Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Pilot Review: American Woman


American Woman (Thursdays at 10:00 on Paramount; Premieres June 7)

If you're a lover of trashy TV, as I am, then you've probably already heard about American Woman quite a bit. It's the show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards has been producing for what seems like 30 years now (it was announced in summer of 2015, ordered by TV Land in late 2016, and filmed over a year ago in spring/summer 2017, all of which amounts to three seasons' worth of mentions on RHOBH). It's the show all the ladies gathered to watch in the most recent season finale; it's the show that has famously caused a rift between Richards and her sisters, actress Kim Richards and socialite Kathy Hilton, because the protagonist is loosely based on Richards' late mother.

Now, if you're a lover of trashy TV, as I am, then you're probably salivating waiting to tune into American Woman, chomping at the bit to see just what was so salacious or nasty or offensive about the on-screen portrayal of Kathleen Richards that it could have caused a family to break apart. And once you see American Woman, you will have no answers and be left wondering exactly what Kim and Kathy could have possibly taken issue with.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

2018 Fall Schedule: The CW

Monday

8:00 - DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00 - Arrow (New Timeslot)

The CW's schedule was going to be the most changed, if only because they are adding a whole new night of programming to Sundays. The changes start right away on Monday, with DC's Legends of Tomorrow occupying the space it shared with Supergirl this season and leading into Arrow, which moves from Thursdays.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Flash
9:00 - Black Lightning

The Flash stays put to anchor Tuesdays with Black Lightning maintaining its midseason timeslot. It wasn't a huge breakout hit this spring, but it was definitely strong. I think the biggest question will be if the creators will wrap Black Lightning up into the larger Arrowverse this season, or if it will remain a standalone series.

Wednesday

8:00 - Riverdale
9:00 - All American (NEW)

The first new show on this schedule is All American, a Greg Berlanti-produced high school football drama. Paired with Riverdale, it'll be a high school soap theme for the night. Riverdale didn't do Dynasty many favors as a lead-in this season, so it'll be interesting to see how it does with another newbie.

Thursday

8:00 - Supernatural
9:00 - Legacies (NEW)

For a paranormal evening, stalwart Supernatural stays at 8:00 while the new The Originals spin-off Legacies slides into the 9:00 slot, a time and place its parent series previously failed in. I'm surprised to see Legacies on the fall schedule, considering it never shot a pilot and the first script was reportedly delivered mere weeks ago. That script must have been great.

Friday

8:00 - Dynasty
9:00 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (New Timeslot)

For its fourth and final season, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend shifts back an hour so that Dynasty, which was transplanted from Wednesday to Friday this season, doesn't have to move times. Dynasty has been a very weak performer in linear ratings, yet here it is on the fall schedule for season two. I suppose adding another night of original scripted programming allowed quite a few shows that otherwise would've gotten the chop (The 100, Crazy Ex, Dynasty) to stay on air.

Sunday

8:00 - Supergirl (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Charmed (NEW)

For the first time since 2009, The CW will be airing original scripted shows on Sunday nights, and they're going with a girl-power theme with two recognizable titles. I assumed The Flash would be the one to move to Sundays, since it's their highest rated series and they'll want/need to make a splash on an entirely new, untested night. But counter-programming the NFL with two female-driven series makes sense too. Supergirl's ratings have fallen as of late, though it's still one of the better performers, so I'll be curious to see if it can withstand the move to a new night, especially one that will require a hell of a lot of promotion for viewers to understand that it even exists. Charmed should pair well, and it'll be a kind of homecoming for the show, the original version of which aired its final four seasons on Sunday night.

Midseason

Saved for midseason are the returns of The 100, iZombie, and Jane the Virgin, which will likely succeed Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Fridays when it completes its season. Both iZombie and Jane will be returning for their final seasons. They'll be joined by new dramas In the Dark and Roswell, New Mexico.

This is simultaneously an ambitious and conservative schedule. The CW has a stable of reliable shows, most within the DC universe, and that's a great advantage for the network going into a whole new night of programming. With Riverdale also becoming a moderate ratings success (and a bigger cultural one), there's not much that needs to be done to produce a smart schedule. The lineup of new shows The CW ordered is in line with this thinking: three of their five new shows are reboots or spin-offs. Will fans of Charmed flock to the new version? With much of the original cast voicing disapproval, it's not guaranteed; making the witch sisters of Hispanic descent might corral a new crowd, though. Will turning the alien-teen soap opera Roswell into a political discussion about immigration draw in new viewers to Roswell, New Mexico next spring? With some version of the The Vampire Diaries universe having been on air for nearly a decade, is there still an appetite for more? We can't know, but at the very least it's safer to go with what you know than to test brand new properties when there is so much else changing at the network.

