Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016-2017 Midseason Schedule: CBS

Monday

8:00 - Kevin Can Wait
8:30 - Man with a Plan
9:00 - 2 Broke Girls
9:30 - The Odd Couple
10:00 - Scorpion

For the time being, the Monday night lineup remains in tact. Both Kevin Can Wait and Man with a Plan received full-season orders, but The Odd Couple, for its third season, did not. With only 13 episodes, it will have aired its entire episode order by the end of January; its replacement has not been announced, but Superior Donuts has not had any plans announced, so that seems like a likely bet.

Tuesday

8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - Bull
10:00 - NCIS: New Orleans

With Bull's full-season order, the Tuesday night lineup will also remain the same.

Wednesday

8:00 - Undercover Boss (New Timeslot - Beginning December 21)
8:00 - Hunted (NEW - Beginning January 25)
8:00 - Survivor (Beginning March 8)
9:00 - Criminal Minds
10:00 - Code Black
10:00 - Doubt (NEW - Beginning February 15)

Old faithful Undercover Boss returns for a short season at the holidays with a two-hour premiere on December 21, before seguing into the new reality competition Hunted, which is basically the most epic game of manhunt ever. It will premiere after the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 22 before moving to Wednesdays later that week. Survivor reclaims its timeslot a few weeks later than usual with a double-episode premiere on March 8. Code Black, which has only a 16-episode order for its second year, will vacate the schedule early to make way for the new Katherine Heigl legal drama, Doubt. Criminal Minds stays put amidst the chaos.

Thursday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - The Great Indoors
9:00 - Mom
9:30 - Life in Pieces
10:00 - Pure Genius
10:00 - Training Day (NEW - Beginning February 2)

New drama Pure Genius is the only fall CBS series which did not receive an order for any additional episodes, so it will wrap its 13-episode run early, making way for Training Day, the latest film-to-TV adaptation, this one based on the Oscar-winning Denzel Washington film.

Friday

8:00 - MacGyver
8:00 - The Amazing Race (Beginning April 21)
9:00 - Hawaii Five-0
10:00 - Blue Bloods

While MacGyver has had a large drop-off from its great premiere, it has definitely reinvigorated CBS's Friday nights. Hawaii Five-0 is up over last year thanks to the compatibility and extra eyes on the newbie, and Blue Bloods is all the stronger for it as well. But CBS returns to its same schedule from last year for the season's final weeks when The Amazing Race debuts with a two-hour episode on April 21. It will air most of its season in the summer, which is where it may always end up airing in future seasons if it does well this time around.

Sunday

8:00 - NCIS: Los Angeles
9:00 - Madam Secretary
10:00 - Elementary

Once February rolls around, CBS will no longer have to worry about football pre-emptions on Sunday nights, so we'll finally get to see just how this lineup is really doing. Elementary especially has a lot of ground to cover if it hopes to survive to next season.

Also of note, CBS announced it will be airing the Canadian co-production Ransom, "a crime drama about a world-renowned crisis and hostage negotiator whose team is brought in to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases" starring Luke Roberts and Sarah Greene, on Saturday nights at 8:00. It's an odd move when the show could have simply been saved for summer, but I suppose it's low-risk (and low-cost) enough to try something like this. Ransom premieres on January 1 before moving to Saturdays on the 7th.

Still unscheduled are the return of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and new comedy Superior Donuts.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: ABC

Updated Tuesday, December 6

Monday

8:00 - The Bachelor (Beginning January 2)

10:00 - Quantico (New Timeslot - Beginning January 23)

 Quantico, which is averaging almost exactly the same ratings as Conviction (0.78 vs 0.75, respectively), will swap timeslots with the new drama in late January. I doubt this lateral move is to benefit the ABC sophomore, but perhaps a small attempt at restrengthening Sundays. After The Great Christmas Light Fight airs on Mondays in December, The Bachelor returns to its usual timeslot before Dancing with the Stars premieres its 24th cycle in the spring. Additional scheduling will be announced at a later date

Tuesday

8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - American Housewife
9:00 - Fresh Off the Boat
9:30 - The Real O'Neals
10:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

For the foreseeable future, the Tuesday lineup remains unchanged. American Housewife received a full season order for its freshman run, and The Real O'Neals received an additional 3 episodes for its second season. It seems likely that at some point later in the season a new comedy will replace The Real O'Neals, so stay tuned for further scheduling.


Wednesday

8:00 - The Goldbergs
8:30 - Speechless
9:00 - Modern Familiy
9:30 - black-ish
10:00 - Match Game (New Timeslot - Beginning January 4)

Match Game, which had a successful revival this past summer, will air in Designated Survivor's timeslot while the freshman drama is on winter hiatus.

