By Zach Johnson
In connection with the ABC portion of the 2020 Winter Press Tour, several exciting network announcements regarding new and returning series were made today. From finales (How to Get Away with Murder and Modern Family) to premieres (The Baker and the Beauty) to live events (The Emmy® Awards and Young Frankenstein Live!), it’s shaping up to be a major year! With a handful of pilot orders, revivals, and sequels, ABC has a little of something for everybody.
Currently in its 11th and final season, ABC announced today that the Emmy® Award-winning series will air its farewell episode on Wednesday, April 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In addition, ABC is giving fans the power to program an entire night filled with their favorite Modern Family episodes, set to air Wednesday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The night will kick off with the pilot episode, followed by five additional fan-chosen episodes, giving viewers a chance to gather their families for the ultimate Modern Family binge and relive some of the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan’s most hilarious, jaw-dropping, and monumental moments. Voting will begin Monday, February 3, via a daily poll from the show’s Twitter handle and conclude Friday, February 7. Each day, a different selection of episodes will be made available to choose from.
The Baker and the Beauty
Beginning Monday, April 6, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, ABC’s compelling new modern-day fairy tale will take viewers on a flavor-filled adventure between relatable everyman Daniel Garcia (Victor Rasuk) and international superstar Noa Hamilton (Nathalie Kelley). Daniel is working in the family bakery and doing everything his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do… but when he meets Noa on a wild night in Miami, his life suddenly moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull his family into a culture clash?
The series also stars Carlos Gómez as Rafael Garcia, Dan Bucatinsky as Lewis, Lisa Vidal as Mari Garcia, David Del Rio as Mateo Garcia, Belissa Escobedo as Natalie, and Michelle Veintimilla as Vanessa. The Baker and the Beauty is based on the Israeli show by Assi Azar, originally for Keshet Broadcasting; Dean Georgaris is the series’ writer, executive producer, and showrunner.
ABC will air a special live episode of top-rated comedy the night of the New Hampshire primary, Tuesday, February 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The cast will perform the episode live for both the East and West coast broadcasts. ABC News’ coverage of the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary will be incorporated into the story in real time as the results roll in during the evening.
The live episode will find Mark (Ames McNamara) watching the results of the primary for a school report with Harris (Emma Kenney), who is indifferent to the electoral process and believes money’s influence in politics makes real change impossible. The rest of the Conners share their differing takes on why they all think everyone should vote, including their working-class perspective that you may have to vote for a candidate you don’t love but one that will hurt you the least. All of this happens against the backdrop of romance when Louise (guest star Katey Sagal) gets an opportunity that might send her away from Lanford, prompting the family to interfere in Dan’s (John Goodman) complicated relationship with her by throwing Louise a surprise going-away party—creating major new tensions between Dan and his two daughters.
How to Get Away with Murder
Returning for its six-episode killer farewell event on Thursday, April 2, How to Get Away with Murder is currently in its sixth and final season. The explosive series finale will air Thursday, May 14, at 10:01 p.m. ET/PT. The fall finale ended on a cliffhanger, as Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch)—who was previously presumed dead—was seen in a flash-forward at Annalise Keating’s (Viola Davis) funeral, fueling further speculation of “Who Killed Annalise?” The back-half of the season will pick up where the fall finale left off in the present-day storyline as Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) and Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) are arrested for the murder of Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry). Meanwhile, Annalise was last seen fleeing Philadelphia after news broke that she is under criminal investigation. Executive produced by creator Pete Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, and Stephen Cragg, the drama also stars Billy Brown as Detective Nate Lahey, Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino, Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom, Conrad Ricamora as Oliver Hampton, Rome Flynn as Gabriel Maddox, and Amirah Vann as Tegan Price.
Young Frankenstein Live!
