ABC announced its 2013-2014 schedule on Tuesday (May 14) morning in advance of its upfront presentation to advertisers and, without delay, let's answer what may have been the biggest question of the entire upfronts week:
"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." will air on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. starting this fall.
ABC may be assuming that "S.H.I.E.L.D." will effectively promote itself, because the network will have its hands full with eight new shows premiering in the fall, including comedies "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife," "Back in the Game" and "Super Fun Night" and the dramas "Lucky 7" and "Betrayal," plus the somewhat surprising decision to air the "Once Upon a Time" spinoff "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" away from the Sunday mothership.
"We are taking some big swings with groundbreaking shows this season, and staying close to our roots with smart and sophisticated storytelling. ABC is known for its combination of innovation and stability, and our new schedule reflects that. We’re bringing back the shows that viewers have embraced and enhancing the lineup with a slate of exciting new series," blurbs ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee.
Mondays will remain anchored by "Dancing with the Stars" from 8 to 10 p.m. but in a twist, ABC is eliminating the Tuesday results show and integrating results into the Monday broadcast. And "Castle" isn't going anywhere.
"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." will have to go against "NCIS," but it avoids NFL coverage on Sunday and the Thursday 8 p.m. death slot, so that's a win for the Joss Whedon drama. It will lead into comedies "The Goldbergs" and "Trophy Wife" and then into the lottery winner drama "Lucky 7," giving ABC the challenge of promoting an entirely new night of programming.
The core components of ABC's Wednesday remain "The Middle" at 8, "Modern Family" at 9 and "Nashville" at 10. The James Caan-centric "Back in the Game" and Rebel Wilson's "Super Fun Night" take the 8:30 and 9:30 slots respectively.
"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," which was originally expected to be hiatus programming for the mothership, will instead be given the Thursday 8 p.m. slot that claimed the life of "Last Resort" and "Zero Hour" last season and has been devouring ABC dramas for decades. "Grey's Anatomy" and burgeoning smash "Scandal" remain in their established slots.
On Friday nights, ABC will keep "Last Man Standing" at 8 p.m. leading into the second season of "The Neighbors." "Shark Tank" and "20/20," both regular time period winners, will remain in place.
ABC is also sticking with the bulk of its Sunday even after spring struggles. Unkillable "America's Funniest Home Videos" will still lead into "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge." If "Revenge" were actually capable of being a lead-in for anything, it would seem a logical topical pairing with the soap opera "Betrayal" in the 10 p.m. hour.
The network has a lot of programming held over for midseason, including the return of "Suburgatory," "The Taste" and "The Bachelor," pluss new offerings "Killer Women," "Mind Games," "Mixology" and the alternative series "The Quest."
Here's ABC’s fall primetime schedule is as follows (all times listed are Eastern); new shows are in bold:
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.