ABC announced its 2020-21 programming slate Thursday 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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