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Disney's ABC network adds shows from Spielberg, Rhimes, Marvel

By Ronald Grover

(Reuters) - ABC, the third-ranked U.S. television network, said on Tuesday it would add shows produced by Steven Spielberg and Shonda Rhimes, the producer of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," to its prime-time lineup this fall.

Rhimes's new show, "How to Get Away with Murder," a legal drama starring Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis, will air on Thursday nights with the producer's other two shows, setting up an all-Rhimes night.

The network, owned by the Walt Disney Co, will add another show from Disney's Marvel action hero-generating unit, with the mid-season show "Marvel's Agent Carter" based on its blockbuster "Captain America" movies. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." returns for a second season.

Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, didn't say where on the schedule he intends to slot Spielberg's "The Whispers," a science fiction show, in which aliens invade Earth and use children to help them.

The network scheduled two of its new comedies on Tuesday night, including "Selfie," a show about a woman who has 263,000 online followers of her tweets, posts and selfie photos and who hires a marketing guru to help her connect with people in real life.

ABC's ratings fell by nearly 4 percent this season, according to Nielsen ratings through May 4. They fell by 4 percent as well among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers that advertisers most covet.

The network enjoyed a late-season boost in ratings, finishing first over the last three weeks in that age group, according to Nielsen.

"Grey's Anatomy" will return for an eleventh season after ratings for the venerable medical drama improved by 7 percent, its best showing in three years, the network also said.

(This story has been corrected to fix Shonda Rhimes' name in the lede)

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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