Months after getting a post-Oscars tryout, Alec Baldwin just got the best possible -- as well as the most surprising -- news: He is set to host a new talk show to air Sundays at 10 p.m. this fall. That's prime time, by the way, otherwise known as the place where the viewers are, or most of them.
This will not only represent Baldwin's first solo shot on a major network, but it's also an unexpected coda to his short-lived MSNBC talk show, which was canceled in 2013 following an altercation with a photographer in which he uttered a gay slur.
Moreover, talk shows are almost unheard of in prime time on a major broadcast network, which typically relegate them to late night or daytime, known as the so-called “fringe” time periods. NBC's efforts to accommodate Jay Leno after he was eased off “The Tonight Show” for Conan O'Brien included a weeknight prime-time talk series. Its fate — canceled after less than a year — indicates why network TV has so rarely aired them earlier in the evening.
Baldwin has long hosted a popular podcast which melds opinions — his own — with those of his guests. With the post-Oscar March tryout as evidence, the ABC series, titled “The Alec Baldwin Show,” will essentially be the same.
In a statement announcing the fall lineup, ABC said “the one-hour show will showcase Baldwin’s in-depth conversations with compelling personalities.” It added that the showrunner will be Jason Schrift, who until last year was a co-executive producer at “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
ABC will launch eight new series over the 2018-19 season, including the Baldwin show.
Among the midseason series includes one produced by Marcia Clark — of O.J. Simpson fame — about “an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder.” It's titled “The Fix.”
(The other midseason series are: “Grand Hotel,” about a hotel in Miami, with Demian Bichir; “Whiskey Cavalier,” a “dramedy,” with Scott Foley as a “tough-but-tender FBI super-agent; and “Schooled,” the “Goldbergs'” spinoff starring Tim Meadows.)
Here's the lineup, with the fall newcomers, in bold:
8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10 p.m. “The Good Doctor”
8 p.m. “Roseanne”
8:30 p.m. “The Kids Are Alright,” starring Michael Cudlitz and Mary McCormack as parents of a sprawling Irish-Catholic family in a “working class neighborhood outside Los Angeles.”
9 p.m. “black-ish”
9:30 p.m. “Splitting Up Together”
10 p.m. “The Rookie,” with Nathan Fillion, as the LAPD's oldest rookie.
8 p.m. “The Goldbergs”
8:30 p.m. “American Housewife” (new time)
9 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “Single Parents,” with “SNL's” Taran Killam and Leighton Meester, as single parents who along with other single parents are trying to raise their kids and lead their lives.
10 p.m. “A Million Little Things," with David Giuntoli and Ron Livingston, in a “This is Us”-like drama about friends from Boston who are bonded “under unexpected circumstances.”
8 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
9 p.m. “Station 19”
10 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder”
8 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (new day and time)
8:30 p.m. “Speechless” (new day and time)
9 p.m. “Child Support” (new time)
10 p.m. “20/20”
8 p.m. “Saturday Night Football”
7 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors”
9 p.m. “Shark Tank”
10 p.m. “The Alec Baldwin Show”