That's why I'm most intrigued by All American, the only series on the fall schedule without a connection to something extant. Similarly, I'm excited to see where In the Dark ends up on the spring schedule and how it does, since it's the network's first real attempt at a procedural. And with so many long-running shows ending this year, I wonder if Mark Pedowitz will pull along low-rated shows (a la Dynasty) or if there will be an explosion of new development for next year... or maybe all the freshmen take off this season, and he won't have to worry about it.

Click after the jump for descriptions of the new shows.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 Fall Schedule: CBS

Monday

8:00 - The Neighborhood (NEW)
8:30 - Happy Together (NEW)
9:00 - Magnum P.I. (NEW)
10:00 - Bull (New Timeslot)

Okay... this is how you shakeup a schedule. CBS' Mondays weren't cutting it this past year, so they canceled almost everything (Man with a Plan escaped unscathed) and built an entirely new lineup around a rebooted property, this time Magnum P.I., and moved a relatively stable drama from another night into a troubled timeslot. The pairings of these particular shows don't exactly make sense to me, as both The Neighborhood and Happy Together are targeting an African American audience, while Magnum P.I. and Bull... don't.

Tuesday

8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - FBI (NEW)
10:00 - NCIS: New Orleans

It's a night of initials as the new Dick Wolf drama FBI takes over for Bull. It should fit nicely into the CBS procedural machine.

Wednesday

8:00 - Survivor
9:00 - SEAL Team
10:00 - Criminal Minds

This is surprising to me. I assumed SEAL Team would, at least, be on the move or held for midseason to allow space for a new drama.

Thursday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - Young Sheldon
9:00 - Mom
9:30 - Murphy Brown (NEW)
10:00 - SWAT

Life in Pieces is held for midseason so that the revival of Murphy Brown can slip into the Thursday schedule. I'm curious why CBS didn't use it to lead into another show that needed a boost (either something new or a struggling sitcom, like Life in Pieces or Man with a Plan), but it should at least raise the overall average of this comedy block... that is, if the audience returns to it the way they did to Roseanne and Will & Grace.

Friday

8:00 - MacGyver
9:00 - Hawaii Five-0
10:00 - Blue Bloods

No changes here either to one of the network's most stable and reliable schedules. I'm only slightly (very slightly) surprised that Blue Bloods wasn't transplanted so that Magnum P.I. could air in this block. I mean, a Friday night lineup made entirely of rebooted classics would have been so on-demo for CBS.

Sunday

7:00 - 60 Minutes
8:00 - God Friended Me (NEW)
9:00 - NCIS: Los Angeles
10:00 - Madam Secretary

God Friended Me is a risky, off-brand drama for CBS, and Sundays at 8:00 are a really hard slot for them to program well. Not only does everything air opposite the NFL in the fall, the lineup is very often delayed because of afternoon game overruns. So while I applaud them for doing something different with God, I don't know if this was the right time and place to try it... then again, a religious-themed series on a Sunday night may attract a demo that doesn't typically watch CBS Sundays.

Midseason

Saved for midseason are the returns of comedies Man with a Plan and Life in Pieces; dramas Elementary and Instinct; plus new seasons of The Amazing Race and Celebrity Big Brother. They will be joined by one new comedy, Fam, and two new dramas, The Code and The Red Line. CBS will also be the home of Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019.

Well, I started reading this schedule, and Mondays really threw me off. I thought CBS was in it to make some serious changes, to blow up the less successful nights and shakeup the mediocre ones. But then I read the rest of the schedule and realized that wasn't the case. Mondays are going to be interesting for the Eye, with two hours of totally new programming and a new timeslot for a relatively young show. But it's the kind of change that needed to happen. If that gutsiness had carried over to other nights, this would have been a home run schedule. As it stands, there are still problematic areas that need addressing (Wednesdays at 9:00, Sundays at 8:00), and this would have been a great time to start.

On a similar note, I've been saying for a couple years now that Fox will need to rebuild almost from scratch once Empire ends, considering it's the network's highest-rated drama and is propping up its other scripted shows. CBS is in much the same boat with The Big Bang Theory; what will they do when it ends and the Thursday comedy block can no longer be anchored by such a strong performer? Grooming Young Sheldon as a replacement makes sense, and I suppose that's why it is still paired with its parent series despite ratings good enough to assume it could stand on its own elsewhere. CBS also has several dramas that are getting very old and likely very expensive: NCIS, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Criminal Minds, which has eked out last-minute renewals due to contract negotiations each of the past two years. What happens to the network when these shows go?

