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ABC adds four new shows in a stable prime-time schedule

Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

ABC is taking a minimalist approach to the 2019-20 season by adding only three scripted shows and a reality reboot to its prime-time schedule.

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told reporters Tuesday ahead of the network's presentation to advertisers that fewer changes are better for the viewer, who is already overwhelmed with programming choices by streaming services and cable networks that have stepped up their output.

"We're not trying to jam them with too many messages and too many shows to watch," Burke said. "We resisted the temptation to pick up things that just weren't ready. We're going to invest in our long-running shows and continue to strengthen them and will only be launching the few that we think can really break through."

Burke said it's likely the network will announce pickups of other series from its latest round of program development after the season begins. ABC presented its schedule to advertisers gathered at Lincoln Center in New York ahead of the advance sales of TV ads for the 2019-20 TV season.

Burke announced that ABC had acquired a new version of the classic series "Kids Say The Darndest Things" with "Girls Trip" star Tiffany Haddish as host. Haddish, who is also an executive producer of the show, will interview children giving their unvarnished views on topical issues.

The format of "Kids" has been around for decades, starting out as a radio segment on Art Linkletter's "House Party." Linkletter did it for years when he brought "House Party" to daytime TV. It later became a series on CBS with comic Bill Cosby as host, running from 1998 to 2000.

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The network's drama additions include "Emergence," starring Allison Tolman as a police chief who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident attached to a large conspiracy theory.

ABC is also returning "How I Met Your Mother" co-star Cobie Smulders in "Stumptown," about an Army veteran with a complicated love life. It's based on a series of graphic novels by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth and Justin Greenwood.

ABC's new comedy is a prequel to one of its long-running hits. From the creators of "black-ish," the show "mixed-ish" explores the experience of Rainbow Johnson growing up in a mixed-race family. Arica Himmel plays the young Bow Johnson, who is portrayed as an adult by Tracee Ellis Ross on "black-ish."

ABC will kick off Monday with a new season of "Dancing With the Stars" followed by the 10 p.m. drama "The Good Doctor."

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