ABC will split the seasons of several of its drama series again in 2014-15, but the strategy this time seems a little more cohesive than it did this season.
Network head Paul Lee told reporters Tuesday (May 13) in announcing the ABC schedule that he plans to run fall and spring blocks of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” Thursday dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” and Sunday show “Once Upon a Time.” Also, “Resurrection” will have a shorter run of 15 or 16 episodes on Sundays before giving way to a new drama, “American Crime,” in early 2015.
Lee has also nailed down two of the “bridge shows,” as he calls them, to air in the winter. “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring Hayley Atwell as her “Captain America” character, Peggy Carter, will fill in for “SHIELD” on Tuesdays, and the musical fairy-tale comedy “Galavant” will spell “OUAT” on Sundays.
ABC tried a similar strategy this season with a few shows, without much success. Lee acknowledges the network’s ratings dip in January and February, as shows like “The Assets” bombed and “The Taste” struggled while the likes of “Scandal” and “Grey’s” were off.
In 2014-15, though, at least a couple of the bridge shows seem like better matches. Lee calls “Agent Carter,” which is set in the aftermath of World War II, “a SHIELD origin story with a kick-a** lead in Hayley Atwell.” “Captain America” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the first episode, and fans of “Agents of SHIELD” should be predisposed to watching a related part of the Marvel universe.
“Galavant” isn’t directly connected to “Once Upon a Time,” but the show Lee describes as “‘Spamalot’ meets ‘The Princess Bride'” covers similar territory, as it’s the tale of a man (Joshua Sasse) trying to win back his beloved (Mallory Jansen) from an evil king (“Psych’s” Timothy Omundson), written by Dan Fogelman (“The Neighbors,” “Tangled”) with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (“Tangled”).
Lee says ABC hasn’t settled on bridge shows for “Grey’s” and “Scandal” yet, but shows like “The Astronaut Wives Club” and murder mystery “Secrets and Lies” could be viable options.