NEW YORK — A new drama from “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes will join ABC’s 2014-15 schedule, giving her ownership of Thursday night on the network as it attempts to rebound in the ratings.
Rhimes’ “How to Get Away With Murder,” a legal thriller starring Viola Davis, is among 12 new series that will occupy an ABC schedule that will be heavy on crime dramas and rich in ethnic diversity.
The new sitcoms “Black-ish,” starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross as a suburban family trying to embrace their African-American identity, and “Fresh Off the Boat,” about an immigrant Chinese family pursuing the American dream in the 1990s, are joining the schedule.
“Cristela,” another sitcom, is about an ambitious law student (Cristela Alonzo) at odds with her traditional Mexican-American family.
Former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman will return to ABC in the drama “American Crime,” about a community rocked by a violent crime. Film actor Ryan Phillipe will star in “Secrets and Lies,” about a murder suspect trying to prove his innocence.
On the genre front, “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring Hayley Atwell, will join “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on the network.
The series canceled by ABC to make way for newcomers are “Trophy Wife,” “Mixology,” “The Neighbors,” “Suburgatory,” “Super Fun Night,” “Killer Women,” “Lucky 7,” “Betrayal,” “Back in the Game” and “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.”
ABC and other broadcast networks are presenting their new schedules to advertisers in New York this week. Among advertiser-favored young adult viewers, ABC held steady this season but is lagging behind competitors NBC, CBS and Fox.