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The American Broadcasting Company, owned by the [[{{Disney}} Walt Disney Company]] since 1996, was spawned from Creator/{{NBC}} in 1943, where it originated as the "NBC Blue" radio network as the result of an antitrust ruling. It changed its name to ABC the following year, and launched its television network in 1948.

In [[TheFifties the 1950s]], ABC was the traditional third-runner in the American {{ratings}}, usually finishing a distant last to the other, "older" networks as many markets had no access to an ABC station, much less a third television station in that era. (Even markets that had access to ABC programming usually ended up watching those shows at different times, as their local NBC or Creator/{{CBS}} affiliates would pick up ABC shows and run them at odd or obscure hours, and if your show had low ratings, forget even that.) Starting in [[TheSixties the 1960s]], however, ABC began to make up for this by targeting younger audiences with shows like ''AmericanBandstand'', ''Series/TheModSquad'', ''Series/{{Batman}}'' and ''Series/{{Room 222}}'', as well as traditional DomCom fare like ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' and ''Series/TheBradyBunch''. Then, in [[TheSeventies the 1970s]], it hired Fred Silverman away from Creator/{{CBS}}. With Silverman's invention of the JiggleShow (with ''Series/CharliesAngels'' and ''Series/ThreesCompany''), loading the schedule with [[SitCom sitcoms]] (''Series/HappyDays'' and others), and the broadcast of several significant MiniSeries (''{{Roots}}, Rich Man Poor Man''), sports events (''MondayNightFootball'', ''WideWorldOfSports'', the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames), and other big-draw spectacles (such as the AcademyAwards), ABC saw both its ratings position and its revenue skyrocket. By the end of the decade, it had become a dependable frontrunner and completely lost its "also-ran" cachet. Among the things that helped this was the signing of several of NBC's affiliates in mid-sized markets, as their existing affiliates in those markets were, like their network, not strong performers (and several were on the less-desirable UHF band).

ABC's run at the top stretched into [[TheEighties the 1980s]], but began to slip midway through the decade. The once-moribund Creator/{{NBC}} was experiencing its resurgence under Brandon Tartikoff, and hit shows like ''Series/ThreesCompany'' and ''LaverneAndShirley'' were coming to an end. While ABC was still producing hit shows like ''{{Dynasty}}'', ''{{Moonlighting}}'', ''Series/TheWonderYears'', ''GrowingPains'' and ''Series/MacGyver'', it was also producing bombs like ''[[DollyParton Dolly]]'' and the Creator/LucilleBall {{sitcom}} ''Life With Lucy''. The network wound up being bought out by a media company only a tenth its size, Capital Cities Communications, in 1985 (they could not do it alone, though; Warren Buffett financed the purchase in return for a 25% stake in the company). After this, the network became more financially conservative (as its new owner had been known for prior to the purchase), tightening its purse strings and slowing investment in new series.

In [[TheNineties the 1990s]] and [[TurnOfTheMillennium early 2000s]], the network's only success story was its spectacular subversion of the FridayNightDeathSlot, the ''TGIF'' comedy block on Fridays, which featured such shows as ''Series/FullHouse'', ''Series/FamilyMatters'' and ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld''. Hits on other nights, such as ''Series/ThePractice'' and ''Series/{{Alias}}'', were few and far between, and attempts to launch a hit RealityShow (like Creator/{{CBS}}' ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' and Creator/{{Fox}}'s ''Series/AmericanIdol'') proved to be embarrassments. It briefly enjoyed massive success with the hit GameShow ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'', until they started marketing the show to death by airing it ''four nights a week'', turning it from a megahit into [[DeaderThanDisco a punchline]] almost overnight. Also during the 1990s, Capital Cities was bought by Creator/{{Disney}}, the network's current owner, who during the first few years of their ownership played this up significantly (ie. replacing the previous Saturday-morning schedule with the ''OneSaturdayMorning'' block, putting ads for ABC programs on Disney, Touchstone and Miramax VHS tapes; early fears of it being rebranded "The Disney Network" were never realized), but this has since cooled down.

Midway through the decade, however, ABC finally regained its footing. It finally found its {{reality TV}} hit in 2003 with ''Series/ExtremeMakeoverHomeEdition'', and followed that up the following year with three scripted series that quickly turned into megahits: ''Series/{{Lost}}'', ''Series/DesperateHousewives'', and ''Series/GreysAnatomy''. Other shows, like ''Series/UglyBetty'' and ''Series/DancingWithTheStars'', also helped to boost ABC's cachet in the new decade. While still behind Creator/{{CBS}} and {{Fox}}, it sits comfortably in third place ahead of a seemingly dead-in-the-water Creator/{{NBC}}, when discounting any Olympics and ''Sunday Night Football'' gains by that network. The network also carries a second network on their [[UsefulNotes/AmericanTelevisionStations owned and operated stations]] as a digital subchannel called "Live Well Network", a lifestyle network which airs programming pertaining to health, home improvement and food. It has since expanded to other non-ABC station subchannels, and the website is purposefully designed not to look like an ABC site.