Thursday

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

After The Great American Baking Show airs over the holiday season (beginning December 1), the full TGIT lineup returns on January 19 with Scandal's sixth season premiere. How to Get Away with Murder will finish its third season in February, though a replacement has not yet been announced (The Catch being a safe bet).

Friday

8:00 - Last Man Standing
8:30 - Dr. Ken
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - 20/20

The Friday night lineup will remain unchanged.


Sunday

8:00 - To Tell the Truth (New Timeslot - Beginning January 1)
10:00 - Conviction (New Timeslot - Beginning January 1)

While Once Upon a Time is on hiatus and after Secrets & Lies wraps its second season, another successful game show revival, To Tell the Truth, returns to the ABC schedule in two-hour blocks through the winter. Conviction gets a brutal burn-off treatment for its final few episodes, airing against the Golden Globes and championship football games. Further scheduling for the night will be announced at a later date.

Still on tap for midseason, ABC has new dramas Still Star-Crossed and Time After Time; the 8-episode miniseries When We Rise (apparently airing in February per its first official trailer); new comedies Downward Dog and Imaginary Mary; and new alternative series Big Fan and Steve Harvey's Funderdome. Returning midseason series are American Crime (which will have only 8 episodes this season, down from last year's 10) and The Catch.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: NBC

Monday

8:00 - The New Celebrity Apprentice (Beginning January 2)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 27)
10:00 - Timeless
10:00 - Taken (NEW - Beginning February 27)

While The Voice takes its typical winter break, The Celebrity Apprentice finally returns after taking a year off, and with a new host: Arnold Schwarzenegger. It will air in two-hour blocks through January and February. Timeless, which received an order for three additional episodes, will air the remainder of its first season at the same time. Taken, the new prequel series to the Liam Neeson film franchise, will assume the timeslot for the rest of the season.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Wall (NEW - Beginning January 3)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 28)
9:00 - This Is Us
10:00 - Chicago Fire

The only change to the night, which remains one of NBC's strongest, particularly since This Is Us joined the lineup this fall, is the addition of the game show The Wall, hosted by @midnight's Chris Hardwick and produced by Lebron James, to the night. It will get two special airings before its official timeslot premiere: Monday, December 19 at 10:00 and Monday, January 2 at 10:00. Additional scheduling for the night will be announced at a later date.

Wednesday

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

For the time being, the Wednesday night lineup remains unchanged.

Thursday

8:00 - Superstore
8:30 - The Good Place
9:00 - Chicago Med
10:00 - The Blacklist

The fall lineup returns on January 5, upon the conclusion of NBC's contracted NFL games. The Good Place only has four episodes left to air, so additional scheduling for the night will need to be announced soon.

Friday

8:00 - Grimm (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)
9:00 - Emerald City (NEW - Beginning January 6)
10:00 - Dateline NBC (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)

Grimm airs its final, shortened season an hour earlier than last season so that it may serve as a lead-in for the limited series Emerald City. Dateline NBC shifts back to 10:00 and is reduced to only one hour, down from two in the fall.

Sunday

TBA

As is typical with NBC, they are announcing their midseason plans in small chunks. It's likely that Sundays will go unprogrammed until February, since they have the Golden Globes on January 7 and then the end of the football season airing on competing networks for the next several weeks. There are also holes to plug throughout the week and several shows which will need replacements either during a hiatus or after their seasons end. To fill those slots, NBC still has new dramas The Blacklist: Redemption, Chicago Justice, and Midnight, Texas; new comedies Great News, Marlon, Powerless, and Trial & Error; and new alternative series First Dates, Law & Order: True Crime, and Little Big Shots: Forever Young. Returning shows still awaiting scheduling include Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, Hollywood Game Night, and The Carmichael Show. (Yes, that's a very large number of shows to schedule, and some will likely need to move to summer.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: The CW

Monday

8:00 - Supergirl
9:00 - Jane the Virgin

Mondays remain unchanged. Supergirl dropped quite a bit from its numbers on CBS, but it's doing much better than anything else The CW has aired in the slot for years.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Flash
9:00 - Legends of Tomorrow (New Timeslot - Beginning January 24)
9:00 - iZombie (Beginning April 4)

With the failure of freshman No Tomorrow to capitalize on its big lead-in from The Flash, and with Supernatural doing surprisingly great numbers on Thursday, Legends of Tomorrow shifts to the Tuesday line-up to finish out its second season. It is replaced by iZombie in April, moving into the same timeslot it occupied last year. It will receive a two-hour premiere on April 4.

