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Did ABC Already Doom Marvel's Inhumans With Its Timeslot?

Marvels Inhumans ABC
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of ABC)

ABC announced its Fall lineup today, and perhaps the biggest headline is the timeslot for Marvel's Inhumans. ABC has the series set to air Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET, a slot not desired by many long-running shows, much less one that's making its debut. Does ABC know something we don't, or have they already doomed Marvel's Inhumans with its timeslot?

It's a good question, as Marvel's Inhumans will take the place of Shark Tank, whose most recent season finale last week barely inched ahead of Dateline for second place in the ratings and viewership, which is moving to 9 p.m. ET on Sunday night. That seems like the spot that should've been reserved for Inhumans, and considering the show they placed there has been on a downward trend these past couple seasons, I'm wondering if ABC's faith in Inhumans' success is perhaps rattled. We all know the ratings for Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D aren't the greatest, but putting Inhumans the least-watched primetime hours of television is already presenting it with an uphill battle that will likely be very hard to overcome. With a lead-in like the struggling Once Upon A Time, it doesn't appear as if Inhumans' road can get any steeper.

It seems like a bizarre move, considering the fanfare and hype surrounding Marvel's Inhumans. Let's not forget that this series will air its first two episodes for two weeks in IMAX theaters, before later the rest of its episodes on TV proper. Such an unprecedented event was required to get people hyped up for Friday night TV at home? Perhaps the move lies more with fans than it does with ABC.

ABC President Channing Dungey remarked that Once Upon A Time was moved to air the same time as the Marvel show at the request of fans. Knowing that, combined with Once Upon A Time's viewership ratings in the Sunday 8 p.m. ET timeslot, it's not hard to see why ABC was seemingly so quick to excise the fantasy drama from its valuable weekend timeslot. And implanting Shark Tank's higher viewership in OUAT's former slot seems quite smart.

Still, it's not like networks are known for their dedicated service to fans, it's all about business. As fans of superhero shows usually have more shows they love than time, it's possible ABC is assuming many of us will DVR The Inhumans regardless of airing and watch it at our leisure. What seems like a colossal snub could actually be an experiment by ABC to see if a bad time slots DVR stats can outweigh the influence of Live+Same Day ratings. Plus, the network is moving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Friday nights once Inhumans has finished airing, so maybe this is an attempt to keep the genre love strong upon entering the weekend.

So did ABC doom Marvel's Inhumans with its timeslot? That's a question we'll have to wait for the answer to as the series begins its stint in IMAX on Friday, September 1st. For shows to watch until then, be sure to visit our summer premiere guide, and keep an eye on the renewal guide to see what's hitting the chopping block in this chaotic time in television.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.