Two weeks after being tapped as ABC entertainment president, Channing Dungey is doing something her predecessor, Paul Lee, never did: hand out early renewals. The former head of drama at ABC Studios on Thursday renewed several series -; including veteran drama Once Upon a Time, third-year comedy The Goldbergs, sophomore comedy Fresh Off the Boat and rookie Quantico.
The renewals mark Dungey's first official duties as head of the network and come after Lee historically waited until the Friday before upfronts in May to announce both returning shows as well as his new series pickups. Perhaps what's more interesting is that amid a landscape of more vertically aligned networks and studios, Dungey's early renewals include multiple series from outside studios including Sony Pictures Television (The Goldbergs) and 20th Century Fox Television (Fresh Off the Boat).
More renewals are expected to come Thursday. We'll update this post as more news becomes available.
In its third season, the "1980-something" family comedy inspired by the life of showrunner Adam F. Goldberg has continued to find its groove. The Sony Pictures Television-produced comedy will return for its fourth season after it has helped solidify ABC's Wednesday-night comedy block. This week, the network tested the comedy starring Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jeff Garlin in the 8 p.m. slot, where its Dirty Dancing-themed tribute episode tipped up week-over-week and bested The Middle in the time slot with an impressive 2.0 among the adults 18-49 demo.
Once Upon a Time
The season-six pickup comes just days ahead of the fantasy series' 100th episode -; an important mark for syndication. The ABC Studios drama continues to draw stable ratings on Sundays, averaging 8 million viewers. The Disney-owned network continues to use Once as a way to feature strong brand integration, with many of its popular Disney characters coming to life on the multiple-universe drama. When speaking about the milestone episode with The Hollywood Reporter, creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis sound open to a long run for the synergistic series, possibly with different characters taking the lead at some point down the road.
Fresh Off the Boat
Produced from outside studio 20th Century Fox Television, the third-season renewal for the 1990s Asian-American family comedy should be seen as a vote of confidence from Dungey. The executive has made diversity a top priority, and the renewal for the bubble comedy produced by an outside studio is a key sign that she's open to allowing time for series to find their creative legs. The critical darling is currently part of ABC's Tuesday night comedy block and has had an uphill battle with the low-rated Muppets revival as a lead-in. The series, picked up for a 13-episode sophomore season, received a back-nine pickup after the Nahnatchka Khan-produced comedy built on its freshman ratings.
One of ABC's few freshman drama hits, the series has also proven to be one of the biggest network breakouts of the season. In addition to ranking as Sunday's top scripted series among adults 18-49, the FBI thriller enjoys impressive double-digit gains when DVR is factored in. (The show's winter finale jumped 100 percent in live-plus-seven numbers.) Produced in-house and by Grey's Anatomy executive producer Mark Gordon, Quantico has also been a point of pride for ABC in its continued to efforts to diversify with Bollywood veteran turned small-star screen Priyanka Chopra.
Still to be determined are the fates of Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Castle, Modern Family, The Middle, Black-ish, Nashville, Galavant, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, American Crime and Last Man Standing, in addition to several unscripted series.
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