Wednesday

8:00 - Arrow
9:00 - The 100 (New Timeslot - Beginning February 1)

Frequency finishes its first season, which, like No Tomorrow, didn't do very well, to make room for The 100. The sci-fi show aired its first two seasons in this slot before shifting to Thursdays last year; it returns home in February.

Thursday

8:00 - Supernatural (New Timeslot - Beginning January 26)
9:00 - Riverdale (NEW - Beginning January 26)

Proving itself to once again be the network's ultimate utility player, Supernatural moves up an hour on Thursdays to lead into the only new show on The CW's midseason schedule, the Archie comics update Riverdale.

Friday

8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
8:00 - The Originals (New Timeslot - Beginning March 17)
9:00 - Reign (New Timeslot - Beginning February 10)

The Vampire Diaries rides off into the sunset in March, and its spin-off assumes the time period thereafter. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will wrap its abbreviated second season in early February before being replaced by the fourth season of Reign, which moves back an hour from where it aired last season.

Like last year, the network's line-up is relatively stable. The move for Legends of Tomorrow does confuse me a bit, as The Flash is the biggest lead-in The CW could provide for its sole new show, Riverdale, but it's being put on Thursdays instead. I suppose No Tomorrow proved that a big lead-in doesn't always mean anything, but I think it would have also been smart to try iZombie somewhere else on the schedule, to see if its capable of standing on its own. Expectations for Riverdale, however, will likely be lower after Supernatural than if it had aired after The Flash, so maybe it's a good thing.

Also, decisions about the futures of No Tomorrow and Frequency have not been made, beyond the network declining to order additional episodes for their respective first seasons; second season orders will depend on the midseason results for the rest of the network's line-up.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: Fox

Monday

8:00 - 24: Legacy (NEW - Beginning February 6)
9:00 - APB (NEW - Beginning February 6)

Gotham and Lucifer both have full-season orders, but they go on extended hiatus following their January 30th airings. 24: Legacy will get a special premiere after the Super Bowl on February 5, with the series continuing with a new episode the following night leading into the premiere of APB. This is the only night which remained intact from Fox's preliminary plans announced back in May.

Tuesday

8:00 - New Girl (Beginning January 3)
8:30 - The Mick (NEW - Beginning January 3)
9:00 - Bones (New Timeslot - Beginning January 3)

The Mick will premiere on New Year's Day following a football double header, with its timeslot premiere following on Tuesday. Also on New Year's Day, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air a one-hour winter finale before going on hiatus. Bones joins the night for its final, 12-episode season. (Scream Queens will air its season finale on December 20.)

Wednesday

8:00 - Lethal Weapon (Beginning January 4)
9:00 - Star (NEW - Beginning January 4)
9:00 - Empire (Beginning March 22)

Lethal Weapon was the only Fox freshman to receive a back order, and it will have to fly without the halo effect of airing before Empire beginning in January. Star will air its first episode on December 14, after the Empire fall finale, before assuming the 9:00 slot for the rest of its run. Both shows end their runs on March 15, with Empire returning the following week and a replacement for Lethal Weapon to be announced.

Thursday

8:00 - Hell's Kitchen (New Timeslot - Beginning January 5)
8:00 - Masterchef Junior (New Timeslot - Beginning February 9)
9:00 - My Kitchen Rules (NEW - Beginning January 12)

After a rocky go of it this fall, Fox will abandon scripted programming on Thursday nights. The new competition cooking series My Kitchen Rules will replace struggling drama Pitch, which airs its season finale on December 8, in January. Hell's Kitchen moves from Fridays to Thursdays to finish its season, followed by the season premiere of Masterchef Junior in early February. Further scheduling for the night will be announced at a later date.

Friday

8:00 - Rosewood (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)
9:00 - Sleepy Hollow (Beginning January 6)

After completely collapsing on Thursdays without Empire to prop it up, Rosewood gets banished to Fridays in a time swap with Hell's Kitchen. It will lead into the new season of Sleepy Hollow, which replaces The Exorcist following its season finale on December 16.

Sunday

7:30 - Bob's Burgers (Beginning January 8)
8:00 - The Simpsons (Beginning January 8)
8:30 - Son of Zorn (Beginning January 8)
9:00 - Family Guy (Beginning January 8)
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth (Beginning January 8)

The Sunday night lineup remains in tact for the time being. Son of Zorn's season finale airs February 19. New comedy Making History was announced as airing in that timeslot back at upfronts, though that could now change. Further scheduling for the night will be announced at a later date.