Click after the jump for descriptions of the new shows.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

2018 Fall Schedule: ABC

Monday

8:00 - Dancing with the Stars
10:00 - The Good Doctor

Despite being a bonafide hit for ABC, The Good Doctor stays put on Mondays at 10:00, which is both smart and a bit confusing. ABC seems to always be hesitant to move its 10:00 dramas to help out struggling lineups (Castle, for example, never aired anywhere but in this same slot in its eight seasons). So I guess they're going with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," though The Good Doctor could breathe some life into another night.


Tuesday

8:00 - Roseanne
8:30 - The Kids Are Alright (NEW)
9:00 - black-ish
9:30 - Splitting Up Together
10:00 - The Rookie (NEW)

I would have flipped The Good Doctor with The Rookie, which will be airing in a very troubled slot (then again, the last success in this timeslot was also a procedural). The Kids Are Alright looks to fit tonally with Roseanne, though with so many sitcoms on the air, ABC couldn't find a family multicam to pair it with?

Wednesday

8:00 - The Goldbergs
8:30 - American Housewife (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - Single Parents (NEW)
10:00 - A Million Little Things (NEW)

It became obvious in reading through the schedule at this point that ABC is once again just filling holes rather than making big moves. The Rookie took over a canceled show's slot; so did The Kids Are Alright; A Million Little Things is doing the same.

American Housewife is on the move yet again, to an hour earlier than it aired this season, bumping Speechless. Curiously missing from this lineup is the Goldbergs spin-off, which would have seemed a natural pairing with its parent series.


Thursday

8:00 - Grey's Anatomy
9:00 - Station 19
10:00 - How to Get Away with Murder

Thursdays remain all-Shonda despite the cancellation of Scandal, with the Grey's spin-off Station 19 fitting comfortably into the middle of the lineup. With Shonda's move to Netflix, could this be the last season we'll see three Shondaland productions on the same night?


Friday

8:00 - Fresh Off the Boat (New Timeslot)
8:30 - Speechless (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Child Support (New Timeslot)
10:00 - 20/20

After taking a season off, ABC revives its Friday night comedy block with two average-performing shows, one each displaced from the Tuesday and Wednesday lineups. With this new block, ABC will have a whopping ten sitcoms on air at once, with another waiting in the (midseason) wings. It's an ambitious assortment of comedies, but that's where ABC's found a bit of success these past few years, so it makes sense to stick with what's working (especially with so few drama successes to speak of).


Sunday

7:00 - America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00 - Dancing with the Stars: Juniors (NEW)
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - The Alec Baldwin Show (NEW)

First announced this time last year before never making it to air, the Dancing with the Stars edition starring younger dancers will finally make its debut on Sundays (seemingly as a placeholder for the next season of American Idol). I do find it odd that ABC is putting two iterations of DWTS on at the same time, on back-to-back nights no less, considering the low ratings this current athletes-only season is garnering. I guess they're hoping the twist of kids dancing will have a positive impact on viewers? Shark Tank again anchors the night, leading into a new talk show starring Alec Baldwin, the first in broadcast primetime since NBC's failed Jay Leno experiment nearly a decade ago.


Midseason

Coming up at midseason, ABC has the returns of The Bachelor, American Idol, and freshman legal drama For the People (which is currently anticipated to take over Thursdays at 10:00 when Murder ends its season), as well as new comedy Schooled and new dramas The Fix, Grand Hotel, and Whiskey Cavalier. The sixth season of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD will return in summer 2019.

With such a rollercoaster season as ABC had, which saw the cancellations of three long-running series (Once Upon a Time, Scandal and The Middle); quite a few out-and-out failures (The Crossing, Ten Days in the Valley, Marvel's Inhumans, The Mayor); a few moderate hits (Splitting Up Together, American Idol, Station 19); an unmitigated success (The Good Doctor); and one truly huge breakout (the Roseanne revival); it's no surprise that this schedule is conservative. It's going to be another rebuilding year for ABC. And since their sitcoms are so stable, it's okay to bet big on them by filling your schedule with comedy blocks. It's okay to bank on unscripted programs, especially on nights like Sunday that have been difficult. Are there decisions I wouldn't have made in this schedule? Yes. Are they as idiotic as some of the ones other networks have made? No.

The most confusing thing here, I think, is the Dancing with the Stars decision. That show has been oversaturated for years now, so to add an offshoot to the schedule at the same time that the original is airing could either do really well thanks to cross-promotion or totally crash and burn. My guess is the latter, based on the chilly reception (both critically and in terms of ratings) of this current season. I think the shortened format has soured a lot of viewers, and the question of whether they will return to view the fall season, let alone two fall seasons, remains to be seen.

