday. Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will step in for Harrison as co-hosts of the upcoming season.
Hockey will return in a big way to Walt Disney’s ESPN in a new seven-year deal that breaks NBCUniversal’s dominance of the sport’s TV rights and makes some National Hockey League games available for streaming in broader fashion. ESPN’s new deal with the NHL will last from the 2021-22 season through the 2027-28 season, the network announced today.
President Biden is giving a primetime address on Thursday night and the networks are shuffling their schedules accordingly. The president will mark the one-year anniversary of the shutdowns linked to the Covid pandemic in the U.S., which has led to the death of over 525,000 Americans. ABC, NBC and Fox have confirmed that they are airing the address, which is set to start at 8 p.m. ET, and is expected to last 15-30 minutes. CBS has yet to confirm but is likely to.
ABC is doubling down on putt-putt. Deadline says the Disney-owned network has handed a bumper two season renewal order for mini-golf competition Holey Moley, taking it through to a fourth season.
Bolton and Deschanel have signed on to host The Celebrity Dating Game, a new take on the format that has been picked up by ABC for eight one-hour episodes. Produced by Sony Pictures TV, the original Dating Game ran on ABC from 1965 to 1973, and has inspired several updates since then (the most recent being a syndicated revival in the late 1990s).
Chris Harrison is “stepping aside” as host of ABC’s The Bachelor after excusing a contestant’s racism. “Just as I taught my children to stand up, and to own their actions, I will do the same,” Harrison says in a statement posted on Instagram.
Specific plans have yet to be unveiled for the show, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is “determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate,” a spokesperson said.
A tape of the seige on the Capitol, compiled from several sources by the House impeachment managers, offered a chronological view of the former president’s statements on Jan. 6 and the actions by a mob of his supporters as they broke into the Capitol. It included several examples of rough language, including a chant, “f—- the blue,” apparently directed at police officers, and use of the word “motherf——-” by a rioter. The footage was aired on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC as part of live coverage of the trial’s first day.
The drama has received its second pilot order in as many years at the Disney-owned broadcaster.
The Big Three broadcast networks are mulling a roadblock special to air in primetime Jan. 20 celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States and Kamala Harris as vice president. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell Variety that the special would be 90 minutes to two hours in length and would be produced by Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner, the same team that handled the Democratic National Convention. Weiss is set to direct. The special would feature remote performances as well as other possible highlights such as an outdoor, ball-style “first dance” with Biden and soon-to-be-First Lady Jill Biden, and a fireworks display.
The news channel’s audience nearly doubles over 2019, while ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve maintains its position as the most watched year-end special.
President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are scheduled to give “their last interview of the year” in New York’s Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021. According to ABC, the Bidens during their appearance will share “a special message of hope, unity and best wishes for the year ahead.”
ABC is in early development on Pine Valley, a primetime version of the classic daytime soap opera All My Children. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are attached as executive producers under their Milojo Productions banner,
The Rookie is modifying its production schedule after a number of positive COVID-19 tests. The ABC cop drama is going to reduce the shooting schedule for the rest of December as a result of the new cases, which were discovered through its strict health and safety protocols.
After ABC’s Big Sky drew Native American censure for overlooking an epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls, its producers set about making changes. But the first, hurried steps were called “bumpy” and insulting by Native leaders.
A new 10-year deal makes ESPN the exclusive media rights holder of SEC football and men’s basketball, and will end the conference’s relationship with CBS after three decades. CBS has been airing the league’s Saturday afternoon centerpiece game and football championship since 1996.