With all of this shifting, Fox still has quite a bit of programming to schedule. Not currently scheduled are premiere dates for new drama Shots Fired; new comedy Making History; new reality series Kicking & Screaming; and the return/reboot of Prison Break. Also to be scheduled are return dates for Gotham, Lucifer, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

State of the Union: Fall 2016

ABC

Full Season Ordered: American Housewife, Designated Survivor, Speechless

Canceled: Notorious*

No Further Episodes Ordered: Conviction*

*The episode order for Notorious was cut from 13 to 10 episodes, effectively canceling the series, though all episodes are scheduled to air. Conviction will not receive further episodes, effectively canceling it, but ABC plans to air all 13 that were produced.

CBS

Full Season Ordered: Bull, The Great Indoors, Kevin Can Wait, MacGyver, Man with a Plan*

No Further Episodes Ordered: Pure Genius*

*Both The Great Indoors and Man with a Plan received 6 additional episodes, for first-season runs of 19 episodes. Pure Genius will end its first season at 13 episodes, effectively canceling it.

The CW

No Further Episodes Ordered: Frequency, No Tomorrow


Fox

Full Season Ordered: Lethal Weapon

No Further Episodes Ordered: The Exorcist, Pitch

*Son of Zorn was designed to be 13 episodes only, due to the lengthy production process of its animated/live-action hybrid format.

NBC

Full Season Ordered: This Is Us, Timeless*

*Timeless received an order for an additional 3 episodes, bringing its first season to 16 episodes. This Is Us's first season will have a total of 18 episodes. The first season of The Good Place was designed (per actor contracts) to be only 13 episodes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pilot Reviews: No Tomorrow & Frequency


Back in May, The CW had very few changes to make to its primetime schedule. Their roster of shows is steady in the ratings, with The Flash often out-rating the Big Four, and even their lesser-viewed shows were huge critical successes; Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for example, became the network's second show in a row to pick up the Golden Globe for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and then won a pair of Emmys last month for its editing and choreography, the first for any show on The CW. With the acquisition of Supergirl from sister network CBS, The CW had very few holes to plug. But not ones to rest on their laurels, the net has debuted two new shows this fall: the apocalyptic romantic comedy No Tomorrow and time-travel cop drama Frequency, neither of which, unfortunately, come close to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, or the DC shows.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pilot Review: Conviction

Conviction (Mondays at 10:00 on ABC)

As I was watching the premiere of Conviction last night, there was one nagging question I couldn't get out of my head. No, it wasn't the question of who committed the crime on screen, or if the convicted murderer was truly guilty. The question I couldn't stop thinking about was how a show with a cast full of such likable actors could be such a chore to sit through.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pilot Review: Lethan Weapon & The Exorcist


Fox had two small-screen takes on big-screen hits debut this past week, continuing a trend on television we've seen for the past few years (following Limitless, Damien, Bates Motel, Fargo, Minority Report, and a slew of others). Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist each demonstrate the weaknesses and strengths that can be found in mining films for television gold.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pilot Review: Pitch


Pitch (Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox)

As much as I dislike sports, particularly baseball, I realized halfway through watching the pilot of Fox's Pitch that many of my favorite movies revolve around sports... particularly baseball. I adore Field of Dreams, Fever Pitch, and Bull Durham, and I can quote every single solitary line in A League of Their Own. So acknowledging my affinity for baseball dramas, I actually liked Pitch more than I thought I would when Fox added it to the fall schedule.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pilot Review: Bull


Bull (Tuesdays at 9:00 on CBS)

You have to love when a show announces its own quality right in the title. Bull is full of itself, in all senses of the phrase.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pilot Review: Speechless


Speechless (Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC; Premieres September 21)

Speechless is the type of show where you are immediately going to have an opinion about it before you know anything more than its logline: "A disabled teenager and his family move into a new neighborhood so he can attend a better school." You'll either think this is a show missing from the television landscape, portraying the struggles of disabled people and those supporting them. Or you'll think it's an eye-rolling downer made to appease the PC police. Either way, Speechless is here to prove you wrong.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pilot Review: The Good Place


The Good Place (Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC)

NBC has really had a rough go of it in the comedy department of late. With the end of Parks & Recreation in the 2014-2015 season, they were left with only one returning sitcom last year, the low-rated Undateable. It was moved to Friday nights for live episodes, paired with the only new comedy NBC premiered in the fall, the swiftly canceled Truth Be Told. The winter months followed with the premieres of Superstore, a surprise success, and Telenovela, a surprising failure. Now NBC finds itself in much the same situation, with only Superstore returning to the fall schedule from last season and The Good Place being the only new comedy coming before midseason. It should help that the latter is a huge step up in quality from Truth Be Told, and its quirky, witty characters should match well with the ones on Superstore.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pilot Review: Kevin Can Wait


