The broadcast networks reveal their schedules for 2017-18 the week of May 15. TV by the Numbers offers help to harried scheduling execs with some suggestions of our own.

Before the unveiling of our version of ABC’s fall schedule, a few ground rules:

  • The schedule presented here and in future posts is an attempt to be as realistic as possible about what the network needs. It’s less a fantasy lineup and more an educated-guess lineup.
  • Whenever possible, we’ll try to stick to our colleague the Masked Scheduler‘s mantra that putting more than 2 1/2 hours of new material on the schedule invites diminishing returns.
  • Any new shows are based on what, as of posting time, has already been ordered to series, or seems most likely to be. Similarly, returning shows are based on what’s already renewed and The Cancel Bear’s predictions for what will come back.

Without further ado, here is how we would schedule ABC for the fall (all times ET/PT, new shows in italics):

ABC fall 2017 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
Monday Dancing With the Stars Deception
Tuesday The Middle American Housewife Speechless (new night) Fresh Off the Boat Inhumans
Wednesday The Goldbergs Start Up Modern Family Black-ish Designated Survivor
Thursday Grey’s Anatomy Scandal How to Get Away with Murder
Friday Last Man Standing Household Name Shark Tank 20/20
Saturday Saturday Night College Football
Sunday America’s Funniest Home Videos Once Upon a Time Untitled Paul William Davies The Crossing

 

What stays: “Dancing With the Stars,” the TGIT lineup and most of the Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday slates, along with college football on Saturday nights.

What’s new: Dramas “Deception” (a “Castle”-ish procedural about an illusionist who consults with the FBI) and “Inhumans” (Marvel’s latest) in the 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday spots; comedy “Start Up” on Wednesdays between “The Goldbergs” and “Modern Family”; comedy “Household Name,” starring Carol Burnett, following “Last Man Standing”; and a pair of new dramas, an untitled Shondaland legal show from writer Paul William Davies, and futuristic allegory “The Crossing,” on Sunday night.

“Inhumans” currently has just an eight-episode order, so in the likely event “Agents of SHIELD” is renewed it would take the 10 p.m. Tuesday spot in the winter.

What moves: “Speechless” switches to Tuesday night to make room for “Start Up.”

What else: One of the bigger questions for ABC will come later in the season, assuming that its deal to revive “American Idol” comes together. Monday night would make for a fairly seamless fit and allow “Dancing With the Stars” to scale back to once a year, but several reports about the pending deal have mentioned Sundays for “Idol” as well.

The network needs help on Sundays, for sure, and “Idol” would almost undoubtedly give ABC a boost on the night. The show’s landing spot will probably be the biggest news from ABC’s upfront presentation on May 16.

More schedule predictions: CBS

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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