Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Midseason Change-Ups: Fox, CBS, CW

Sorry for the bombardment of new posts, but I had these midseason ones saved as drafts which I just forgot to publish. Enjoy!

Fox

After a disappointing fall showing in which their standing as the highest-rated network was threatened, Fox is looking to some new shows with some name recognition to pull them out of this hole they've fallen into. Fox didn't formally cancel any shows this fall, though two of them are not present on the midseason schedule because they had no way of producing new episodes for spring: Terra Nova and Allen Gregory. Other than that, Fox has a pretty confusing schedule to make room for all of the shows it needs to get on the air since they do not air the 10:00 hour and have three hours per week dedicated to American Idol.

Monday

8:00 - House
9:00 - Alcatraz (beginning January 16)
9:00 - Touch (beginning March 19; preview January 25)

This is looking more and more like the final season of House as Hugh Laurie's contract comes to an end and the ratings flounder. Alcatraz has the benefit of being produced by J.J. Abrams, and Touch stars Kiefer Sutherland. Both shows should do well enough based on the names attached them alone.

Tuesday

8:00 - Glee
8:00 - New Girl (repeats, beginning March 6)
8:30 - Breaking In (beginning March 6)
9:00 - New Girl
9:30 - Raising Hope

Glee will take a brief hiatus as it did last year for about six weeks, when surprise last-minute renewal Breaking In returns for a second season. But Fox likely isn't thinking much of its chances, since it will have a repeat of New Girl as its lead-in rather than a new episode of something else (I Hate My Teenage Daughter, anyone? It still has 10 episodes left to air).

Wednesday

8:00 - American Idol (beginning January 18)
9:00 - Mobbed (through February 8)

American Idol will expand to two hours on February 15, but until then the second hour is occupied by four episodes of Howie Mandel's flash mob reality show Mobbed. It had a great premiere last spring but only a so-so showing this past fall; perhaps it's because flash mobs are being done to death nowadays.

Thursday

8:00 - American Idol (beginning January 19)
9:00 - The Finder (beginning January 12)

Veteran drama Bones is left off the schedule while its spin-off The Finder takes its post-Idol slot. Bones will return in April to finish its abbreviated season (due to the lead's pregnancy).

Friday

8:00 - Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 - Fringe

This will likely be the last season of Fringe, as it routinely comes in 3rd in its timeslot (behind NBC and CBS) and has now reached enough episodes for a syndication deal. I would've preferred to see Mobbed take the 8:00 slot from Kitchen Nightmares, but this series is holding up pretty well so I'm not surprised to see it returning for a spring season.

Sunday

7:30 - The Cleveland Show
8:00 - The Simpson
8:30 - Napoleon Dynamite (beginning January 15)
8:30 - Bob's Burgers (beginning March 11)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - American Dad

Fox has a lot more cartoons to air than it has time to do so. American Dad was off the air so frequently last season that it has a backlog of upwards of 20 episodes to air before they even get to the most recent cycle ordered. Bob's Burgers received a 22 episode order for its sophomore season, but it will likely extend into the summer since it does not return until after Napoleon Dynamite airs all 6 of its episodes. Speaking of Napoleon Dynamite, it's airing two episodes on its first night: one at 8:30 and one at 9:30. It's a good strategy since The Simpsons and Family Guy are both potentially strong lead-ins but with two different senses of humor, but these will be two new episodes instead of an original and a repeat. Then it will air two more repeats over the next eight weeks, even though it only has a six episode order. Seems like a waste of timeslots to me.

CBS

CBS's schedule remained almost entirely intact, save for some minor changes on Thursdays and Fridays. They also, however, left their new show NYC 22 (formerly The 2-2) off the schedule entirely. It says something about CBS's audience that they rarely have a misfire, especially when it comes to dramas; they stick to a formula and have great success within it. The only series not returning from the fall is How to Be a Gentleman.

Thursday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - Rob (beginning January 12)
9:00 - Person of Interest
10:00 - The Mentalist

Perennial reject Rules of Engagement will once again be swapped out of its slot for a new sitcom, this time for the fish-out-of-water family sitcom Rob, starring Rob Schneider as the only white guy in a Mexican family. Whenever it bombs, Rules of Engagement will return to that timeslot.

Friday

8:00 - A Gifted Man
8:00 - Undercover Boss (beginning February 17)
9:00 - CSI: NY (through February 10)
9:00 - A Gifted Man (February 17 - March 9)
10:00 - Blue Bloods

Despite its ratings struggles, A Gifted Man got an order for an additional 3 episodes as schedule filler. It will return to its regular slot at 8:00 until Undercover Boss switches there (it will air Sundays at 8:00 for 3 weeks in January). Then A Gifted Man will shift back an hour for its final few episodes, its last chance to find an audience once it has a decent lead-in. CSI:NY makes the first steps toward cancellation when it leaves the schedule in February. It hasn't been announced whether or not it will return in March, or if Fridays at 9:00 is where NYC 22 will end up.

The rest of CBS's lineup is the same as the fall.

CW

The CW gave full-season orders to all of its freshmen series and extended orders to all of its returning dramas. So that leaves only Wednesday nights open for its new programming, which includes the final 13-episode season of veteran One Tree Hill and the new fashion reality show Remodeled. Missing from the midseason schedule is the new reality competition series The Frame, which will likely debut in the summer due to its needing to air more than one night per week. So the only change for the schedule is to Wednesdays:

Wednesday

8:00 - One Tree Hill (beginning January 11)
9:00 - Remodeled (beginning January 18)

This is actually misleading because the first two episodes of Remodeled will originally air following 90210 on Tuesday, January 17 and 24. Repeats will air the following nights on the 18th and 25th, with original episodes airing in this timeslot beginning February 1. America's Next Top Model will return to the schedule later in the spring, after Remodeled completes its premiere season.

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