Other than that, this is a safe schedule. It's a dull schedule. The only big move is transferring Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless to Fridays; everything else either stayed put or shifted a bit on the same night (American Housewife, Child Support). As I said before, new shows have plugged holes. ABC is just sitting back, waiting for another hit to sprout and help rebuild their schedule... but how much longer can they really wait? And when will it become too late?

Click after the jump for descriptions of the new shows.

Monday, May 14, 2018

2018 Fall Schedule: Fox

Monday

8:00 - The Resident (New Timeslot)
9:00 - 9-1-1 (New Timeslot)

9-1-1 was a legitimate hit at midseason, and rather than try something new in the fall, Fox is moving it to one of the week's more unstable nights. It should pair thematically well with The Resident.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Gifted (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Lethal Weapon (New Timeslot)

Following the controversial firing of its co-lead Clayne Crawford, Lethal Weapon eked out a last-minute renewal after Seann William Scott (American Pie) was hired to replace him. It shifts back an hour and is paired with The Gifted, which was not the big hit Fox likely expected and needed it to be.

Wednesday

8:00 - Empire
9:00 - Star

No changes to Wednesdays.

Thursday

Thursday Night Football

This is a big swing for Fox. Thursday Night Football is the lowest-rated of the three NFL evening programs, partially because the match-ups aren't great and partially because the rights aren't exclusive, but it's still guaranteed to do better than any other programming Fox could put here.

Friday

8:00 - Last Man Standing (NEW)
8:30 - The Cool Kids (NEW)
9:00 - Hell's Kitchen (New Timeslot)

The pandering revival of Last Man Standing is paired with a new Golden Girls-esque retirement home comedy The Cool Kids. Hell's Kitchen shifts back an hour.

Sunday

8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Bob's Burgers (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - Rel (NEW)

With the cancellation of The Last Man on Earth, the 9:30 slot seemed finally open to Bob's Burgers, where it has occasionally aired and done well over the years... but the slot goes to newbie Rel, with Bob moving from 7:30 to 8:30.

Midseason

The Orville will return to Thursdays in January after the end of football, beginning with a premiere on December 30. The final season of Gotham will return at midseason, alongside new dramas The Passage and Proven Innocent and a second season of the science docuseries Cosmos.

Also on tap in January, Fox will present its long-delayed live production of Rent on January 27.

Well, this schedule is... stupid, is the only word that comes to mind. Is Fox broke? Or just dumb? They ordered only a handful of pilots this year, and then only four went to series (two drama and two comedy); and now they haven't a put any new dramas on the air in the fall. I suppose this is the network putting all their eggs in the NFL basket, but this schedule is just unsightly. There are moves on every night but Wednesday, some of them silly (why push Lethal Weapon back on hour when you're already moving The Gifted from Monday to Tuesday?), but those moves don't all feel especially prudent.

For example, the Friday night multicamera comedy block has been attempted by Fox before, and it hasn't worked out. Back in 2009, they had 'Til Death and Brothers airing together Fridays at 8:00; both were canceled by the end of the season. I understand the network's likely reasoning, since they're banking hard on this silly Last Man Standing revival (which, by the way, is ridiculous in and of itself; it's been gone for two years, and it's not like ABC canceled a highly-rated cash cow... it was a moderately successful, aging sitcom that couldn't justify its own price tag anymore) and that's where it aired for six seasons on ABC. But I just don't see it being a runaway success the way Roseanne has been, which was clearly the inspiration behind picking up Last Man Standing. But then again, maybe Tim Allen can rally his red state supporters and turn it into a hit. Cool... there's one night fixed.

But Fox isn't going to rise up from the ashes of its scripted programming with one sitcom success (and maybe a second, if Last Man Standing takes off and brings The Cool Kids with it) and a few weeks of football games. The Sunday night animated lineup is floundering, with anchor Family Guy regularly rating below 1.0 in the coveted 18-49 demo; Tuesdays will need to be rebuilt, and not with a controversial third season of a mediocre ratings player like Lethal Weapon and a middling success like The Gifted. Wednesdays are nowhere near their former glory, with Empire barely winning its timeslot lately. Fox needs to do something. I don't know what that something is, but it's not this.

Click after the jump for descriptions of the new series.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

2018 Fall Schedule: NBC

Monday

8:00 - The Voice
10:00 - Manifest (NEW)

Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson return to The Voice this fall, leading into the new high concept drama Manifest, which sounds suspiciously like a series that that aired a few seasons ago in this very slot: The Event.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - This Is Us
10:00 - New Amsterdam (NEW)

NBC uses its biggest lead-in to help push a new medical drama, New Amsterdam, despite having a seemingly perfect pairing in the similarly-themed intertwined-lives drama The Village.

