#TGIT will be MIA on ABC this fall.
Making her first appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour as president of ABC Entertainment, Channing Dungey confirmed — just as TVLine surmised in May — that the network is dropping the three-year-old tagline used to market its Thursday lineup, now that one of of dramas isn’t a Shonda Rhimes production.
Dungey told TVLine that because the #TGIT marketing strategy is associated “in particular” with Scandal — which won’t uncork Season 6 until midseason — “it did feel like it would make more sense to wait to bring #TGIT back” when Olivia Pope & Co. return to our screens in January 2017.
With Scandal on an extended hiatus, ABC is nestling between Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder the freshman drama Notorious, which stars Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs) and Daniel Sunjata (Graceland) and, more notably, is a Sony Pictures Television/ABC Studios co-production — marking the first time since fall 2013 that ABC’s Thursday slate is not entirely furnished by Rhimes’ Shondaland shingle.
Rhimes had strongly suggested in May that a lineup with a non-Shondaland show in the mix does not qualify as #TGIT, by tweeting after the Grey’s and Catch finales, “This is the final night for #TGIT until 2017! See you for #GreysAnatomy and #HTGAWM in the fall!” The prolific producer reiterated her point with a second tweet: “#TGIT returns with #GreysAnatomy #Scandal and #TheCatch next year! #Shondaland.”
Responding to Rhimes’ aforementioned stance at TCA on Thursday, Dungey acknowledged the producer “does have a pretty clear sense of what it takes to schedule a network.”