ABC Scandal Delayed Trump

Delaying Grey's/Scandal/HTGAWM Return for Trump Family Special Was a 'Very Hard Call,' Says ABC President

You needn’t remind the head of ABC how much time effort was put into touting the return of Thursday’s #TGIT lineup, only to have that date pushed back a week by a Donald Trump pre-inauguration special.

“It was a very hard call. Believe me,” Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, shared with TVLine at the network’s Television Critics Association press tour soiree. “Nobody else has been waiting for it bigger than me.”

To recap: Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder were to resume their seasons on Thursday, Jan. 19, bookending the already delayed premiere of Scandal Season 6. But just last week, it was announced that the 20/20 special America’s First Family: The Trumps Go to Washington would instead air that night (at 10/9c, leading out of Grey’s and Scandal repeats), bumping #TGIT’s well-promoted return to Jan. 26.

Explaining the switch-up, Dungey said there had been “an ongoing conversation” with ABC News about possibly leading into Inauguration Day with a Thursday special. “Everyone is always jockeying for what is going to be the best story, the best opportunity,” she said.

At first, ABC News pitched a two-hour profile of the new First Family, but that was cut in half as ABC mulled keeping #TGIT’s return partially intact. “But then in conversations, we felt like it was better to move all of #TGIT to the following week, and have it come out at once,” she said.

RELATED Shonda Rhimes Mum on #TGIT’s Return Getting Bumped for Trump: ‘I’m Not in Charge of Scheduling’

Presented with the fact that ABC News aired no such similar pre-inauguration profile eight years ago, the night before President Barack Obama took office, Dungey conceded that coming off of the November 8 election, the country has faced a more “complicated and difficult” transition process.

“There’s a lot to be said,” she explained, “and [ABC] News is very anxious to be saying it.”

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83 Comments
  1. Leo says:

    Still making a big deal out of this huh? Even though shows got pushed back all the time. And it’s only for ONE week.

  2. NC says:

    Who’s even going to be watching the train wreck of an inauguration? I feel like this 20/20 special itself is unnecessary, especially as you pointed out because they didn’t do one for #44 8 or even 4 years ago. Is Drumpf not in the news/on TV/spoken about enough?

    I know it’s not even that serious that the shows got pushed back, but it’s the WHY that is so bothersome.

  3. Ian says:

    It’s hardly a big deal when the show was already pushed to midseason. Not to mention the show hasn’t been it best in years.

    • Temperance says:

      No one needs to hear more from the monstrous clan. We need to get rid of them, not laud them.

      • Scott says:

        No we need to get rid of ignorant liberals like you who don’t know how to take a step back and see what he can do . We have 8 years of that idiot Obama who’s done nothing but made race relations worse than they ever been . Should not be surprised everything Obama has done he has screwed up one of these days you liberals will remove your heads from your back side and see what screw up the democratics are .

        • Kim says:

          Note: When calling people ignorant it might behoove you to use proper language and grammar. In any event the title of the special is laughable as the wife and the only minor child will be living separately in New York on the taxpayers’ dime. Slow clap.

          • Lisa M. Little says:

            Love the proper use of the word behoove! Point, game, set match Kim. Thanks for playing Scott.

        • Aeol says:

          Ah, another white person complaining about how the first black president personally made race relations worse. Yawn.

        • Temperance says:

          You mean me – one of the most accomplished, informed, and intelligent people you’ll ever respond to? That’s a lot of Dunning-Kruger going there. We can fix that.

  4. Mantra720 says:

    It wasn’t really a hard call; “Nightline” exists. ABC Entertainment controls primetime. Tell the news division to shove their ‘paint by numbers’ coverage into Nightline and call it a day. Or they could have seen what day the 19h was in the middle of May last year and committed to a 12th or 26th launch and gotten past this. Now they’ll probably have an embarrassing loss to Pure Genius in the timeslot to deal with; “TGIT” fans are simply not going to tune in.

    • SG says:

      ABC considers politics in America Entertainment. It is a circus. We look stupid in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    • Lauren says:

      That’s what I don’t get, why this wasn’t thought about sooner, they’ve had months to see it coming \o/

      • NC says:

        Probably because, at the time last Spring or even last Fall, no one thought this inexperienced monstrosity was actually going to win the election. I guarantee they wouldn’t have done a special and pushed-back TGIT for Hillary should she had won – even though it would’ve been historical.
        And above posters are right, the network shouldn’t be giving Drumpf any more attention. Stop trying to normalize that which is not normal. He doesn’t deserve the majority of American people to be in his good graces, and pandering to him/this administration may very well cost this network viewership. And you know what, it would be warranted.

