UPFRONTS: ABC Taps Jimmy Kimmel for Oscars, Sets “The Little Mermaid Live!”



While ABC was presenting its fall schedule at its upfront presentation, some of the biggest news at their event was regarding the lineup for 2018. Furthest out are the Academy Awards, which will again be hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. This will be the comedian’s second year in a row hosting. It will also be produced again with Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd. The 90th Oscars will air March 4, 2018 from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

With NBC clearly set to have the ratings gold in February with the Olympics, ABC will be competing with The Bachelor Winter Games. The series is described as a dating competition series that “will reunite the all-stars at a luxurious winter resort, where they will go head-to-head in winter-themed athletic challenges, including the toughest sport of all: love.” The network will also debut Dancing with the Stars Junior, creating a kids-centric version of their ballroom competition.

Roseanne revival is officially heading home to ABC where it beat out for the distribution rights. The eight-episode series, which will debut midseason, will star original cast Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke will also appear on the show. She replaced Goranson in the later seasons but will play another role in the revival.

ABC is also reviving The Wonderful World of Disney with The Little Mermaid Live! The project will star “celebrity ” who will perform Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s music from the 1989 animated film. The Little Mermaid is said to weave together both life and animated elements. NBC and Fox have both found great success with live musicals, and ABC will test their own skill in the format with the pretaped remake of Dirty Dancing starring Abigail Breslin.

For fall, the network did some major reshuffling, moving Sunday night staple Once Upon a Time to Friday where it will be joined by Marvel’s Inhumans. Tuesday and Wednesday comedy nights are seeing movement with American Housewife moving to 930pm after Modern Family, and Black-ish shifting to Tuesdays at 9pm where it will be the lead in for The Mayor. One night that isn’t seeing much change though is Thursday, which will remain “TGIT” with back-to-back-to-back Shondaland series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.

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