“Monday Night Football” is back on ABC because of the ongoing strikes disrupting Hollywood.
The Disney-owned network announced Monday that it’s adding ten more NFL games to its schedule and broadcasting the entire fall season of “Monday Night Football.” The change helps plug a hole in ABC’s schedule for the rest of the year since scripted programming isn’t returning for the foreseeable future.
ABC usually airs reality fare on Monday, including “Dancing with the Stars” and its Bachelor franchise, but those shows were moved to different nights of the week to fill other holes left by a dearth of programming. Rather than airing new episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Abbott Elementary,” ABC’s fall schedule this year is filled with repeats, game shows, reality programming and now more football.
Eight “Monday Night Football” games were already going to air on ABC this season, but Monday’s change increases the number to 18. The games are simulcasts from ABC’s sister channel ESPN.
In total, ABC will air 20 games, including a Saturday afternoon game on January 6 and a playoff game over the January 20 weekend. The games will also give ABC a ratings boost since NFL games are regularly the most-watched shows on TV.
Here are the games ABC just added to its schedule, which will also be aired on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Kickoff is at 8:15 pm ET.
ABC used to air “Monday Night Football” from 1971 until ESPN took the broadcasting rights in 2006.
Television networks have been forced to get creative amid the ongoing dual writers’ and actors’ strikes, which has paused production on scripted shows.
CBS recently started airing the highly rated Western drama “Yellowstone,” a show that premiered in 2018 on the Paramount Network. It’s also adding “NCIS: Sydney,” an Australian version of the popular crime show, and the original UK version of its hit comedy “Ghosts” to its schedule. The CW also bought programming from other networks, like AMC and Canada’s CBC, to air.
NBC, meanwhile, planned ahead and stockpiled already-filmed scripted shows to show this fall.
The Writers Guild of America and the studios are set to resume negotiations on Wednesday, raising renewed hopes the two sides can reach a deal to end the several months-long strike.