Fall TV Preview

Is ABC's First Non-#TGIT Thursday Promo Trying (Way) Too Hard?

As first reported by TVLine, ABC is abandoning its “TGIT” theme this fall, seeing as its Thursday lineup (premiering Sept. 22) for the first time in years contains a non-Shonda Rhimes drama. And boy, does the first promo overexplain the switcheroo.

Embedded above, the 60-second spot (first shared by People.com) endeavors to both promote this fall’s Thursday addition — Notorious, starring Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs) and Daniel Sunjata (Graceland) and not from Shondaland — as well repeatedly reassure you that Scandal is only taking “a little break” (until January 2017, that is, when Season 6 premieres).

I mean, it’s OK to take a few hundred words in a TVLine news story to dive into the non-#TGIT lineup, but in a bubbly promo it comes off as quite talky.

TVLine surmised back in May that #TGIT (“Thank God It’s Thursday”) was off the table for the fall, in the wake of some assertive tweets by Rhimes. ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey confirmed the decision at this month’s TCA press tour, telling me that because that marketing tagline is associated “in particular” with Scandal, “it did feel like it would make more sense to wait to bring #TGIT back” when Olivia Pope & Co. return to our screens.

Watch the “Notoriously juicy” video above and tell us if you too found it to be so much promo-splaining.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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55 Comments
  1. abaker20 says:

    Yeah, they’re trying a bit too hard. This promo really sounds cheesy.

  2. TVFan says:

    A bit over the top. They could’ve just promoted Notorious as being between Grey’s and Murder, then a quickie saying Scandal will be back later in the season. The promo packed way too much involved.

  3. Al says:

    Nortorious just looks like a bad show

  4. Frannie says:

    Oh that’s pitiful. Trying way too hard.

  5. D says:

    I actually think they do a good job of assuring the TGIT audience that scandal will be back (and not cancelled). The TVLine audience is a passionate TV loving audience that represents a small amount of regular viewers. Odds are most regular viewers of ABCs dramas aren’t likely aware of Scandal not returning til Jan. Surely if ABC promoted its new Thursday and didn’t explain that, most viewers would be “did they cancel Scandal??”. I think the promo effectively explains that a) don’t worry, it’s coming back and b) we found a show that we think will satisfy your Scandal like sensibilities while it’s off. (That may not be true and Notorius could easily flop, but as far as conveying all that info in a 60 second promo, I think it handles it rather effectively). Again let’s not forget, TV websites speak to the active TV fans. Most TVLine viewers are aware of Scandal being off in fall, most average TV viewers are not. (Remember all those polls on TV websites after Mcdreamys death on Greys, a high percentage of viewers said they’d stop watching. In actuality Greys went up year vs. year).

    • MK says:

      Totally agree. I’ve talked with several friends who had no idea Scandal wasn’t coming back until January.

    • Frannie says:

      Grey’s actually did not go up in season 12 from season 11, if you check the weekly and overall ratings. It just didn’t under perform as much as ABC anticipated with McDreamy’s death.

      • D says:

        The midseason finale and the season finale in May were both up a tenth in the 18-49 demo from the year ago ep (season finale May ’15 had a 2.3 while May ’14 finale a 2,2). Up in viewers too. For any show to be up year to year in the current TV climate is rather astounding. For a 12 year old show that killed off much loved male lead character to much anger from fans a year ago, to go up, is super impressive. All I’m saying is if you read TV websites this time a year ago, you would see tons of people swearing off the show. Clearly that did not happen at all.

  6. Britt says:

    Couldn’t they have put the new Shonda show coming out in Scandal’s spot

    • Steven says:

      The Romeo and Juliet show? ABC has already said they planned that for midseason because it takes longer to produce and make it look authentic. And The Catch will replace HTGAWM same as last year.

  7. Whatevah8 says:

    Meh..it’s a promo.

  8. J says:

    I didn’t realize Shonda owned the TGIT phrase. *eye roll*

  9. KLS says:

    I was looking forward to Notorious because of Piper Perabo, but this promo seems like they are trying to force it into a Shonda show. It also looks a little Castle-like with the two leads’ bantering, but we shall see.