Kevin Can Wait (Mondays at 8:30 on CBS)

For some reason, Kevin James is one of the most popular comics in America. His stand-up sells out venues across the country; his films, which consist almost entirely of goofy family fare like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, rake in piles of money, even when critics rip them apart; and his former CBS sitcom The King of Queens ran for 9 seasons and still airs daily in syndication on multiple networks. He's our favorite, safe comedian: an unassuming, overweight New Yorker who doesn't rely on vulgarity to create humor. He also has a tendency to produce some awfully stupid material, and Kevin Can Wait is the latest.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Emmy Predictions

Rarely do the Emmys make any sense to me, but I'm throwing out my predictions for the winners anyway!

Limited Series and Television Movie

Writing: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, The People v. OJ Simpson ("From the Ashes of Tragedy")
Directing: Ryan Murphy, The People v. OJ Simpson ("From the Ashes of Tragedy")
Supporting Actress: Jean Smart, Fargo
Supporting Actor: Sterling K. Brown, The People v. OJ Simpson
Lead Actress: Sarah Paulson, The People v. OJ Simpson
Lead Actor: Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Television Movie: All the Way
Limited Series: The People v. OJ Simpson

I feel like this is where the most competition is. So many TV films and limited series were among the best things on television this season: The People v. OJ Simpson, Fargo, Confirmation, The Night Manager, All the Way. It was an amazing year. A lot of these categories are nail-biters. I think People v. OJ walks away with the top prize. In the acting categories, I think it's a horserace between Bryan Cranston as LBJ (a role for which he already won a Tony), an actor who the Academy loves, and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. Actress is similarly close, with Paulson getting the edge over the magnificent Kirsten Dunst, who absolutely stole Fargo's second season away from everyone else on screen. A win for Kerry Washington or either woman from American Crime wouldn't suck either... basically anyone could win that category, and it would be a great choice. I think Fargo may get a trophy still for Jean Smart, though Melissa Leo, Olivia Colman, and last year's surprise winner Regina King are all equally just choices. Sterling K. Brown, David Schwimmer, and John Travolta may cancel each other out in supporting actor, but I think Brown stood out enough among his cast mates to lead the category. People v. OJ dominated the writing and directing categories (and the limited series categories, in general), so it's a safe bet it'll win there, though the question becomes for which episodes; I went with the season premiere in both cases.

Comedy

Writing: Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang, Master of None ("Parents")
Directing: Dave Stern, Veep ("Mother")
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, Mom
Supporting Actor: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lead Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lead Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Comedy Series: Veep

This looks like it may be a lot of repeats from last year. I'm predicting Veep to take home the top prize, with Dreyfus winning yet again as well; don't be surprised if the episode "Mother" walks away with directing and writing awards as well, though I've predicted Aziz Ansari's Netflix series Master of None to take the latter, since many cite its writing as the show's strongest point. Allison Janney and Jeffrey Tambor will likely repeat their wins from last year as well, and maybe even Tony Hale in supporting actor too. For now, I'm hoping for a course-correction win for Tituss Burgess, though it's a tight race between those two and comedy vet Louie Anderson for playing the mother of a clown (you read that right) on FX's Baskets.

Drama

Writing: Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot ("eps1.0_hellofriend.mov")
Directing: Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones ("Battle of the Bastards")
Supporting Actress: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Supporting Actor: Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Lead Actress: Keri Russell, The Americans
Lead Actor: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Drama Series: Game of Thrones

I think we may be looking at a near-sweep for Game of Thrones, which is the clear frontrunner for best series after securing more nominations than any other show. The only non-conservative prediction I've made here is for Keri Russell to win a statue for her work on The Americans, which has never been nominated before and broke through in a big way with some major nominations this year. Russell seems like the most likely of those nominations to win, though she'll have to upset last year's winner, Viola Davis, who is probably the frontrunner right now. Otherwise, Rami Malek looks poised to take the award for lead actor, likely shutting Kevin Spacey out once again, though a win for Spacey or even Robin Wright wouldn't be a total surprise. Game of Thrones may clean house in supporting categories as well, and I'm also predicting it for directing and wouldn't be shocked if it took writing, too, but Esmail's script for Mr. Robot was more unique and current.

The Emmys air Sunday night, September 18, on ABC.