ABC said it would add a new series based on characters from parent company Walt Disney's Marvel comics franchise to its lineup, while moving long running "Grey's Anatomy" to an earlier time slot on Thursday as part of its efforts to gain more traction in the 2014-2015 TV season.
While it continues to produce popular series like "Scandal," the network has trailed many of its rivals in the race to capture viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers. To gain them back, ABC said it would add 12 new series across the programming year, while leaving three of its nights intact and tinkering with the schedules on four others.
America's Funniest Home Videos," "The Bachelor," "Castle," "Dancing with the Stars," "The Goldbergs," "Grey's Anatomy," "Last Man Standing," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "The Middle," "Modern Family," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Resurrection," "Revenge," "Scandal," "Shark Tank," "The Taste" and "20/20."
Among the cancelled programs are freshman sitcoms"Mixology" and "Trophy Wife," cult favorite "Suburgatory" (after three seasons), "Mind Games," "Desperate Women," "Neighbors," "Super Fun Night" and spin-off fantasy drama "Once Upon A Time In Wonderland."
During a call with reporters, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said hte network was likely to run a "split season" for most of its dramas, including "S.H.I.E.L.D,' "Grey's," "Scandal" and "Once Upon A Time." In the interim, the network will launch new series such as "Galavant," "American Crime" and "Marvel's Agent Carter." The network did not disclose what programs might run when "Grey's" and "Scandal" take a break.
ABC said Mondays would remain the same, devoted to "Dancing with the Stars" and "Castle' in the fall.
On Tuesdays, ABC is moving "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." up an hour to 9 p.m., while stocking the 8 p.m. hour with two new comedies. ABC will launch "Marvel's Agent Carter," during an interim when "Agents" comes off the air between its fall launch and a spring wrap-up.
"Selfie," set for 8 p.m., is about a woman popular on social media, but lonely in real life, and stars Karen Gillan and John Cho. "Manhattan Love Story," set for 8:30 p.m, is a romantic comedy that sheds light on the unfiltered thoughts men and women have when trying to find romance.
ABC will launch a new drama at 10 p.m. on Tuesday night. "Forever" star Ioan Gruffudd as a New York City medical examiner who is also an immortal. In this supernatural procedural, he will try to learn the secret of how he stays alive.
ABC is moving freshman comedy "The Goldbergs" to Wednesdays, where it will air at 8: 30 p.m., between "The Middle" at 8 p.m. and "Modern Family" at 9 p.m. A new comedy, "Black-ish," will launch at 9:30 p.m. The series stars Anthony Anderson as an African-American suburbanite who fears life in the suburbs has begun to erase his family's sense of identity. ABC said country-music sudser "Nashville" would return for a third season at 10 p.m.
On Thursdays, ABC will move both "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," both of which have spent several seasons at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. one hour earlier. At 10 p.m., ABC will launch "How To Get Away With Murder," a new drama from "Grey's" and "Scandal" producer Shonda Rhimes. In the legal thriller, a professor will get entangled with four students from her class about how to kill someone without being caught.
The network has had problems with its 8 p.m. time slot on Thursdays. The shows launched in the last two seaons, "Once Upon A Time In Wonderland' and " "The Last Resort," were both cancelled in their freshman sesaons. At present, ABC is airing repeats of "Grey's" in the time period.
On Fridays, ABC will keep "Last Man Standing" at 8 p.m, "Shark Tank" at 9 p.m. and newsmagazine "20/20" at 10 p.m. At 8:30 p.m, the network will launch "Cristela," about a Mexican-American who wants to be a lawyer despite a family that thinks she is overambitious.
Saturdays will continue to be devoted to broadcasts of college football games.
ABC said it would give midseason drama "Resurrection" a berth on Sundays, launching the sophomore season of the show at 9 p.m. The rest of the night will feature returning programs: "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 p.m., "Once Upon A Time" at 8 p.m., and "Revenge" at 10 p.m.
ABC will use Sundays to launch "Galavant" and "American Crime" when "Once Upon A Time" and "Resurrection" complete initial fall runs. "Galavant" is an hour-long musical comedy while "American Crime" is a gritty drama starring Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton in a story about a crime that stirs up tensions among racial lines in a small community.
A handful of series are being held in reserve for the mid-season. In comedy "Fresh Off The Boat," an Asian-American family tests life in Orlando, Fla. In drama "The Whispers," aliens use human children to dominate the Earth. In drama "Secrets And Lies," a good Samaritan finds himself an unlikely murder suspect in a crime that roils a town.