ABC was mightily generous with renewals this season, doling out a total of 22 pickups to an assortment of promising rookies, strong sophomores and flagship dramas. We already brought news that Marvel spinoffs Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be returning, but the good news doesn’t stop there. Though Forever, Cristela, Resurrection and The Taste are in the ground, seven freshman series, eight returning shows and five veteran reality series (not including the aforementioned Marvel shows) are coming back in the fall.
Among the first-years to get renewals are How to Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, Galavant, American Crime, Secrets & Lies and Beyond the Tank. Returning vets include Castle, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Scandal, The Goldbergs, The Middle and Modern Family. Viewers can also look forward to more of America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Dancing With the Stars, Shark Tank and 20/20.
That’s an atypically huge amount of renewals for ABC, and one wonders whether many newcomers will have a chance to make their mark with so many returnees. The network execs clearly believe in their already-airing series more than their current crop of pilots, unless they’ve simply been turned off of change by the failure of so many rookies in recent years.
Sure things going into this renewal period included all the Shondaland dramas (How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandals), sturdy performer Castle (though it’s unclear whether actors Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic will stick around much longer), Modern Family, Once Upon a Time and diverse comedies Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat.
Out of the renewals, most surrpising is musical comedy extravaganza Galavant, which seemed like such an odd choice for the network that many weren’t sure it would ever see the light of day. When it finally arrived during the winter season, critics fell hard for the show, and it performed modestly but steadily with an average 1.9 rating in the key demo. Evidently, ABC brass is a fan as well.
Also of note – Nashville is getting closer to that golden number needed for syndication with its renewal for a fourth season; American Crime and Secrets and Lies will likely both see major shakeups in cast and setting for their second seasons, owing to their limited-series structure; and although Grey’s Anatomy is back for its 12th season, how long the medical drama will cling to life remains to be seen. It lost core cast member Patrick Dempsey this season, and actress Ellen Pompeo is only signed for one more season.
Tell us, which of the renewals were you most excited or surprised to see? Sound off below.