Wednesday

8:00 - Chicago Med (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Chicago Fire (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

It's all Chicago all the time on Wednesdays now, which should make the yearly crossover a much smoother affair this season.

Thursday

8:00 - Superstore
8:30 - The Good Place
9:00 - Will & Grace
9:30 - I Feel Bad (NEW)
10:00 - Law & Order: SVU (New Timeslot)

The biggest move here is barely a move at all, with Law & Order: SVU moving into the 10:00 slot, with Thursday being one of the only nights a part of the long-running Wolf franchise has never aired on NBC before. The veteran workhorse drama is entering its record-tying 20th season and seems poised to become the longest-running series in TV history next year.

Strangest here is, despite having a Cheers-like multicamera ensemble comedy ordered in Abby's, NBC chose to pair Will & Grace with a single cam that doesn't seem to have much in common with its lead-in except that they're both a half-hour.

Friday

8:00 - Blindspot
9:00 - Midnight, Texas (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Dateline NBC

Midnight, Texas gets upgraded from summer to regular season when it returns this fall. At midseason, it will be replaced with The Blacklist.

Sunday

7:00 - Sunday Night Football

Midseason

Despite never following through on preliminary plans, NBC announced that Sundays in January will by occupied by another summer show getting a regular season upgrade: World of Dance. It will be followed at 10:00 by Good Girls. Missing from the schedule and saved for a midseason air date are new comedy Abby's; new dramas The Enemy Within, The Village, and The InBetween; and the returns of The Blacklist, A.P. Bio, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which makes the shift over from Fox for its sixth season; and alternative series Ellen's Game of Games, which is expected air Tuesdays at 8:00 while The Voice is on hiatus, and The Wall. A winter spin-off edition of summer hit America's Got Talent, subtitled The Champions, is also on tap, alongside a new game show from Dwayne Johnson called The Titan Games, expected to air Wednesdays at 8:00 in the winter for a limited run.


This is one snooze of a schedule. So many of the networks played it safe this year, renewing more low-rated series and ordering fewer new ones. Here, NBC is debuting only three new shows (one comedy and two dramas), one of which is a medical procedural and one of which seems destined for the garbage heap, if the similar shows that came before it are any indication. Putting all the Chicago shows on one night is a novel idea, kind of like ABC's TGIT, and Law & Order: SVU should do just fine in a very non-competitive timeslot. Moving The Blacklist to Fridays is smart, since they need a couple stable players there, but it's clear that Midnight, Texas is just a placeholder and not an attempt at really trying to rebuild or to compete. Everything that aired post-Will & Grace last season ended in disaster, and even Will & Grace itself fell pretty far over the course of the season; hopefully NBC will put fewer breaks in between episodes (they aired 16 episodes in 28 weeks this past year), which will be helped by the lack of Thursday Night Football on the network this season, so that viewers don't have to guess when new episodes are airing. But I still think pairing it with Abby's would have been smarter than I Feel Bad.

All in all, this is a stable, familiar schedule. It's not going to change the game for NBC, but as long as they have football airing on Sunday nights, that doesn't particularly matter.

Click after the jump for descriptions of the new series.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

2018-2019 New Series Pickups

Click after the jump for log lines of the new shows ordered to series by broadcast networks so far. Updated frequently as new information becomes available. UPDATED MAY 11, 7:55PM (EDT).

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2017-2018 Series Renewals and Cancellations

ABC

Renewed: 20/20, America's Funniest Home Videos, American Housewife, American Idol, The Bachelor, black-ish, Child Support, Dancing with the Stars, For the People, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, The Good Doctor, Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Modern Family, Shark Tank, Speechless, Splitting Up Together, Station 19

Canceled: Alex Inc, The Crossing, Deception, Designated Survivor, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, Marvel's Inhumans, The Mayor, The Middle, Once Upon a Time, Quantico, Roseanne, Scandal, Ten Days in the Valley

Fate to Be Determined: The Great American Baking Show, The Great Christmas Light Fight, The Toy Box

CBS

Renewed: 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Bull, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Instinct, Life in Pieces, MacGyver, Madam Secretary, Man with a Plan, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: New Orleans, SEAL Team, Survivor, SWAT, Young Sheldon

Canceled: 9JKL, Kevin Can Wait, Living Biblically, Me, Myself & I, Scorpion, Superior Donuts, Wisdom of the Crowd

The CW

Renewed: The 100, Arrow, Black Lightning, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Dynasty, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, Riverdale, Supergirl, Supernatural

Canceled: Life Sentence, The Originals, Valor

Fox

Renewed: 9-1-1, Bob's Burgers, Cosmos, Empire, Family Guy, The Gifted, Gotham, Hell's Kitchen, Lethal Weapon, Masterchef, The Orville, The Resident, Showtime at the Apollo, The Simpsons, Star

Canceled: Brooklyn Nine-Nine,* The Exorcist, Ghosted, LA to Vegas, The Last Man on Earth, Lucifer, The Mick, New Girl, The X-Files

*Brooklyn Nine-Nine will move to NBC for its sixth season.

