Kiefer Sutherland will play a low-level Cabinet member who suddenly becomes president on a new ABC drama this fall, and the network plans to add a second night of comedy to its schedule.
ABC has also given the go-ahead to another drama from the prolific creator Shonda Rhimes and a comedy where Minnie Driver plays a mom fighting for her special-needs child.
While Sutherland's new series, "Designated Survivor," is a thriller, presumably the fictional president will face less action than Jack Bauer, his character in Fox's "24." His character on the Wednesday night show becomes president after an attack against Washington.
The network is opening its Tuesday night schedule to comedies, while keeping Wednesday and Friday as nights where sitcoms also air. The Wednesday night show "The Middle" will move to Tuesdays in the fall, joined by "Fresh Off the Boat" and "The Real O'Neals."
Driver's comedy "Speechless" joins ABC's schedule on Wednesdays in the fall, and the other new fall comedy is "American Housewife," about a woman raising a dysfunctional family in a wealthy Connecticut suburb.
ABC has ordered nine new programs for next season, with five on the schedule in the fall. The drama "Conviction" is reminiscent of Chelsea Clinton in that it features a former First Daughter who goes to work in a New York district attorney's office as her mother is running for the Senate. "Notorious" is based on the lives of criminal lawyer Mark Geragos and television news producer Wendy Walker.
The new Rhimes show, "Still Star-Crossed," picks up where the story of Romeo and Juliet ends, and is expected to join the schedule in midseason.
CBS is going for laughs next season, scheduling four comedies each on Monday and Thursday, with three of them newcomers.
Also on tap for fall is a trio of new dramas, with one of them, "Bull," starring Michael Weatherly, who's exiting the network's "NCIS" after 13 years. The other new dramas are a reboot of 1980s hit "MacGyver" and a medical drama, "Pure Genius."
The new fall sitcoms are "Kevin Can Wait," starring Kevin James; "Man with a Plan," with Matt LeBlanc; and "The Great Indoors," headlined by Joel McHale.
Set for midseason are the crime thriller "Training Day" and the legal drama "Doubt," starring Katherine Heigl.
The network is bringing back 21 series.
"Supergirl" is landing at CW for its second season after debuting last year on CBS. It's a good fit for CW, currently home to three other superhero shows: "The Flash," ''Arrow" and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow."
All are from prolific producer Greg Berlanti, who has placed yet another show at CW for next season, "Riverdale."
Based on the Archie Comics characters, "Riverdale" was described by the network as a present-day "surprising and subversive take" on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends. Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and Luke Perry are among the stars.
Fox's fall schedule will feel like a trip to the multiplex, with its two new dramas being remakes of the popular movies "Lethal Weapon" and "The Exorcist" and a one-time new version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" booked for Halloween week.
The network unveiled its first season schedule in a decade and a half without "American Idol," announcing a total of 11 new series. They include a short run of a familiar Fox franchise, "24: Legacy," which will premiere in February directly after Fox's broadcast of the Super Bowl.
"Lethal Weapon," which will air on Wednesday nights prior to Fox's most popular show, "Empire," stars Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans, Sr. as the crime-fighting duo Riggs and Murtaugh. "The Exorcist" will air on Fridays, the story centered around two priests trying to cure a family of demonic possession.
The other new Fox series coming in the fall is "Son of Zorn," a hybrid of animation and live-action about a warrior from a faraway island trying to win back his ex-wife and son.
Actress Laverne Cox is featured as Dr. Frank-n-Furter in the new version of "Rocky Horror." Tim Curry, featured in the 1975 original movie, will appear as narrator.
As is becoming typical in television, fall is no longer the sole premiere season. Fox will sprinkle new series throughout the year, and promised that more than 90 percent of its schedule next season will be original programming.
Ted Danson returns to NBC's Thursday night lineup this fall as part of a conservative scheduling strategy announced for a network that is holding off much of its new material for other times in the year.
NBC also reached a last-minute deal with producers of the popular comedy "The Carmichael Show" to bring it back next season.
Danson, the memorable barkeep in "Cheers" on NBC more than two decades ago, will star in "The Good Place." He plays Kristen Bell's guide to the afterlife in a comedy produced by Michael Schur, whose credits include "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Parks and Recreation."
"It's basically a redemptive story about a young woman who hasn't made the best choices in life finding herself with a chance to course correct," said Jennifer Salke, NBC Entertainment president.
The network is doing some schedule shuffling, moving the sophomore thriller "Blindspot" from Monday to Wednesday, the drama "Chicago Med" from Tuesday to Thursday and "The Blacklist" back an hour to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights.
But of the 12 new series NBC plans to introduce next season, only three are on the fall schedule. Besides "The Good Place," the other two are the dramas "Timeless," about a criminal who steals a secret time machine with the goal of destroying America by changing its past, and "This is Us," a drama-comedy starring Mandy Moore about three strangers whose lives intersect in odd ways.