With both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes coming to an end, the winter TV schedule is overflowing with highly anticipated premieres and returns — but some shows are still delayed, and others will have shortened seasons.
Fans of Abbott Elementary looking forward to more episodes of the sitcom will be in for a bit of a surprise. Production on season 3 was initially put on pause as the writers and actors unions negotiated for fair pay with the major studios.
Despite both strikes coming to an end in fall 2023, creator and star Quinta Brunson confirmed that the work stoppages played a role in a smaller episode count.
“How do we justify losing half a season, half a year? Our season will still be on the school calendar. [But] last year, we started airing in September, when school started. We’re not doing that this year,” she told Deadline in October 2023. “It’s not like coming back to a family show where you can pop in on that family on any sitcom-y thing. It’s really like, what’s going on in the school?”
Brunson added: “We did 22 [episodes] last season, and that’s a lot of TV, in particular for me because I’m writing and producing and starring in it. So, for me, I welcomed a shorter season because it was tiring, exhausting work.”
Reality TV viewers, meanwhile, have less to stress about, as unscripted entertainment is more popular than ever. In January 2024, ABC will return with season 28 of The Bachelor, which follows Joey Graziadei’s search for love after he previously vied for Charity Lawson’s heart.
“[It’s] definitely surreal. It is sinking in very slowly, but I am trying my best just to stay present, enjoy it,” Joey said during the August 2023 After the Final Rose special. “But it’s crazy, I’ll be the first person to say. I never expected this at all. [I] didn’t know this is what my life was turning into. Crazy stuff! … I put [looking for The One on] the back burner for a while, [but] I’m ready to prioritize it again.”
Scroll on for more new and returning shows this winter: