The writers strike is hitting ABC right in the schedule. The network’s fall plan, announced on Tuesday as part of Disney’s upfronts presentation, includes a full hour of reruns of the hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary.”
The “Abbott” repeats are the only scripted series currently on the primetime schedule for the 2023-24 TV season. Instead, early on (at least), we’ll get more “Judge Steve Harvey,” “Shark Tank,” and game shows “The $100,000 Pyramid,” “Celebrity Jeopardy!,” “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” and “Press Your Luck.” As previously announced, “Dancing with the Stars” is moving back over to broadcast from Disney+, and the long-running hidden camera show “What Would You Do?” is also making a comeback, taking the 10 p.m. slot behind those “Abbott” reruns on Wednesday night.
There will be one new series, the anticipated spinoff of “The Bachelor” called “The Golden Bachelor” that will feature an elderly bachelor looking to find a lucky lady to live out the “sunset years” of his life. Details are sparse, but the “golden” years generally refers to ages 65-80. (Via telephone, an ABC insider cautioned IndieWire to not assume the ages of the contestants will be reflected by the demographic tuning in on TV. ABC’s median-age viewer is around 60; advertisers on linear-TV entertainment programs tend to target adults 18-49.)
The writers strike also means that shows with previously announced renewals and pickups that could have been on the fall schedule, including “9-1-1” (moving 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 was always planning to put out a fall schedule. Internally, the belief is that some of the nights — particularly Monday with “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Golden Bachelor” — were always going to be scheduled this way. If the strike were to end tomorrow, there’s still flexibility to move some scripted stuff up, the source told us.
Though “Abbott Elementary” feels like a veteran at this point, one of the rare single-cam classic sitcoms thriving on network television that’s already picked up three Emmys, it’s only been on two years and 36 episodes, so those “encores” could run out quick if the writers strike drags on (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 came to pass and extended into the fall. The cast and writers have also hit the picket lines of late, with Brunson sharing a story to her Instagram displaying a sign that read “AI can’t write Tariq’s raps.”
“We are proud to be home to beloved series and meaningful narratives that audiences continue to embrace, and we’re fortunate that our solid, stable roster continues to leverage the enormous success of our established hits, with originals airing every night of the week,” Craig Erwich, president, Disney Television Group, said in a statement of the fall schedule Tuesday.
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)
9:30: “Abbott Elementary” (encore)
10: “What Would You Do?”
8: “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune”
9: “Press Your Luck”
10: “The $100,000 Pyramid”
8: “Shark Tank”
9:01: “20/20” (two hours)
7:30: College Football
7: “America’s Funniest Home Videos
8: “The Wonderful World of Disney” (three hours)
Additional Reporting by Tony Maglio