ABC’s 2020-21 Programming Slate Includes New Thriller, Comedy

ABC
ABC

By STEVEN HERBERT

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – ABC announced its 2020-21 programming slate today
including a thriller created by 11-time Emmy winner David E. Kelley and a
comedy from the creator of “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

Series not returning include three comedies that ran for two seasons,
“Bless This Mess,” “Schooled” and “Single Parents,” and two series that
premiered last fall, the thriller “Emergence” and the alternative series
“Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

ABC had previously announced the comedies “Modern Family” and
“Fresh Off the Boat,” the legal drama “How to Get Away With Murder” and the
action/adventure drama “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” would be ending
their runs in the 2019-20 season.

There was no announcement about the fates of two series that premiered
at midseason, the legal drama “For Life” and the romantic comedy-drama,
“The Baker and the Beauty.”

Of the four series that premiered on ABC last fall, two will return
for second seasons, the comedy “Mixed-ish” and the crime drama “Stumptown.”

ABC also ordered a second-season of the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted “Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which premiered in April.

Kelley will write multiple episodes and serve as showrunner in the
first season of “Big Sky.”

“Big Sky” will star Kylie Bunbury and Ryan Phillippe as private
detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt who join forces with Hoyt’s estranged
wife Jenny (Katheryn Winnick), a former police officer, to search for two
sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in
Montana, then learn that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in
the area and must race against the clock to stop the killer before another
woman is taken.

The series is based on the series of books by C.J. Box.

The cast also includes Dedee Pfeiffer, the younger sister of Kelley’s
wife, actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

Kelley has won Emmys for writing and producing the legal dramas “L.A.
Law” and “The Practice,” the family drama “Picket Fences,” the legal
comedy-drama “Ally McBeal” and the miniseries “Big Little Lies.”

The new comedy ordered by ABC is “Call Your Mother,” which stars
Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick as “an empty-nester mom who wonders how she ended up
alone while her children live their best lives thousands of miles away” then
“decides her place is with her family and as she reinserts herself into their
lives,” according to the network.

“Call You Mother” was created by Kari Lizer, the creator of the 2006-
10 CBS comedy “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and a producer of the
NBC comedy “Will & Grace.”

Both series were ordered without having made pilots.

“At a time when we are physically apart and shared experiences matter
more than ever, these shows will build on the strategy that has made us No.
1 this season — bringing people together, creating cultural moments, and
making content that entertains and inspires across generations and
demographics,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said, referring to her
network’s first-place finish among viewers ages 18-49, the group it, Fox and
NBC target, when sports programming is excluded.

“Our top priority now is to work with our studio partners to ensure a
safe return to production so that we can build on the strong momentum of a
winning lineup with measured bets on new series that will invigorate our air
and continue to deliver the quality programming that our viewers have come to
expect and love.”

ABC will announce its schedule later.

ABC is the fourth of the five major broadcast networks to announce
programming plans for the 2020-21 season amid an uncertain start to the season
because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox and The CW announced their plans last week and CBS announced its
plans Tuesday.

Sources close to the matter say NBC plans on making a programming
announcement in mid-June.

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