ABC’s fall lineup: More ‘Conners,’ new ‘Black-ish’ spinoff and few changes

"Emergence" (ABC): A police chief (Allison Tolman, "Good Girls") discovers a young girl named Piper (Alexa Swinton, "Billions") at the scene of an accident with no memory of what happened. But as the police investigate, they find a much larger conspiracy emerge from the case. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood, ABC Studios)

NEW YORK – ABC will unveil its fall schedule to advertisers at Lincoln Center Tuesday, along with presentations by Disney’s sibling cable networks ESPN, Freeform, FX and National Geographic. 


Another ‘Black-ish’ spinoff 

Just three new scripted series will be added this fall, echoing conservative schedules announced Monday by NBC and Fox. On tap: “Mixed-ish,”the second spinoff of “Black-ish,” starring Arica Himmel as a young Rainbow Johnson, the Black-ish mother played by Tracee Ellis Ross in that series, as a child in a mixed-race 1980s family.  

“Emergence,” starring Allison Tolman (“Fargo,” “Downward Dog”) as a police chief who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what happened. In investigating the accident, she finds a vast conspiracy surrounding the child’s identity.  

And “Stumptown,” based on the graphic novel series, follows “a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran-turned-private investigator in Portland, Oregon (Cobie Smulders, “How I Met Your Mother”) with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care. “Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police.” 

Cobie Smulders ("How I Met Your Mother") goes dramatic in ABC's "Stumptown," as an investigator with a complicated love life. (Photo: David Bukach, ABC)

‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ – Bill Cosby

ABC is reviving “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” a reality show in which Bill Cosby, from 1998-2000, amused CBS viewers with his interactions with precocious kids. Now Tiffany Haddish will take the reins as host and executive producer for in-studio and remote segments including “Best Carpool Ever,” in which she drives a minivan full of kids; and “Granny Tiff,” when, dressed in prosthetics as an older woman, she gets technology tips from youngsters. The show will air sometime in midseason.

What’s back…and not

“American Idol” will be back for a third season in 2020 on ABC. So will “Grey’s Anatomy” firefighter spinoff “Station 19.” But nearly all other returning shows will air in the fall. 

On the cancellation heap: Freshmen series “The Fix,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “Splitting Up Together” and “Whiskey Cavalier,” along with Shonda Rhimes’ legal soap “For the People” and “Speechless.” 

Midseason additions

Coming later next season: Family comedy “United We Fall;” “For Life,” a fictionalized version of Isaac Wright Jr.’s life, about a prisoner-turned-lawyer, and “The Baker and the Beauty,” about a Cuban-American in Miami who meets an “international superstar and fashion mogul.” 

Network scorecard

ABC has some rebuilding to do. Its average TV audience this season is 5.7 million viewers, down 7% from last year, according to Nielsen, ranking third among broadcast networks. Among adults ages 18 to 49, it’s averaging 1.6 million, down 15%, ranking fourth. But ABC says it places second, behind NBC, when counting only entertainment programming. 

Fewer schedule changes

“American Housewife” will head to Fridays, and Nathan Fillion’s “The Rookie” will move to Sundays, but look for few major changes to the network’s lineup.  “Dancing with the Stars” will be fall’s only reality show.  Mondays, Thursdays and the two-hour Wednesday comedy block, including the 11th and final season of “Modern Family,” remain intact.

ABC’s fall schedule

All times EDT/PDT; new shows in bold; new time slots in italics

Monday: 8, Dancing with the Stars; 10, The Good Doctor

Tuesday: 8, The Conners; 8:30, Bless This Mess; 9, Mixed-ish; 9:30, Black-ish; 10, Emergence

Wednesday: 8, The Goldbergs; 8:30, Schooled; 9, Modern Family; 9:30, SIngle Parents; 10, Stumptown

Thursday: 8, Grey’s Anatomy; 9, A Million Little Things; 10, How to Get Away with Murder

Friday:  8, American Housewife; 8:30, Fresh Off the Boat; 9: 20/20 

Saturday: 8, College football

Sunday: 7, America’s Funniest Home Videos; 8, TBA; 9, Shark Tank; 10, The Rookie

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