All that may very well be window dressing, however. Not that big-ratings hits have stopped coming towards ABC's way: ''Modern Family'' has become a media and ratings darling and ''Series/OnceUponATime'' has made the network a ratings juggernaut on a night many thought was almost as dead as Fridays. ''Grey's Anatomy'' and ''Dancing With the Stars'' continue to be ratings gold as well. However, ABC has lost major footing in trying to capture lightning twice and repeat the success of the ''Modern Family'' and ''LOST'' formulas: the network has become a revolving door of single-camera sitcoms (including ''DontTrustTheBInApartment23'', ''Back in the Game'', ''Super Fun Night'' and ''The Neighbors'') with many of them failing to last past a single season, and attempts to recapture the genre show success of ''LOST'' in particular (including ''{{V}}'', ''NoOrdinaryFamily'', ''Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'' and, to an arguable extent, ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'') particularly ending in failure. In many ways, ABC has found themselves [[http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/01/12/bubble-watch-abc-deep-dive-intelligence-chicago-pd-enlisted-more/228587/ back into the position they were when they were bought by Disney]], leading to the natural [[http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/ben-sherwood-to-succeed-anne-sweeney-as-disneyabc-television-group-president/ executive shake-ups]].

From 2004 until 2007 ABC's parent Disney operated a UK channel, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC1_(UK) [=ABC1=]]], carrying exclusively US-made programming, including some that had appeared on other networks.

