It's not even like ABC bumped the return of TGIT for Donald Trump's actual presidential inauguration. That's Friday, Jan. 20. Instead, the network moved the Thursday, Jan. 19 premiere of "Scandal" Season 6 and the midseason returns for "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away With Murder" to Thursday, Jan. 26 in favor of ... the "20/20" special "America's New First Family: The Trumps Go to Washington."
Now all of the new TGIT episodes will arrive Jan. 26, despite the many ads out there promoting Jan. 19 as the big return date.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey explained the decision to TVLine during the TCAs Winter Press Tour, emphasizing that she's not happy about it either:
"It was a very hard call. Believe me. Nobody else has been waiting for it bigger than me."
Dungey said there had been ongoing conversations with ABC News leading into inauguration day, including discussion of a pre-inauguration special, despite ABC News not airing any similar profile eight years ago for Barack Obama's family. At first, TVLine reports, ABC News pitched a two-hour profile of the Trump First Family, but that was cut in half when ABC was still thinking of keeping TGIT's return partially intact. Ultimately, Dungey said they felt it was better to move all of TGIT to the following week to have all of the new episodes come back at once.
Dungey defended the choice to air the special, since the country is now facing a "more complicated and difficult" transition process:
"There's a lot to be said, and [ABC] News is very anxious to be saying it."
"Greys" fans are anticipating some interesting bottle episodes ahead in Season 13, with the now Jan. 26 episode taking three docs into a maximum security prison. There's also a lot more ahead for Japril, plus a standalone episode set on a plane.
The Trump special airs at 10 p.m. this Thursday, after repeats of "Grey's" and "Scandal."
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