The network will debut its latest live musical event this fall with Young Frankenstein Live! (working title), produced by the legendary director, writer, actor, comedian, producer, and composer Mel Brooks. The announcement comes on the heels of ABC’s recent spectacular, The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!, which was the most-watched made-for-TV musical on any network in nearly four years and the week’s No. 1 entertainment show. Based on the Broadway stage version of Young Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein Live! will follow Brooks’ and Gene Wilder’s comedic reimagining of the Mary Shelley classic novel. The live production will feature music from the stage adaptation, as originally composed by Brooks.
An airdate and cast announcement will be made at a later date.
Shark Tank and American Housewife
Shark Tank, the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-themed reality show currently in its 11th season, returns to its Friday time slot on February 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT; American Housewife will move to a new night beginning Wednesday, April 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The Emmy® Awards
The ceremony will return to ABC, airing live coast to coast from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 20, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). Host(s) and producers for the telecast will be announced at a later date. Nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, July 14. The 2020 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, honoring outstanding artistic and technical achievements in television, will take place over two consecutive nights—Saturday, September 12, and Sunday, September 13—at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart
ABC further expands its hit-making Bachelor franchise with The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart, premiering Monday, April 13, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Twenty single men and women will embark on an incredible journey to find love through music. Singing well-known songs, both individually and as couples, they will look to form attractions through the melodies, find and reveal their feelings, and eventually fall in love. The eligible singles will live together and go on Bachelor-style dates that focus on music. Once the couples commit to each other, it will be time to take their relationship to the next level. Their bonds will be tested through musical challenges, including live performances judged by some of the biggest names in the music business. Ultimately, the couples whose performances reveal their love and devotion to one another will continue to be given a chance to further their relationships until just one couple is left standing.
ABC is bringing back the classic TV game show, hosted and executive produced by Leslie Jones. The fast-paced and energetic series follows three teams of two as they battle it out using their grocery shopping skills and knowledge of merchandise to win big cash prizes. The original format aired on ABC from 1965–67 and went on to become a global sensation. It was adapted in 13 international territories and, most recently, relaunched in the UK. Production on the 10-episode order begins this spring. A premiere date will be announced later. “I’ve always dreamed of being on Supermarket Sweep. Seriously, I tried out for the show years ago, and after getting turned away, I knew I’d have to take matters into my own hands,” Jones says. “Being able to bring the iconic game show back to life on ABC is my ultimate redemption story!”
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which debuted in January 2000, Jimmy Kimmel will be stepping into prime time as host of a special run of episodes featuring celebrity contestants playing for charity. Additionally, an interactive game will allow viewers to play along at home. The game show will premiere on Wednesday, April 8. For the first time in the history of the U.S. franchise, competing celebrities can invite a guest in the hot seat to help them answer questions. Celebrity players will be announced at a later date.
The show’s original executive producer, Michael Davies, is returning to run the series. “My professional career has been inextricably linked with Jimmy’s since the days of Win Ben Stein’s Money, and he was one of the first-ever celebrity contestants on Millionaire in its original run,” Davies says. “I can’t wait to work with him on this dynamic new version of the show that changed my life and the fortunes of so many who benefitted from and simply loved the game.”
ABC has picked up a new drama from executive producer/writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions, and Warner Bros. Television to pilot, with Maggie Kiley set to direct. The Brides, a sexy contemporary reimagining of Dracula, is a family drama with a trio of powerful female leads. With strong horror elements, The Brides is a vampire soap about empowered, immortal women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy—and their family.
The sequel to the groundbreaking series thirtysomething received a pilot pickup from ABC. The show will follow an ensemble of new faces playing the grown-up, 30-something children of the original cast reprised by Ken Olin (Michael Steadman), Mel Harris (Hope Murdoch), Timothy Busfield (Elliot Weston), and Patty Wettig (Nancy Weston). Apparently, raising children (even grown children) never ends, but who could have known how hard it would be for them to raise their parents? During its original run from 1987–91, thirtysomething became a cultural phenomenon, garnering 13 Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe® Awards. Showrunners and creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick return to bring thirtysomething(else) to life under their Bedford Falls Co. banner along with MGM Television, with Zwick also set to direct.