  5. HesterP says:

    Aw, poor liberals and their crappy shows. Here’s a safety pin for you. All in a tizzy over a bunch of crap shows getting pushed.

  6. PatriciaLee says:

    Hey, you’re talking to football families, here, where scrambling is the name of the season. No biggie. Just give the husband Castle TV movies, where Castle is the smart one solving the crimes, and all is forgiven.

  7. Gospino says:

    I’m no Trump fan, but so what, the shows will just get pushed back a puny week. It’s not as if they’ll never air. Whining and moaning about it seems really babyish and petty.

    • Leo says:

      Yeah and it kept making the headlines. Imagine if it got pushed back a year, maybe the world will end or something.
      OH and this is coming from a TGIT fan.

    • A fan of TV says:

      You clearly undervalue the amount of money ABC spent (now wasted!) on promoting the return of these shows. That is why a bean counter like a network would hesitate here, not just because of political bias. But hey, your puny week is a network exec’s six or seven-figure loss on the bottom line for ad sales and being able to match them with the appropriate marketing/ratings because you know, it’s a business.

  8. Jimmy Snuka says:

    Why is this going to be called “The Trumps Go To Washington.” Is Lord Farquaad going to allow Malaria to live in the White House?

  9. Sue says:

    As always, ABX sucks! No regard EVER for their fans, you know, the ones that pay their bills.
    If you want to see that piece of trash turn to cable.

  10. Eric says:

    This right here is why people make comments about this country. We as a country get our panties in a wad when our shows are pushed back ONE week. Stop making a big deal about this. Good lord. They will be back on the following week. It’s a non issue that was made into a huge deal for absolutely no reason. People are so whiny these days it’s not even funny.

    • NYCme says:

      made into a big deal by trolls and sore winners like yourself, sir

    • Danyelle says:

      No “whining” here but as someone who follows the TV business, it’s certainly an interesting case study. Fact is, ABC spent a lot of money promoting January 19, and in these times audiences are as volatile as ever. ABC took a big risk, confusing people, and for as Dungey says a very unusual cause. So reduce it to “whining” if your brain needs to, but some of us smarter people find this change interesting.

    • Vanessa says:

      You’re here whining, so might want to take your own advice.

    • Mary says:

      No people make comments about our Country because a clueless self center sexual predator with no regards for our democracy was elected. They are wondering how so many can be this ignorant. They are wondering how one can take the word of foreign leader over their intelligence community because he doesn’t like what they are say. I don’t know I watch TV to escape the BS not see more of it.

  11. abz says:

    I think that the reason people are pissed off by this is not because of the delay itself which is only for a week which wouldn’t be a huge deal, but moreso because of the reason for the delay. The fact that the shows were pushed in favor of a Donald Trump special no one really asked for is mostly likely why there is outrage.

    • herman1959 says:

      Agreed, plus PBS did an excellent special on Trump and I doubt that ABC’s will come in even close in terms of quality.

  12. Patrick says:

    I don’t understand why they didn’t just bump Match Game on Wednesday instead of delaying an ENTIRE night programming for President Oompa Loompa.

  13. DumpTrump says:

    Do any of Trump’s minions even watch ABC….if this change had been for anyone else then absolutely yes…but for Trump, waste of prime time!

  14. Ray says:

    I won’t be watching but I would not have watched if The Rock had won the election. That being said, the ratings will decide if it was worth it.

  15. Jj says:

    Congratulations to ABC for landing the sequel to Triumph Of The Will, but I will definitely not be watching.

  16. lastfrontier84 says:

    Oh please. You know if Hillary had won the EXACT same thing would have happened. They would have probably done multiple specials for multiple hours. The show will still air just a week late. Deal with it.

  17. Ryan says:

    Well looks like instead of watching TV I’ll be showering, or watching paint dry, or water freeze. It’ll be a blast!

    In all seriousness though this wasn’t a hard call, it wasn’t necessary.

  18. Larc says:

    It’s not like the inauguration of a new President was pulled out of the hat at the last minute. It’s been common knowledge that would likely happen from the minute Obama won his 2nd term. The ABC President had a long, long time to decide if regular programming would be pre-empted for an inauguration special on January 19. Sounds more like a case of his being slow to make up his mind.

    • :-) says:

      She’s had the job less than a year. It was a tough call. Washington’s pregnancy had already caused some scheduling issues along with the flopping of 2 of the shows that were supposed to cornerstones of a new lineup. Lots of ad and promotional dollars to concider as well as momentum into February. I hope her future choices are better.

