How to Watch ABC Shows on the ABC App: An In-Depth Guide

Mobile Apps

For years, the American Broadcast Channel or ABC has been the home to many iconic shows. From game shows like The Price is Right and American Idol to dramas like Lost and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the network just never ran out of reasons to make people stay. With the ABC App, these shows are now closer than ever to its viewers.


What Is the ABC App?

netflix streaming on laptop
Photo taken from Piqsels

ABC, as one of the largest and most famous TV networks in the US, had to have a bet in the streaming arena. With the likes of Netflix and Hulu changing the game, networks had to adapt and offer something to their viewers. The number of people watching on their TVs is dwindling while the number of people watching TV shows is dramatically increasing. Ironic, right?

HBO is one of the first ones to create a streaming service for its own network. Just recently, entertainment demi-god Disney, joined in the part with Disney Plus app. The main premise is to bring all of the network’s shows closer to the viewers. With a single app, users could easily watch shows on the latest phones and the best phablets in the market.

The ABC App, officially, is a multimedia platform containing the full episodes of all ABC shows. In it are all the seasons and all the episodes of ABC’s current and ended shows. The app can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, PCs, and more.


How to Watch on the ABC App?

Check Your TV Provider

First things first, check your TV provider if they support the ABC App. Currently, ABC accepts the majority of the cable providers out there, namely, DirectTV, Optimum, Verizon, DISH, and Xfinity.

Knowing whether or not your cable provider supports the ABC App is extremely important. This is due to the fact that your TV provider username and password will be asked during your first sign-in with the app. Also, the Live TV option of the app is only available to selected providers in selected areas.

You’ll learn more about these later.


Download the App

Next up is to download the app itself to your devices. One of the ABC App’s biggest selling points is its availability across different platforms. The app is currently available on iOS and Android devices. To add to that, the ABC App can also be accessed through the Amazon Fire Tablet and TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Samsung Tizen, and Google Chromecast.

You can easily download the app from the Google Play Store and the App Store. For TV sets, all you would need to do is to activate the said device by heading on to the ABC website and entering your activation code, which you will get upon registration.


Verify Your TV Provider

Finally, the last step before your eight-hour ABC App binge-watching is to verify your account with the app by signing in. As mentioned earlier, your username and password for the ABC App will be given to you by your TV provider.

If you do not have a cable subscription, you could still use the app but there will be limitations. For example, the third season of How to Get Away With Murder would be available for non-cable users, but the only available episode is the season premiere.


The Best Things About the ABC App

Full Episodes of All ABC Shows

a million little little things abc app on tablet
Photo taken from Google Play

Now, this is the bread and butter of the ABC App. The main reason why people would want to download and sign up for this app is because of the availability of the episodes. From the iconic shows that ended already to the network’s current hits, the ABC App has you covered.

Apart from those, the app also features a couple of shorts from ABC. These short and original content can be a great way to pass time. Most of these also come in for free.

The ABC App is not ad-free, though. There will be around five to six ads ranging from two to three minutes each. It’s pretty much like your usual TV pace.


Live TV Streaming

livestream option on abc app
Photo taken from Google Play

Live TV streaming is one of the biggest advantages of network-owned services over free movie apps. With this feature, users could tune into their favorite shows anywhere as long as they have the app installed.

Everybody wants to avoid spoilers at all cost but with this, you could be the one giving out the spoilers. Don’t do it, though.

Anyway, live TV streaming may be one of the app’s coolest features, but this is also the origin of one of their biggest downsides. As mentioned earlier, the live streaming option is only available in selected areas. To know if your area supports the service, you would need to contact your local ABC station.


Free Download and Show Access

The best things in life are truly free and the ABC app is, in many ways, free of charge. First and foremost, the app can be downloaded without having to pay anything. It is readily available on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Store.

Apart from that, the ABC website itself is free to visit. The website contains a couple of shows from the network and you can watch them for free as well. Furthermore, the ABC App features a couple of unlocked episodes that you can watch for free without having to verify your TV provider.


My List

abc app full episodes on tablet
Photo taken from Google Play

The My List is a handy feature that most streaming services have. This allows users to save TV shows that they could watch in the future. This is especially handy for those who are browsing shows on the app but are unable to watch them right away due to connectivity problems. The ABC app does not have an offline playback option so you would really need an internet connection before you could watch anything there. Well, at least you could kick your shoes off and use your DIY projector to watch the shows at home, right?


The Most Popular Shows on the ABC App

Grey’s Anatomy

grey's anatomy season 1 cast on abc app
Photo by Athena LeTrelle from Flickr

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

The best way to start this list is to feature ABC’s heaviest hitter. Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running primetime medical drama in history. Also, with its recently concluded 16th season, the show recently became the longest-running scripted series of ABC. These, and the plethora of awards the show has won, should be enough to prove how great Grey’s Anatomy is.