NBC

Renewed: A.P. Bio, The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D., Dateline, Ellen's Game of Games, Good Girls, The Good Place, Hollywood Game Night, Law & Order: SVU, Saturday Night Live, Superstore, This Is Us, The Voice, The Wall, Will & Grace

Canceled: The Brave, Champions, Great News, Law & Order: True Crime, Rise, Shades of Blue, Taken, Timeless

Fate to Be Determined: Better Late Than Never, Genius Junior, Little Big Shots

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2018 Pilot Trends

Several trends in broadcasting pilots that I thought would've died are still, sadly, alive and well this 2018 season. The revival renaissance, sparked by the return of The X-Files in 2016, is still in full swing, though this season there seems to be more of an interest in rebooting old properties (a la CBS's Hawaii Five-0, which has been on the air since 2010) rather than bringing back older shows, like NBC has done with Will & Grace and ABC is set to do in March with Roseanne. Movies are still being turned into pilots. Popular formats are being aped a season or two too late. And despite the acclaim and excitement of serialized dramas from streaming and cable networks, the broadcasters are still hedging bets on legal, medical, and, especially, police procedurals.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pilot Review: 9-1-1

9-1-1 (Wednesdays at 9:00 on Fox)

The thought of a Ryan Murphy-produced procedural is a confusing one. When 9-1-1 was first announced by Fox back in May, ordered straight to series with barely even a concept given at upfronts, Fox's decision was mildly puzzling, because the creator/director/writer/producer of such disparate fare as Glee, American Horror Story, The People vs. OJ Simpson, and Scream Queens hardly feels like the right choice to head a Dick Wolf-esque case-of-the-week drama following first responders. And even after the pilot of 9-1-1 has aired, those concerns linger.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pilot Review: LA to Vegas


LA to Vegas (Tuesdays at 9:00 on Fox; Premieres January 2)

Executive producer and pilot director Steve Levitan (a multiple Emmy winner for Modern Family) recently gave an interview to Variety in which he suggested LA to Vegas, Fox's new single-cam comedy, was a kind of spiritual successor to Cheers and Taxi. Like these classics, LA to Vegas takes place mostly in a confined space with a relatively large ensemble rotating leading roles; unlike these classics, LA to Vegas does not have a memorable cast and is not funny.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 Midseason Schedule: The CW

UPDATED January 7 (Full Schedule)

Monday

8:00 - Supergirl (Beginning January 15)
8:00 - Legends of Tomorrow (New Timeslot - Beginning February 12)
8:00 - Supergirl (Beginning April 16)
9:00 - Valor
9:00 - iZombie (New Timeslot - Beginning February 26)

Valor did not receive an order for additional episodes; it returns with new episodes on New Year's Day and airs its finale on January 29. Following the Olympics, iZombie returns for its fourth season, airing outside of its Tuesday timeslot for the first time.  The bigger story, though, is that Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will share the 8:00 timeslot, pushing the end of Supergirl's third season into the summer months.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Flash
9:00 - Black Lightning (NEW - Beginning January 16)
9:00 - The 100 (New Timeslot - Beginning April 29)

The Flash returns on January 16 to lead into the newest addition to The CW's comic book canon, Black Lightning. CW President Mark Pedowitz has said that the show will not, at this time, be integrated into the Arrowverse with the four other DC shows, however. After the rookie superhero's season ends, The 100 returns for season five, airing on Tuesdays for the first time; like Supergirl, original episodes will continue into the summer.

Wednesday

8:00 - Riverdale
9:00 - Dynasty
9:00 - Life Sentences (NEW - Beginning March 7)

Dynasty received a full season order despite low ratings, and it returns alongside Riverdale on January 17. However, come March it will be on the move to Fridays, making way for the new Lucy Hale dramedy Life Sentence.

Thursday

8:00 - Supernatural
9:00 - Arrow

The only night to remain fully intact is Thursdays. The lineup returns January 18.

