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Tiffany Haddish, stability mark ABC's 2019-20 schedule

Haddish will host and be a producer of a reboot of "Kids Say the Darndest Things."

Tiffany Haddish attends Netflix's "Tuca & Bertie" Tribeca

Tiffany Haddish attends Netflix's "Tuca & Bertie" Tribeca Film Festival premiere on May 1, 2019, in Manhattan.  Photo Credit: Getty Images for Netflix / Astrid Stawiarz

With the TV industry in flux, ABC entertainment chief Karey Burke said a goal for the network's 2019-20 schedule is something audiences might see as a gift — stability. 

There will be newcomers, notably Tiffany Haddish, and inevitable cancellations. But ABC said next season represents the lightest hand in more than a decade.

"Viewers love our shows and we are listening to the audience. So this year we're not trying to jam them with too many messages and too many new shows to watch," Burke said. Although ABC had a "tough" start last fall, she said, a ratings rebound since January justifies the approach.

That means nurturing the shows in place, such as longtime ABC successes "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Bachelor" and not "putting on something new for the sake of something new," she said. A marketplace increasingly packed with streaming content is another reason to hold steady, Burke said.

But low-rated series are out, and their replacements include Haddish as host and producer of a reboot of "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Burke told a teleconference the actress-comedian who gained fame in "Girls Trip" was the star she most coveted and other networks competed for her show.

There are three other newbies debuting in fall, including "mixed-ish," a "black-ish" spinoff that stars Arica Himmel as the preteen version of the mom, Rainbow, played by Tracee Ellis Ross in the original show.

Allison Tolman stars in "Emergence," described as a character-driven genre thriller, while the graphic novel-based "Stumptown" stars Cobie Smulders as an Army veteran turned private eye.

The midseason entries include the dramas "For Life," about a prisoner seeking freedom for himself and others, with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson among the producers, and "The Baker and the Beauty," about the unlikely romance between a working man and a superstar.

The family comedy "United We Fall" also is on deck for midseason.

The host of late-night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" has signed on for three more years, Burke announced.

The new deal means that "we'll be able to celebrate 20 years together with Jimmy," she said.

Kimmel may not be required to rescue ABC from a repeat of this year's no-host Oscars. When controversy drove Kevin Hart from the job, the ceremony failed to woo a replacement and let presenters carry the show.

Although Burke was noncommittal about 2020, she expressed satisfaction with the ceremony and its ratings.

"We're extremely proud of how the show turned out creatively and how well it performed this year," she said. "I think you'll see us not messing with that formula, to the best of our abilities."

Asked if that meant two-time Oscar host Kimmel wouldn't be conscripted, Burke stopped short of ruling it out.

"I'm not being evasive. It's something that the [motion picture] academy makes decisions about later in the year," she said.

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