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Why Once Upon a Time and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are heading to Fridays

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Fairy tale characters meet superheroes on Fridays this fall.

Once Upon a Time and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have both been moved to Friday nights on ABC’s fall schedule, the network announced Tuesday morning ahead of their upfronts presentation. Check out the full schedule here.

OUAT will launch at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the debut of new super series Marvel’s Inhumans, which will run for eight episodes. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will then launch later in the fall, possibly midseason. Both Once and S.H.I.E.L.D. will still have 22 episode seasons.

“We’ve turned Friday into more of a destination for our fantasy and science fiction fans,” ABC Chief Channing Dungey told reporters Tuesday morning. “Once Upon a Time and S.H.I.E.L.D. are airing on the same night for the first time, which is giving many fans of both shows what they’ve been asking for for a long time.”

The move comes as Once Upon a Time is facing a big creative shake-up. Six cast members — including Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Rebecca Mader, Emilie de Ravin, and Jared Gilmore — have exited the series, with the show now jumping ahead a decade to focus on an adult Henry (now played by Andrew J. West) and his daughter Lucy (Alison Fernandez), as well as returning favorites Regina (Lana Parrilla), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), and Rumple (Robert Carlyle).

“When we were looking at the schedule, it’s interesting how much pressure we’ve had from fans to put those shows closer together on the schedule for quite some time,” Dungey continued. “We like the idea of Fridays being a destination. Once Upon a Time has done a wonderful job on Sundays of keeping the lights on against football, but we’re looking to see how it will perform when it’s away from football for awhile.”

Once Upon a Time’s sixth season ended Sunday (read what’s next here and here), while Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s finale airs Tuesday night. Marvel’s Inhumans will launch its first two episodes in IMAX on Sept. 1 before debuting on the network three weeks later with exclusive new content.

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