Friday

8:00 - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
8:00 - Dynasty (New Timeslot - Beginning March 9)
9:00 - Jane the Virgin
9:00 - The Originals (New Timeslot - Beginning April 20)

Critical darling Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns January 5 and will see its third season end on February 16. It will be replaced by Dynasty. Jane the Virgin returns January 26 to air the latter half of its 17-episode fourth season, and the final season of The Originals replaces it in late April.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 Midseason Schedule: ABC

UPDATED January 25 (Grey's Anatomy spin-off title)

Monday

8:00 - The Bachelor (Beginning January 1)
8:00 - American Idol (NEW - Beginning March 12)
8:00 - Dancing with the Stars (Beginning April 30)
10:00 - The Good Doctor
10:00 - The Crossing (NEW - Beginning April 2)

This is a mess of a schedule throughout, but Mondays got off pretty easy. After The Bachelor completes its season, American Idol begins airing on back-to-back nights Sunday and Monday. Once it is scaled back to Sundays only, the new season of Dancing with the Stars, which will feature only athletes, begins and will air into the summer months. Freshman The Good Doctor has only an 18-episode order, so it is replaced by The Crossing in April.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Middle
8:00 - The Bachelor Winter Games (NEW - February 13 & 20)
8:00 - Roseanne (NEW - Beginning March 27)
8:30 - Fresh Off the Boat
8:30 - The Middle (New Timeslot - Beginning April 3)
9:00 - black-ish
9:30 - Splitting Up Together (NEW - Beginning March 27)
10:00 - Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
10:00 - For the People (NEW - Beginning March 13)

Another messy night for ABC. With The Mayor unceremoniously pulled from the schedule last week, repeats of Modern Family occupy the 9:30 slot until late March, when new comedy Splitting Up Together takes over. The Roseanne revival gets a one-hour premiere that same night, with The Middle returning the following week at 8:30. Fresh Off the Boat finishes its season on March 20. On the drama side, the new Shondaland production For the People succeeds Kevin at 10:00 on March 13, rather than moving into a vacant TGIT slot.

As counter-programming to the Winter Olympics, ABC will also air The Bachelor Winter Games for two episodes at two hours each in February while the regular lineup takes a brief hiatus.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Goldbergs
8:30 - Speechless
8:30 - Alex, Inc. (NEW - Beginning March 28)
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - American Housewife
10:00 - Match Game (Beginning January 3)
10:00 - Designated Survivor (Beginning February 28)

Match Game takes over for Designated Survivor while it goes on an extended hiatus, similar to last season. The rest of the lineup returns with Match Game on January 3. Speechless will wrap its sophomore season early, on March 21, before being replaced by the new Zach Braff vehicle Alex, Inc.

Thursday

8:00 - Grey's Anatomy
8:00 -  The Bachelor Winter Games (NEW - February 15 & 22)
9:00 - Scandal
9:00 - Station 19 (NEW - Beginning March 22)
10:00 - How to Get Away with Murder
10:00 - Scandal (New Timeslot - Beginning March 29)
10:00 - Quantico (New Timeslot - Beginning April 26)

TGIT returns on January 18, and that's about as simple as ABC's Thursday night gets. The Grey's Anatomy spinoff Station 19 will debut with a two-hour premiere on March 22, following Murder's season finale. Then Scandal shifts back an hour for its final four episodes, with its series finale airing on April 19. Then Quantico moves into the 10:00 slot the following week.

As counter-programming to the Winter Olympics, ABC will also air The Bachelor Winter Games for two episodes at two hours each in February while the regular lineup takes a brief hiatus.

Friday

8:00 - Child Support (NEW - Beginning January 5)
8:00 - Once Upon a Time (Beginning March 2)
9:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
10:00 - 20/20

While Once Upon a Time is on hiatus, new alternative series Child Support joins the lineup.

Sunday

8:00 - America's Funniest Home Videos (Beginning January 7)
8:00 - American Idol (NEW - Beginning March 11)
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - Deception (NEW- Beginning March 11)


Through January and February, repeats will occupy quite a few nights on the ABC schedule, though America's Funniest Home Videos and Shark Tank originals are sprinkled throughout. ABC's rebooted version of American Idol, with new judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie, returns the week after the Oscars, leading into new drama Deception at 10:00.

The only series missing from this schedule is the proposed Dancing with the Stars Junior, which is either not happening or will be pushed into summer.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2018 Midseason Schedule: NBC

UPDATED January 25 (Sunday)

Monday

8:00 - The Wall (New Timeslot - Beginning January 1)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 26)
9:00 - Better Late Than Never (Beginning January 1)
10:00 - The Brave
10:00 - Good Girls (NEW - Beginning February 26)

The Brave, which did not receive a back-order for its first season, airs its final three episodes starting on January 8. The week before, The Wall and Better Late Than Never return for their second seasons, airing up until the Olympics on February 5. Following the 2018 Winter Olympics coverage, The Voice returns for its spring cycle leading into the new black comedy Good Girls.

