ABC Finally Reveals Its Fall Premiere Dates, Including an Early Debut of Marvel’s Inhumans in Imax Theaters

The final season of Scandal kicks off on Oct. 5

Marvel's Inhumans will premiere Friday, Sept. 29 on ABC, four weeks after the first two episodes screen in IMAX theaters. Michael Muller/ABC
Headshot of Jason Lynch

It took a month longer than its broadcast peers, but ABC has finally locked in its fall premiere dates.

Scandal will kick off its seventh and final season on Thursday, Oct. 5, as the original TGIT lineup of Shonda Rhimes-produced shows returns for the last time. Prior to May’s upfront event, ABC announced that next season would be Scandal’s last, as Rhimes is ready to wrap up the story of Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington.

When fall lineups were first unveiled in May, Scandal was slated to face off against This Is Us, broadcast’s No. 2 series in the adults 18-49 demo, which NBC had decided to shift to Thursdays. But that network abruptly reversed course two weeks later, opting to keep the drama on Tuesdays.

The network’s new Marvel series, Marvel’s Inhumans, will debut on Friday, Sept. 29, with a two-hour premiere. That’s four weeks after “a version of” Inhumans’ first two episodes will be shown globally in Imax theaters for a two-week run.

On Mondays, the 25th installment of Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 18, three days before the 2017-18 season officially begins. That will lead into new drama The Good Doctor, which debuts a week later, on Sept. 25, and stars Bates Motel’s Freddie Highmore as a surgeon with Savant syndrome who ends up working in a pediatric surgical unit of a hospital.

Tuesday’s rejiggered comedy lineup returns on Oct. 3. The night starts with The Middle at 8 p.m., followed by Fresh Off the Boat, then a relocated Black-ish and new comedy The Mayor, about a rapper who runs for office as a publicity stunt and is elected, only to find out he’s good at the job. Ending the night at 10 p.m. is new drama Kevin (Probably) Saves the World—formerly titled The Gospel of Kevin—about a man (Jason Ritter) ordered by God to save the world.

ABC will roll out its Wednesday lineup on Sept. 27, with comedies The Goldbergs, Speechless, Modern Family and American Housewife, followed by Designated Survivor.

Two shows in Thursday’s TGIT lineup—Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder—return on Sept. 28, as Grey’s will have a two-hour season premiere. Scandal joins the night one week later.

On Fridays, ABC ditched its sitcoms/Shark Tank combo in favor of Once Upon a Time, moving over from Sunday and premiering Oct. 6, and new drama Marvel’s Inhumans, which debuts a week earlier. 20/20 ends the night.

Sundays brings back America’s Funniest Home Videos, but not until Nov. 26. First, ABC has slotted in a second season of Toy Box, which premieres on Oct. 1. That’s followed by game show To Tell the Truth, which returns Oct. 8 and airs at 8 p.m., and then a relocated Shark Tank at 9 p.m. (that show will have a two-hour premiere on Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.). At 10 p.m. on Oct. 1, ABC will air Ten Days in the Valley, a limited series starring Kyra Sedgwick as a TV producer whose young daughter goes missing.

ABC, which finished fourth place in the 18-49 demo for the second consecutive year, is saving its controversial revival of American Idol until midseason, along with the revival of hit comedy Roseanne.

Trailers for all of ABC’s fall shows can be found here.

ABC is the final broadcast network to lock in its fall premieres, waiting until a month after its peers had announced their own debuts. CBS was first out of the gate, on June 1, with The CW following a week later. NBC set its schedule on June 19, while Fox made its premiere announcement three days later.

Here is the entire premiere schedule for ABC’s fall shows (new programs are in all caps):

MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — Dancing With the Stars (Sept. 18)
10-11 p.m. — THE GOOD DOCTOR (Sept. 25)

TUESDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — The Middle (Oct. 3)
8:30-9 p.m. — Fresh Off the Boat (Oct. 3)
9-9:30 p.m. — Black-ish (Oct. 3)
9:30-10 p.m. — THE MAYOR (Oct. 3)
10-11 p.m. — KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD (Oct. 3)

WEDNESDAY
8-8:30 p.m. — The Goldbergs (Sept. 27)
8:30-9 p.m. — Speechless (Sept. 27)
9-9:30 p.m. — Modern Family (Sept. 27)
9:30-10 p.m. — American Housewife (Sept. 27)
10-11 p.m. — Designated Survivor (Sept. 27)

THURSDAY
8-9 p.m. — Grey’s Anatomy (Sept. 28; two-hour premiere)
9-10 p.m. — Scandal (Oct. 5)
10-11 p.m. — How to Get Away With Murder (Sept. 28)

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — Once Upon a Time (Oct. 6)
9-10 p.m. — MARVEL’S INHUMANS (Sept. 29)
10-11 p.m. — 20/20

SUNDAY
7-8 p.m. — The Toy Box (Oct. 1)/America’s Funniest Home Videos (Nov. 26)
8-9 p.m. — To Tell the Truth (Oct. 8)
9-10 p.m. — Shark Tank (Oct. 1; two-hour premiere, at 8 p.m.)
10-11 p.m. — TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY (Oct. 1)


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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