The writers’ strike is hitting ABC right on the schedule. The network’s fall plan, announced Tuesday as part of Disney’s upfront presentation, includes a full hour of reruns of the hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary.”
Reruns of “Abbott” are the only scripted series currently airing in prime time for the 2023-24 television season. Instead, early on (at least), we’ll have more “Judge Steve Harvey,” “Shark Tank,” and game shows like “The $100,000 Pyramid,” “Celebrity Jeopardy!”, “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” and “Press Your Fortune.” As previously announced, “Dancing with the Stars” will be returning to Disney+, and the long-running hidden camera show “What Would You Do?” is also making a comeback, occupying the 10 p.m. slot behind those reruns of ” Abbott” Wednesday night.
There will be a new series, the highly anticipated spin-off of ‘The Bachelor’ called ‘The Golden Bachelor’ which will feature an aging bachelor trying to find a lucky woman to experience the ‘sunset years’ of his life. Details are scarce, but the “golden” years generally refer to 65-80 year olds. (Over the phone, an ABC insider warned IndieWire not to assume contestants’ ages will affect the demographic tune-in to TV. ABC’s average viewer age is about 60; advertisers on entertainment shows of linear TV tend to target adults 18-49.)
The writers’ strike also means that shows with previously announced renewals and reshoots that might have been on the fall schedule, including “9-1-1” (carried over from Fox), “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” “The Conners”, “The Good Doctor”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “High Potential”, “Not Dead Yet”, “The Rookie”, “Station 19” and “Will Trent” and of course the third season of “Abbott Elementary ”, will be announced at a later date.
The ABC insider told IndieWire that unlike Fox, the network always had plans to release a fall schedule. Internally, the belief is that some nights, particularly Mondays featuring “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Golden Bachelor,” were always going to be timed this way. If the strike ends tomorrow, there is still flexibility to move some scheduled things, the source told us.
While “Abbott Elementary” looks like a veteran at this point, one of the rare single-cam classic sitcoms thriving on network television that has already picked up three Emmys, it was only in two years and 36 episodes, so those “encores” might run out fast if the writers hit the draggers (check out our list of the best episodes here). “Abbott” was also one of the poster children of shows that many predicted could be impacted if a strike occurred and spread into the fall. The cast and writers have also been on the pickets as of late, with Brunson sharing a story on his Instagram showing a sign which said “AI can’t write Tariq’s raps”.
“We’re proud to host beloved series and meaningful storytelling that audiences continue to embrace, and we’re fortunate that our strong and stable roster continues to build on the tremendous success of our established hits, with originals airing every night of the week,” Craig Erwich, president, Disney Television Group, said Tuesday in a fall program statement.
See ABC’s full fall schedule below. Fall premiere dates will be announced soon.
8: “Dancing with the Stars” (two hours)
10: “The Golden Bachelor”
8: “Celebrity Jeopardy!”
9: “Bachelor in Paradise” (two hours)
8: “Judge Steve Harvey”
9: “Abbott Elementary” (encore)
9:30am: “Abbott Elementary” (encore)
10: “What Would You Do?”
8: “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune”
9: “Push Luck”
10: “The $100,000 Pyramid”
8: “Shark Tank”
9:01 am: “20/20” (two hours)
7:30am: College Football
7: “America’s Funniest Home Videos
8: “The Wonderful World of Disney” (three hours)
Additional reporting by Tony Maglio