  10. kmw says:

    They are definitely trying too hard. This promo didn’t need half of what was in it

  11. darkangel200 says:

    Kind of refreshing to see TV Line calling out someone NOT CBS for a change!

  12. Deion says:

    That was hilarious. Why?

  13. Nikki says:

    I don’t find it any worse than the OMG Its TGIT commercials.

  14. Kevin K says:

    How long will Grey’s be coming to an end? Still hasn’t been the same without so many actors including one Patrick Dempsey.

  15. Nerdbot says:

    I didn’t hate the spot, but the sandwich part was a little too much. That’s the only negative thing I have to say about it.

  16. Eran says:

    It’s like a bad, non-premium Spotify ad!

  17. Steven says:

    Stop trying to make Notorious happen

  18. Kia says:

    Kind of sums up why I don’t watch any of Shonda’s shows. And just in case – I have seen most of S1 of HTGAWM and about six seasons of Grey’s, so I know where my comment is coming from, I have reasons.

  19. Brad says:

    well that was awkward AF

  20. Spence says:

    I got so much second hand embarrassment watching this! 😂

  21. Adam says:

    What is going on with The Catch? Sometimes I read Renewed and sometimes I see Cancelled. Will it be mid-season? I love that show. It has a similar ‘fun vibe’ as Las Vegas had.

  22. Joe says:

    Geez, not like NBC dropped Must See TV just because some shows changed. The promo was a bit, whoo, wait the new show is cool, like us, like us

  23. Brock Hard says:

    It’s a :60 promo, they have to fill the time with something. You all are used to seeing :30 or even :15 spots. The shorter ones are better I’m sure.

  24. ScottJ says:

    Stupid catch phrase anyway. With current viewer habits people are watching shows when they want to and not when the networks decide we will.

  25. A fan of TV says:

    I struggle with whether or not anyone really, honestly, would have otherwise noticed if they just promoted Thursday nights and not worried at all about calling it, or explaining why they’re NOT calling it, #TGIT. But this is because I don’t watch much in the way of traditional cable on first airing, or commercials, for that matter. I also think it’s a bit silly that four letters she clearly didn’t come up with out of nowhere are so important to Shonda Rhimes…

  26. Matt C. says:

    Scandal hasn’t been “must see TV” for me since season 3, so to me, I’m still considering Grey’s and HTGAWM as TGIT. I’ll probably watch that Notorious show, if only because I’ll have an hour to kill between the other two shows.

  27. Rachel says:

    That was 60 seconds too long.

  28. EM says:

    Well all the Grey’s & HTGAWM clips were old. New show…..can’t say I am all that interested. Nurse that used to service Bailey on Grey’s has his own show? Wow. ABC should market each show as it’s own until it reverts back to shondaland. For those of us who remember TGIF, shonda’s TGIT is outright stealing. It belongs to ABC.

  29. cdeno says:

    well for a show that is not on till January Scandal is getting a lot of promotion. if the average job saw a promo for Grey’s, HTGAWM and Notorious for Thursday lineup i would think they would just google about Scandal.

    If ABC really has to put this much effort into promoting Scandal as a mid season show, then maybe they should have thought about not moving it to mid season. I know Kerry is pregnant, but they are currently filming episodes. they could air the 5 (i am guessing on a number) that they film before Kerry has the baby, then air the rest in the new year.

  30. CarlottaB says:

    When Ms. Rhimes famously tweeted that TGIT would be off until 2017, it left a lot of fans thinking all 3 shows would be off. Remember, fans don’t know the difference between a brand and a lineup. I’m sure the network had to do some scrambling to set the record straight.

  31. Ally Oop says:

    Notorious looks so awful.

  32. BrianL says:

    Does Shonda Rimes own the phrase “TGIT”?

    NO!!!!!

  33. Nance says:

    I stopped most of Shonda’s shows before last season. I, also, haven’t watched Grey’s for years now. I don’t care about “TGIT”

  34. Marc says:

    I can’t wait for “Still Star-Crossed.” Awful title, but I hope it will be like “Hamilton” for TV. The rest of ABC’s line-up is the worst. I also can’t wait for “Pitch” and “Star” on Fox.

  35. Marc says:

    GREY’S ANATOMY SEASON 13!!!