Not to be confused with the [[Creator/TheABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation]] or with the Japanese network Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (Creator/TVAsahi's Osaka affiliate), which both have the same abbreviations. Likewise the now long-defunct British {{ITV}} station ABC Weekend Television.
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!!Shows that it has aired:
* ''Series/SixHundredSixtySixParkAvenue''
* ''Series/EightSimpleRules''
* ''Series/AccordingToJim''
* ''Series/TheAddamsFamily''
* ''Series/AgentCarter''
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''
* ''Series/{{Alias}}''
* ''Series/AliasSmithAndJones''
* ''Series/AllMyChildren''
* ''Series/AmericanBandstand''
* ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos''
* ''Series/TheAssets''
* ''Series/{{Automan}}''
* ''Series/TheAvengers''
* ''Series/TheBachelor''
* ''Series/BackInTheGame''
* ''Series/BarneyMiller''
* ''Series/{{Batman}}''
* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaClassic''
* ''Series/BetterOffTed''
* ''Series/TheBetterSex''
* ''Series/{{Bewitched}}''
* ''Series/TheBigValley''
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman''
* ''Series/BlackBox''
* ''Series/BlackIsh''
* ''Series/BosomBuddies''
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld''
* ''Series/TheBradyBunch''
* ''Series/BrothersAndSisters''
* ''Series/BurkesLaw''
* ''Series/{{Castle}}''
* ''Series/CharliesAngels''
* ''Series/ChinaBeach''
* ''Series/{{Coach}}''
* ''Series/{{Combat}}''
* ''Series/CommanderInChief''
* ''Series/TheCommish''
* ''Series/CopRock''
* ''Series/{{Cristela}}''
* ''Series/{{Cupid}}''
* ''Series/DancingWithTheStars''
* ''Series/DesperateHousewives''
* ''Series/{{Detroit 187}}''
* ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' (1996-99, revival)
* ''Series/DirtySexyMoney''
* ''Series/DontTrustTheBInApartment23''
* ''Series/DoogieHowserMD''
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow''
* ''Series/{{Dynasty}}''
* ''Series/{{Eastwick}}''
* ''Series/TheEdgeOfNight''
* ''Series/EightIsEnough''
* ''Series/EliStone''
* ''Series/{{Ellen}}''
* ''Series/ExtremeMakeoverHomeEdition''
* ''Series/TheFallGuy''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFantasticFour1967''
* ''Series/FantasyIsland''
* ''FlashForward2009''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones''
* ''TheFlyingNun''
* ''Series/TheForgotten''
* ''Series/{{Forever}}''
* ''Series/FreeSpirit''
* ''Series/FreshOffTheBoat''
* ''Series/TheFugitive''
* ''Series/FullHouse''
* ''{{Series/Galavant}}''
* ''Series/GarrisonsGorillas''
* ''Series/GeneralHospital''
* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow''
* ''Series/TheGoldbergs''
* ''Series/GraceUnderFire''
* ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero''
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy''
** ''PrivatePractice''
* ''Series/GrowingPains''
* ''Series/HanginWithMrCooper''
* ''Series/HappyDays''
** ''LaverneAndShirley''
** ''MorkAndMindy''
* ''Series/HappyEndings''
* ''Series/HappyTown''
* ''HardcastleAndMcCormick''
* ''Series/TheHardyBoysNancyDrewMysteries''
* ''Series/HartToHart''
* ''Series/HeadOfTheClass''
* ''Series/HomeImprovement''
* ''Series/HopeAndFaith''
* ''Series/HowToGetAwayWithMurder''
* ''Series/TheInvaders''
* ''Series/ItTakesAThief1968''
* ''Series/TheJeffFoxworthyShow''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons''
* ''Series/TheJob''
* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest''
* ''Series/KolchakTheNightStalker''
* ''Series/KungFu''
* ''Series/LancelotLinkSecretChimp''
* ''Series/LandOfTheGiants''
* ''Series/LastManStanding''
* ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver''
* ''Series/LessThanPerfect''
* ''LifeAsWeKnowIt''
* ''Series/LifeGoesOn''
* ''Series/LifeOnMars2008''
* ''LifeWithBonnie''
* ''Series/LoisAndClark''
* ''Series/{{Lost}}''
* ''Series/LoveAmericanStyle''
* ''Series/TheLoveBoat''
* ''Series/MacGyver''
* ''Series/{{Masada}}''
* ''Series/{{Matlock}}''
* ''Series/{{Maverick}}''
* ''Series/MaxHeadroom''
* ''Series/McHalesNavy''
* ''Series/TheMiddle''
* ''Series/MindGames''
* ''Series/{{Miracles}}''
* ''Series/ModernFamily''
* ''Series/TheModSquad''
* ''Series/MondayNightFootball''
* ''Series/{{Moonlighting}}''
* ''Series/{{Motive}}''
* ''Series/MrBelvedere''
* ''Series/MuppetsTonight''
* ''Series/MySoCalledLife''
* ''Series/MyThreeSons''
* ''Series/{{Nashville}}''
* ''Series/TheNeighbors''
* ''Series/NoOrdinaryFamily''
* ''Series/NumberPlease''
* ''Series/NYPDBlue''
* ''Series/OctoberRoad''
* ''Theatre/TheOddCouple''
* ''Series/OnceAndAgain''
* ''Series/OnceUponATime''
** ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland''
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits1963''
* ''Series/PanAm''
* ''Series/ThePartridgeFamily''
* ''Series/PerfectStrangers''
** ''Series/FamilyMatters''
* ''Literature/PeytonPlace''
* ''Series/ThePractice''
** ''Series/BostonLegal''
* ''Series/{{Prey}}''
* ''Series/PushingDaisies''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Reboot}}'' (first season and half of season 2 only)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}''
* ''Series/TheRevolution''
* ''Series/RisingStar''
* ''Series/RookieBlue''
* ''Series/{{Room 222}}''
* ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''
* ''Series/RyansHope''
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch''
* ''Series/SamanthaWho''
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/SchoolhouseRock'' (1972-2000; additional shorts were created in 2002, 2005 and 2009, but not aired on TV)
* ''Series/SecretsAndLies''
* ''Series/{{Selfie}}''
* ''Series/SisterSister''
* ''Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan''
* ''Series/SledgeHammer''
* ''Series/{{Soap}}''
** ''Series/{{Benson}}''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAm Sonic the Hedgehog]]''
* ''Series/SportsNight''
* ''Series/{{Starman}}''
* ''Series/StarskyAndHutch''
* ''Series/StepByStep''
* ''Series/TheStreetsOfSanFrancisco''
* ''Series/{{Suburgatory}}''
* ''Series/{{Taxi}}''
* ''TeenAngel''
* ''Series/ThatGirl''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TheBugsBunnyRoadRunnerShow The Bugs Bunny Show/The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour/The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show]]'' (original run, 1960-61 in first run w/ reruns to 1968; ''Comedy Hour'', 1984-86; ''Bugs Bunny & Tweety'', 1986-2000, until they lost the rights to Creator/CartoonNetwork)
* ''Series/{{thirtysomething}}''
* ''[[Series/ThreesCompany Three's Company]]''
** ''Series/TheRopers''
* ''Series/TheTimeTunnel''
* ''Series/TJHooker''
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStoryOfTerror''
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStoryThatTimeForgot''
* ''Series/TrophyWife''
* ''Series/TwinPeaks''
* ''Series/TwoGuysAGirlAndAPizzaPlace''
* ''Series/TwoOfAKind''
* ''Series/UglyBetty''
* ''Series/TheUntouchables''
* ''Series/{{V 2009}}''
* ''Series/{{Vegas}}''
* ''Series/VengeanceUnlimited''
* ''Series/TheView''
* ''Series/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea''
* ''Series/WagonTrain''
* ''Series/{{Webster}}''
* ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter''
* ''Series/WhatAboutBrian''
* ''Series/WhatsHappening''
* ''Series/{{Whodunnit}}?''
* ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire''
* ''Series/WhosTheBoss''
* ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''
* ''Series/WideWorldOfSports''
* ''Series/{{Wipeout 2008}}''
* ''Series/WonderWoman'' (first season only)
* ''Series/TheWonderYears''
* ''Series/WorkIt''
* ''Series/YouDontSay''
* ''[[Series/YoungIndianaJones The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles]]''
* ''Series/TheYoungRiders''
* ''Series/ZeroHour''
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