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Here’s what you’ll be watching on ABC this fall
There is no such thing as a traditional Upfront season anymore. Last year, very briefly, it felt like the Upfronts — the events when the networks announce their upcoming fall schedules and new series — were back following the pandemic and the steady decline of network television in general. But now with a writers’ strike that could very well stretch through the summer, and potential strikes by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild on the horizon, the networks are having to play the upcoming fall season entirely by ear. With some networks, this looks like loading up on reality content; with others, it looks like they are moving forward with their scripted material and hoping for the best.
Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but one has to wonder if Disney isn’t just weaponizing ABC’s fall schedule against the striking writers. ABC seems to be signaling that they are settling in for a long strike by filling their entire schedule with reality series, and one (1) scripted rerun. There is a single new scripted drama but it is being saved for midseason. Whatever happens with this strike, it seems that Disney is letting folks know that they will not be the first studio to break.
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UPDATED WITH DATES: What You’ll Be Watching on ABC This Fall
Welcome back to a proper Upfronts season, the moment when network TV reveals all their secret plans for the fall television season (such as it is anymore). In the wake of a destructive pandemic and in the face of the inevitable takeover of streaming, networks are playing it safer and safer: canceling fewer shows, ordering fewer comedies, and greenlighting familiar titles.
ABC remembered how Upfronts worked! There are promotional photos! There are teaser trailers! There is a schedule! Give ABC a sticker!
That said, ABC is playing it VERY safe this season. They have picked up three crime dramas that are structurally similar to other successful ABC projects, one comedy that sounds a lot like a very popular series on another network, and yet another “Celebrity” version of a daytime game show.
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