Fall TV 2014: A Night By Night Comparison Of What May And May Not Work
Now that all the big networks have revealed what they’ll be showing us this fall, let’s take a look at what may or may not work.
ABC is essentially playing it safe, and keeping Sunday Night intact. American Crime will swap for Resurrection at midseason. Resurrection was a buzzy drama that started seeing a ratings decline. Not waiting till midseason is probably a smart move. You don’t want to lose any more audience. It’s not a winning strategy, but ABC just doesn’t want to be in last place.
NBC has football, another super safe move. CBS is shaking things up, banishing Amazing Race from Sundays, and replacing it with Madam Secretary, a buzzy new drama that will feed perfectly into The Good Wife. Confusingly, CSI and CSI: Cyber will finish out Sunday, neither benefiting from The Good Wife as a lead in.
FOX is adding two live action comedies to what used to be Animation Domination. Now with only one Seth Macfarlane sitcom, FOX will test the waters with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mulaney on Sundays. Hopefully they won’t hold it against them if it doesn’t pan out.
Since none of these shows are massive ratings juggernauts right now, Sunday is up for grabs. CBS’s new dramas could help swing Sunday in their favor.
ABC didn’t change anything. Dancing and Castle. NBC didn’t make a big change, starting with The Voice and The Blacklist, and then moving State Of Affairs in at 10PM starting in November. CBS has decided they only need 1 hour of comedy, leading the night with Big Bang Theory into Mom for the first month, before swapping Bang for 2 Broke Girls. Obviously, this is an attempt to boost struggling Mom, and also give 9PM drama Scorpion some residual viewers. 10PM is now NCIS: LA, which should plug a hole that CBS was unsuccessful at filling: launching a new show on Monday at 10PM.
The CW is going with The Originals and Jane The Virgin, two shows that don’t pair well. It’s an odd pairing. Jane The Virgin would have paired better with Reign, or Hart of Dixie. FOX, meanwhile is making some moves to win the night. Gotham and Sleepy Hollow. The new seasons buzziest new show paired with last years biggest break out hit (at least for FOX).
That brings us to a conflict at hand. Big Bang Theory VS Gotham VS The Voice. It will only happen until mid-October, when Bang moves to Thursday, but it is still happening. The big question here is how big will Gotham be, and will it be able to sustain its ratings (unlike Agents of SHIELD). Imagine if AoS had retained its premiere ratings for the entire season. Gotham’s premiere will likely be the most watched premiere of the new season, but will it hold?
ABC is starting the night with two incredibly bland looking comedies, both destined to be cancelled. Really ABC? You cancelled Trophy Wife for Manhattan Love Story? So disappointed. Those comedies lead into Agents Of Shield, now at 9PM, and probably edgier because of it, and then Forever, which could break ABC’s streak of failed dramas launching Tuesday at 10PM. Forever isn’t a sure thing, but its interesting enough to have potential.
CBS’s lineup essentially hasn’t changed. NCIS, NCIS Spinoff, and Person Of Interest. They moved NCIS LA and used it to plug a hole, while also allowing NCIS to help launch the spinoff. It’s a brilliant strategy that could land CBS a third massive hit series.
NBC has The Voice leading into About A Boy and Marry Me. Marry Me looks much stronger than Growing Up Fisher, and could give NBC a solid hour of comedy. 10PM is the solid Chicago Fire. FOX is going with certain-to-flop Utopia, leading into The New Girl and The Mindy Project. The CW is going with The Flash and Supernatural.
The Flash actually has a chance to stand out, since ABC and FOX aren’t putting up a fight. Arrow does really well in the ratings for a CW show, and The Flash is a more well known hero than Green Arrow. With the right amount of promotion, The CW might even beat someone in this timeslot. I think the big question here is how Agents Of Shield will perform against a new NCIS series, in a later timeslot. It’s a gamble, but it would pay off better at ABC if they gave Shield a better lead in.
The CW is going with the “if it isn’t broken…” model, and Arrow and The 100 will keep their timeslots in the fall. CBS has basically opted for the same strategy, putting Survivor and Criminal Minds in their old timeslots, leading into the buzzy Stalker (from the producer of The Following). That could help launch Stalker, as it pairs well with Criminal Minds.
ABC is keeping the same strategy, starting with The Middle, then The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and new sitcom Black-ish. Black-ish is a much better post-Modern fit than either Super Fun Night or Mixology was last year, and should benefit from the lead in. Nashville closes the night.
NBC has The Mysteries Of Laura, SVU, and Chicago PD. A safe strategy. FOX is going with Hell’s Kitchen and Red Band Society. Red Band Society deserves better, or at least a lead in with a similar quality. I would swap Hells Kitchen with the two FOX comedies, and pair Red Band with New Girl and The Mindy Project.
ABC made big waves by putting Grey’s Anatomy at 8PM. They’re going with an all-Shonda lineup, putting new drama How To Get Away With Murder at 10PM. This should work out well for ABC. The big question mark is Scandal vs The Blacklist at midseason.
NBC has decided to do The Biggest Loser on Thursday, followed by 2 new comedies (Bad Judge and A To Z) and then Parenthood’s final season. NBC is going to get crushed in the fall, but should rebound at midseason when The Blacklist moves to Thursday to lead into Allegiance.
CBS starts with football, and then turns into a comedy block of Big Bang, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, and The McCarthys. Elementary closes the night. It’s a safe bet night.
The CW isn’t changing anything. Vampire Diaries and Reign. FOX is going with Bones and Gracepoint. Gracepoint will have to face off against Scandal, which could keep it from breaking out.
ABC is sticking with Last Man Standing, leading into Cristela. She’s funny, her show isn’t. Then Shark Tank and 20/20. CBS has Amazing Race, Hawaii Five O, and Blue Bloods. NBC has Dateline, Grimm, and new show Constantine, which at 10PM could be a smashing success against Blue Bloods and 20/20. FOX has Masterchef Junior and a 2nd hour of Utopia.The CW has given up with Whose Line and America’s Next Top Model.