Tuesday

8:00 - Ellen's Game of Games (NEW - Beginning January 2)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 27)
9:00 - This Is Us
9:00 - Rise (NEW - Beginning March 20)
10:00 - Chicago Med

This Is Us and Chicago Med continue their seasons beginning January 9 and 2, respectively, with the new Ellen Degeneres vehicle Ellen's Game of Games leading off the night (it already previewed on December 18 to big ratings). The scripted shows go on hiatus for the Olympics and pick back up on February 27. This Is Us's season finale will lead into the premiere of Rise at a special time on March 13 at 10:00.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Blacklist
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

No changes to the night, which returns on January 3.

Thursday

8:00 - Superstore
8:30 - The Good Place
8:30 - Champions (NEW - Beginning March 8)
9:00 - Will & Grace
9:30 - Great News
9:30 - A.P. Bio (NEW - Beginning March 1)
10:00 - Chicago Fire

The fall lineup returns on January 4, with The Good Place and Great News ending their seasons just in time for the Olympic hiatus on February 1. The latter is replaced by A.P. Bio, which gets a special preview on February 1 before becoming a regular part of the lineup on March 1. Champions, from Mindy Kaling, debuts a week later.

Friday

8:00 - Blindspot
9:00 - Taken (New Timeslot - Beginning January 12)
10:00 - Dateline NBC

Dateline shifts back an hour to make room for the delayed second season of Taken, which returns with the rest of the lineup on January 12.

Sunday

8:00 - Little Big Shots (Beginning March 18)
9:00 - Genius Junior (NEW - Beginning March 18)
10:00 - Timeless (New Timeslot - Beginning March 11)

Little Big Shots returns with a two-hour episode (beginning at 7:00) on March 18, followed by the new Neil Patrick Harris-hosted game show Genius Junior. The 10:00 slot goes to the second season of the little-viewed Timeless, which eked out a renewal after it had already been canceled last year.

Still awaiting scheduling are new drama Reverie; new alternative series Making It (formerly The Handmade Project) and The Awesome Show; and the returns of Shades of Blue and Trial & Error.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2018 Midseason Schedule: Fox

UPDATED MARCH 3 (Sunday)

Monday

8:00 - Lucifer
9:00 - The Gifted
9:00 - The Resident (NEW - Beginning January 22)

The Gifted ends its first season on January 15 with a two-hour finale, while the extra-long third season of Lucifer (26 episodes) continues holding down the 8:00 hour (with new episodes resuming on the 1st). It leads into the new medical drama The Resident, which will receive a special premiere on January 21 following the NFC Championship Game, before shifting to its usual timeslot the following night.

Tuesday

8:00 - Lethal Weapon
9:00 - LA to Vegas (NEW - Beginning January 2)
9:00 - New Girl (Beginning April 10)
9:30 - The Mick (New Timeslot - Beginning January 2)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine goes on hiatus to make room for the new series LA to Vegas, with The Mick shifting back a half-hour. The eight-episode final season of New Girl debuts on April 10, with a one-hour finale airing on May 15.

Wednesday

8:00 - The X-Files (Beginning January 3)
8:00 - Empire (Beginning March 28)
9:00 - 9-1-1 (NEW - Beginning January 3)
9:00 - Star (Beginning March 28)

While the musical series are on hiatus, the newest installment of The X-Files (this one longer than the last at 10 episodes) and a new procedural from Ryan Murphy take over Wednesdays.

Thursday

8:00 - The Four: Battle for Stardom (NEW - Beginning January 4)
8:00 - Gotham (Beginning March 1)
9:00 - Showtime at the Apollo (NEW - Beginning March 1)

A new singing competition, The Four, will air in two-hour blocks for six weeks in January and February. The new series is hosted by Fergie and features a panel of experts led by Diddy, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, and record executive Charlie Walk.

Once the Olympics end, Gotham returns from hiatus, paired with the new variety series Showtime at the Apollo, hosted by Steve Harvey.

Friday

8:00 - Hell's Kitchen
8:00 - Masterchef Junior (Beginning March 2)
9:00 - Repeats

Hell's Kitchen returns January 5, followed by repeats. A new season of Masterchef Junior returns with a two-hour premiere on March 2 before settling in at 8:00 the following week. Encores of 9-1-1 continue at 9:00.

Sunday

7:30 - Bob's Burgers
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (New Timeslot - Beginning March 18)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth

The entire fall lineup airs January 7 and 14, when The Last Man on Earth airs its winter finale.

UPDATE: Ghosted was set to air the final five episodes of its first season beginning March 11, but it'll be let off the schedule in favor of the return of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on March 18.


Still to be scheduled are the return of Ghosted  and the premiere of the new alternative series Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back.