The show revolves around a second-generation surgeon named Meredith Grey played by Ellen Pompeo. It mainly follows the character’s story, but the amazing ensemble of the cast has always been the source of many interesting storylines. For 16 years (so far), Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy has kept its viewers on the edge of their seats. The unique blend of medical and interpersonal drama in the show never fails to capture the emotions of the audience.

Throughout its run, the show has been the stage for the wildest plot twists, iconic moments, and the most gut-wrenching scenes. However, what makes this show a cut above the rest is the fact that it has aged like a fine wine and will continue to do so. The show continues to age in real-time, which is why the show and its viewers just have an inseparable bond.


Modern Family

modern family cover on abc app
Photo taken from

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Now, here is another iconic show from ABC. Modern Family is a sitcom in the form of a mockumentary. The show premiered back in 2009 and became one of the network’s seasoned veterans before finally signing off just April of this year. Its 11 seasons saw 22 Emmy Awards and tons of other accolades as well.

The show followed the story of Jay Pritchett played by Ed O’Neill. Jay lived in Los Angeles with his second wife, her second wife’s son, their son, and his two daughters from his first wife. The main ensemble also includes Jay’s daughters’ respective husbands. Modern Family features a huge and diverse cast that easily produced tons of sub-plots.

Modern Family is easily one of the best comedies that ever aired. It is a show that tackles realities the right way and with the right people. The show’s characters are relatable and are in extremely relatable situations as well. True to its name, Modern Family was really a sweet slice of life as everybody knows it.


The Good Doctor

the good doctor cast on abc app
Photo taken from

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

ABC is home to one of the most successful medical dramas ever. Therefore, adapting the multi-awarded South Korean medical drama titled The Good Doctor was a decision that shocked a lot of people. It was a bold but smart move on the end of the network and its show partner, Sony. The show is currently in its third season with a total of 56 aired episodes.

The Good Doctor follows a young surgeon named Shaun Murphy. Shaun, played by Freddie Highmore, has autism and the rare savant syndrome. As a natural genius, Shaun has to battle the obvious obstacles ahead of him – internally and externally. The show’s thrilling plot and heartwarming stories have earned The Good Doctor enough merit to be treated as the next big thing in the medical drama scene.

Korean dramas are known for their ingenious plot twists that can really cut right into your heart. Well, it seems like its American adaptation isn’t too far behind in terms of emotional appeal. If you are looking to start a new medical drama or are looking to break into this type of shows, The Good Doctor would not be a bad option.


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

agents of shield season 7 cover on abc app
Photo taken from

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

The Avengers (2012) forever changed the face of superhero cinema and ABC hoped to capitalize on that by spinning off with their own Marvel-based TV Show. True enough, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains to be one of the best comic-based shows on air. The series premiered back in 2013 when Marvel fans were still on a high from MCU’s success.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently on its seventh season with 132 total episodes. Clark Gregg reprises his role as Agent Phil Coulson in this series. The series follows the story of the said agent as he assembles and maintains a team of operatives to handle S.H.I.E.L.D.-level cases. The show mixes a lot of fictional storylines and season-long plots that has captured millions of superhero fan already.

However, the biggest selling point of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is perhaps its connectivity to the grand Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you are looking for a Marvel fix, there are a lot of TV series you can choose from, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D remains to be on top of it all.



black-ish season 6 cover on abc app
Photo taken from

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

This one is for the culture. Black-ish is a sitcom distributed by the partnership of ABC and Disney. It has 141 episodes so far and its seventh season is set to premiere this year. The show revolves around the story of an African-American family and their daily endeavors in the country. Anthony Anderson leads the show’s cast as Dre Johnson.

Dre is a successful man with a lovely family. However, due to their comfortable social status, Dre’s kids seem to be losing their touch with African-American culture. Black-ish is a comedy series that tackles some of the most pressing issues in the world today.

The show depicts powerful messages and never fails to cleverly educate its viewers about the different issues faced by the African-American community. If you are into smart and classy comedy, this one is definitely worth trying out.



Can I Watch on the ABC App Without a Cable Subscription?

The ABC website and the ABC App are both free to use. A number of movies and shows from the said platforms are actually free to watch. However, if you want to unlock 100% of the content on the app, you will need that subscription.


Is the ABC App Available Outside the US?

Unfortunately, the ABC App and the rest of the ABC services are only available within the US and its territories. You could try out using a VPN though.


How to Download Episodes From the ABC App?

Offline streaming is not yet available. In order to watch episodes on the app, you would need to connect to the internet.


Final Word

The ABC App houses some of the most iconic dramas and game shows in the US. Setting up your account is effortless, and you can even watch selected episodes for free. To fully access the whole app and all of its features, it would be best to contact your cable provider.

The app is the network’s official bet in the streaming industry, and it comes with ABC’s heavy hitters like Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. It was really meant to compete against the likes of HBO Go and Amazon Prime. All in all, if you are a fan of ABC shows, this app is definitely worth the look.