From 'Scandal' to 'Murder' on ABC

Posted: May 15, 2014

ANSWER: Shonday.

Question: What comes after Wednesday on ABC this fall?

Shonda Rhimes, the producer of ABC's addictive soaps "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," will finish her conquest of ABC's Thursday nights when those dramas move an hour earlier to make way for the newest Shondaland production, the legal thriller "How to Get Away with Murder," at 10.

Written by Peter Nowalk, who's worked for Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers on "Grey's" and "Scandal," "Murder" - whose pilot was filmed in Philly - stars Viola Davis ("The Help") as a charismatic law professor whose students find themselves putting her lessons into practice in a way they hadn't anticipated.

"I call [Rhimes] the Charles Dickens of the 21st century, if Charles Dickens had been black and a woman," ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told advertisers in New York yesterday as he introduced Rhimes and Davis.

In a call with reporters yesterday, Lee sidestepped a question about where "Murder" will be filmed - it will be Los Angeles - but said the pilot, which, in part, was shot here, shows "Philadelphia in all its glory."

"The Goldbergs," Adam F. Goldberg's comedy about his '80s childhood in Jenkintown, will go to Wednesdays, a family-friendly neighborhood where it will take up residence between "The Middle" and "Modern Family" (and no doubt keep everyone else on the block awake).

"The Goldbergs," which Lee called "in my humble opinion . . . the best comedy of the year last year," had launched after "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" and had proved to be a "self-starter," Lee said, noting that "you often saw 'Goldbergs' pop a number even when 'SHIELD' was a repeat."

In all, ABC announced 12 new series, six of which will be on the fall schedule.

New fall comedies include: "Selfie," a "My Fair Lady" homage from Emily Kapnek, creator of the canceled "Suburgatory," starring Karen Gillan as "Eliza Dooley," an Internet sensation trying to learn to live life offline; "Manhattan Love Story," a rom-com about a couple who've just started dating that lets us hear what they're thinking; "Black-ish," starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne, in which Anderson's character "sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for the family" while living in an affluent suburb; and "Cristela," starring Cristela Alonzo as a Latina law student who's also trying to straddle cultures. (Another midseason show, "Fresh Off the Boat," is about celebrity chef Eddie Huang's memoir about his immigrant family "pursuing the American Dream.")

"We really wanted to reflect the changing face of America," said Lee (who, by the way, is British).

Besides "Murder," the new fall drama is "Forever," starring Ioan Gruffudd ("Fantastic Four") as a New York medical examiner who's a couple of hundred years old (but not, thank goodness, a vampire).

Among the shows slated for midseason are "American Crime," a racially charged drama from John Ridley ("12 Years a Slave") that looks at a crime from the victims' point of view; "Marvel's Agent Carter," a "Captain America" spinoff set in the 1940s that will fill the "SHIELD" spot when it goes on break; and "Galavant," a musical comedy/fairy tale from Dan Fogelman ("The Neighbors") and Broadway composer Alan Menken that will take over when "Once Upon a Time" takes a holiday hiatus.

Other returning shows: "Shark Tank," "Once Upon a Time," "Resurrection," "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Last Man Standing," "Nashville," "Castle," "The Bachelor," "Dancing with the Stars" and "Revenge."

Won't be back: "The Neighbors," "Trophy Wife," "Suburgatory," "Super Fun Night," "Mind Games," "Mixology," "Lucky 7," "Once Upon A Time In Wonderland," "Killer Women," "Betrayal" and "Back In The Game."

Phone: 215-854-5950

On Twitter: @elgray



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