'Designated Survivor' tops list of buzzed-about new ABC shows

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Summer is not over yet, but before you know it, the new season of prime-time television will be here. And ABC has several hot new shows about to debut, all hand-picked by a new head of programming.

In Hollywood, there's no such thing as a summer vacation for people in the TV business. And with the start of the new fall prime-time season is just six weeks away, all of the networks have been talking up their new shows to the nation's critics.

And ABC has one of the best upcoming shows on tap.

Two ladies who made history came together to promote the new network lineup of prime-time shows in Beverly Hills.

Thanks to her work on "How to Get Away with Murder," Viola Davis is the first African-American woman to win an Emmy as lead actress in a drama.

"people of color are really stepping up, you know," she said. "Getting the opportunity to be in a position of power and controlling our narratives."

And Channing Dungey is the first to head entertainment at a major broadcast TV network.

"As women in this business, as women of color, we all sort of stand on the shoulders of those who came before us," she said. "And as the mother of a 4-year-old daughter, I like the idea that if I can be a role model to her or to other young women, that they too (someday) can be a network entertainment president. That's exciting."

The stars came out to promote the new schedule, which debuts this fall.

"The Goldbergs" is returning on a ratings roll in September, but the focus is on new shows like "American Housewife," set in Westport and starring Katy Mixon.

And as it goes in prime time, so it is in the daytime.

"We can start to be honest with conversation," said Vinessa Antoine, of "General Hospital." "And actually take the word diversity out and just start putting a mirror to where we live and who we are."

In one of the most highly-anticipated shows, Kiefer Sutherland is the "Designated Survivor."

"People seem very excited about 'Designated Survivor,'" the star said. "So I'm grateful for that."

The title is drawn from real life, because when the president of the United States delivers the State of Union address, the government is gathered together in one place. So each year, one cabinet secretary is chosen to watch the speech on TV from a secure location -- dubbed the designated survivor -- in the event of a catastrophe.

And after such a disaster, Sutherland's character becomes president.
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