  19. Lily says:

    Trump brings the ratings. Haters can keep hating, he’ll just keep winning. 👏🏻🇺🇸

    • SG says:

      He keeps winning, while the rest of America loses even more as a result of his incompetence and ignorance.

    • Temperance says:

      Trump’s the bigeest lose oin history. He can’t even win an election without cheating. He can’t do business (poorly) without cheating. He’s the Ultimate Loser.

    • Mary says:

      Here is a little tidbit for you, The Women’s march have applied and received bus parking permits in a total of 1200. The President shin dig only 200. Ummm time will tell how those ratings will be. Great mentality he’ll keep winning when the fact is America keeps loosing. Sad that his minions have not moral compass and justifies his actions and remarks made over twitter.

    • Aeol says:

      Brings the ratings…like the lowest approval ratings ever for an incoming president? Yeah, you got that right!

  20. Lisa M. Little says:

    Worst decision ever! If you didn’t do it 8 years ago, why now? And trust me Ms. Dungey there are plenty of people waiting in anticipation more than you. The election was 3 months ago perhaps that would have been a better time for me to not watch it!

  21. linda Heikkinen says:

    Why would anyone want to watch anything about the Trumps? Used to like ABC but will give up on your network. How much did you get paid for this dumb decision?

  22. Pam says:

    I don’t care about the extra week. I do however care about ABC delaying the shows for Trump. The casts of TGIT are very anti-Trump. They campaigned for Hillary. To pull these shows in favor of Trump shows disrespect to the shows’ actors and the fans. Come on. Most people who watch TGIT are not Trump supporters. Generalization I know but check out some of the reactions. People aren’t mad they have to wait a week. They’re mad about why. It was even pointed about they didn’t do a special for Obama. This is very unlike ABC and they have gone way down in my book because of this IMO stupid move.

  23. Therese Allen says:

    Bad call. We all know this is a ploy to get people to view Trump more favorably. As, mentioned, this didn’t happen 8 years ago.

  24. Yoko says:

    Stupid decision. Won’t be watching anything that has to do with this administration. Netflix for me that night!

  25. Rosie says:

    So you guys can pitch a fit about a one-week preemption and it’s okay, but when I complain about shows I watch getting delayed or pushed back nearly every week due to spillover football games, I need to “calm down” and “get over it”

  26. Matt says:

    Huge programing mistake.

  27. Pedro says:

    Trump is determine to disrupt and ruin everything, including the little time we have to entertain ourselves after working hard to pay for tax breaks for the rich that he is implementing.

  28. Laura E. says:

    Sure isn’t awkward to have the night of programming created/produced/starring African-American women postponed for a president-elect with very racist views. Good optics there, ABC.

  29. A fan of TV says:

    The Trumps went to Washington for the purposes of starring in a highly propagandized version of reality that makes them look like New Camelot, then flew home to NYC where they plan to spend the bulk of the next four years (except Pres Kushnerpence, they’ll actually be there full time). Meanwhile the fake lives of fake doctors/lawyers/fixers etc is at least more honest than the fake life of the fake president they’ll be airing instead. Such fun!

  30. No one I know will be watch your station that night.

  31. Suze says:

    It won’t be a difficult or close call for ME! WON’T BE WATCHING ANYTHING ON ABC!!!

  32. Suzette Wilson says:

    I really am Trump-fatigued and know more than I want about his sexual escapades, his bullying tweets, his undermining our intelligence agencies and his own staff, his unexplained affection and tiresome apologies for Vladimir Putin, his antagonizing comments to and about our allies and NATO, his refusal to lead by example in eliminating his endless business conflicts of interest, and his utter inability to grasp the gravity of the office he’ll soon hold. His coverage has been incessant for months. ENOUGH.

  33. I’ll be watching the toenail clipping channel instead.

  34. LaTrinner Hamilton says:

    Seriously? well I know who won’t be watching ABC Thursday. Sick of Trump’s lies, and double talk already, and I wasn’t impressed with him before the election.

  35. Aeol says:

    No, no, no. Channing, you and your media bosses shall be rewarded with abysmal ratings.

  36. Sharon Ammons says:

    Shame on ABC. You should have kept your line-up. The 65million majority have no interest in a Trump program. We won’t watch or support those advertisers.

  37. Ester mcgrew says:

    Come on we want are shows we have waited until the 19th .You suck who ever pushed the shows back .

  38. Amy says:

    I have joined the inauguration boycott and will do something progressive on that day. I am not going to watch #goldenshowers Twitler pump up his chest in preparation for destroying the U.S.

  39. Natalie says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little. The First Family thing did it….