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ABC unveils condensed fall schedule, but where are the hits?

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How to Get Away with MurderABC is officially the last of the “Big Four” broadcast TV networks to announce fall 2014 premiere dates and, at first glance, its schedule is the most compressed, with the vast majority of season and series debuts spread over just two weeks.

Is that a good or bad thing? Personally, I don’t believe it makes a lick of difference either way, but let’s just say ABC’s timetable feels more “traditional”. Which could be interpreted as outdated or retro-cool, depending on whether or not you dig shows like Modern Family, Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy.

Veterans are expected to carry the channel in its futile battle for the limelight against CBS and NBC one more time, as the lone semi-promising ABC rookie is probably “sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller” How to Get Away with Murder. And that’s only because it stars two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis.

Shonda Rhimes’ procedural bows on September 25, at 10 pm, as part of an unprecedented three-hour dramatic block conceived entirely by the writer/producer/jack of all trades. Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal will need to keep viewers interested (and, um, awake), from 8 to 10.

But ABC is likely getting its hopes higher for the two-hour comedy block that debuts September 24, including three old-timers (The Middle, The Goldbergs and Modern Family), plus a novice (Anthony Anderson starrer Black-ish).

The rest of the network’s doomed new series are fantasy drama Forever, headlined by Mr. Fantastic himself, aka Ioan Gruffudd, and sitcoms Selfie (really, ABC, really?), and Manhattan Love Story. Forever opens with a special sneak preview on September 22 ahead of its regular time period premiere on the 23rd (no, that’s not burdensome at all), while Selfie and Manhattan Love Story raise their curtains September 30, bizarrely leading in to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Number four it is, then.

Via [Hollywood Reporter]

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