Hey ABC, way to join the party. The Alphabet network was the final major purveyor of television to announce its fall schedule, and it's smearing its return dates all over the calendar. Premiere dates for ABC will start in mid-September (like those of almost everyone else) and run all the way through early November (well past everyone else is done).
The bulk of ABC's shows will return or debut during official Premiere Week (September 24 through September 30), but some well-known shows won't be re-introduced until October or later—including Suburgatory (in its new post-Modern Family time slot), Happy Endings, Last Man Standing, and potential tent-pole drama Nashville.
Comparing ABC's premiere dates to the other networks' reveals it the most widely spread calendar of the bunch. ABC's fall premieres begin September 14 and end November 2. The other networks' ranges look like this: NBC, September 10 to October 19; Fox, September 12 to October 26; CBS, September 19 to September 30; The CW, October 2 to October 19. I guess this allows ABC's marketing department more time to put short-term focus on individual shows or pick up viewers who've abandoned other networks' new shows. Or maybe ABC just doesn't want the parade of premieres to end.
ABC's 2012-2013 Fall Premiere Dates
(New shows in ALL CAPS so your grandma can read 'em, too!)
Tuesday, September 25
8:00–10:00 PM — Dancing with the Stars Results Show
10:00–11:00 PM — Private Practice
Wednesday, October 3
8:30–9:00 PM — The Neighbors (regular time period premiere)
Sunday, October 7
7:00–8:00 PM — America’s Funniest Home Videos
Wednesday, October 10
10:00–11:00 PM — Nashville
Wednesday, October 17
9:30–10:00pm — Suburgatory
– NBC Announces Its Fall Premiere Dates... Starting in August
– Fox Announces Its Fall 2012-2013 Premiere Dates
– CBS Announces Its 2012 Fall Premiere Dates (They're In Normal, Traditional Late September)
– The CW's Fall Premiere Schedule Says Screw It, We're Starting in October