The Networks’ Fall Schedules–What Will Last, And What Will Crash… And Why

My birthday having just passed, this is my favorite time of year (asside from Christmas, maybe). Presents plus knowing what the TV networks will do in the fall and getting to imagine myself as a programmer, too? Yes, please!

In this blog, I will compare and contrast the networks’ (Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, CW) fall schedules. This blog is strictly about the fall and so does not include any mentions of mid-season shows, because… let’s face it… fall is tough enough to handicap.

Here goes.

SUNDAY

ABC

7:00 America’s Funniest Home Videos

8:00 Once Upon A Time

9:00 OIL (NEW)

10:00 OF KINGS AND PROPHETS (NEW)

CBS

7:00 60 Minutes

8:00 Madam Secretary

9:00 The Good Wife

10:00 CSI Cyber (New Time)

NBC

7:00 Football Night In America

8:00 Sunday Night Football

FOX

7:00 NFL On Fox

7:30 The OT/Bob’s Burger’s

8:00 The Simpsons

8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine

9:00 Family Guy

9:30 The Last Man On Earth

(CW does not program Sunday).

Looking at this night of programming, we are pretty much status quo here. NBC will win big Sundays with football. The biggest changes to the night are at ABC, a network that, otherwise, is standing pretty much pat. The introduction of OIL starring Don Johnson at 9 in place of Revenge is an obvious (perhaps too obvious) night-time soap concept. Note that Dallas, as originally conceived, was titled “Oil”.

At 10:00, new show Of Kings And Prophets is attempting to capitalize on the renewed network interest in all things biblical. But don’t expect this one to last beyond mid-season. I hear tell of hokey British accents and that this show might be trying to be the network’s answer to a certain Sunday entry on HBO. But unless George R.R. Martin wrote the bible…. sorry, ABC, I’m not buying.

MONDAY

ABC

8:00 Dancing With The Stars

10:00 Castle

CBS

8:00 The Big Bang Theory

8:30 LIFE IN PIECES (NEW)

(SUPERGIRL (NEW)l will fill the hour as of Nov and may not be any good, if my superhero-loving sources are to be believed.)

9:00 Scorpion

10:00 NCIS: Los Angeles

NBC

8:00 The Voice

10:00 BLINDSPOT (NEW)

FOX

8:00 Gotham

9:00 MINORITY REPORT (NEW)

CW

8:00 CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (NEW)

9:00 Jane The Virgin

We all know what will happen Mondays this fall. NBC wins with The Voice. No surprise there.  They’ve also got Blindspot to follow The Voice. Blindspot stars Jamie Alexander and sounds a bit Alias-like. It should get sampled out of The Voice, and if it’s any good, it will stick because of the time period.

ABC, as noted above, stands pat with Dancing and the aging (but still viable) Castle.

Because of football occupying Thursday, CBS moves the first few weeks of Big Bang Theory to Monday, leading into Life In Pieces. Which… did you see Parenthood? Yeah, it’s that show, except as a comedy that may… or may not.. be funny. The preview looks like an okay movie, but I’m not sure it’ll work as a series. We’ll see.

Minority Report sounds interesting, but Fox never draws great numbers on Monday. We’ll have to see if the network has faith in this one. Even if it gets a second season, let’s hope it doesn’t suffer the same fate as Kevin Bacon’s The Following. People just gave up.

The CW has an intriguing Monday entry (and its only new show of the fall). Crazy Ex-Girlfriend leads into last year’s darling, ratings-challenged Jane The Virgin. Ex-Girlfriend appears to be a musical of sorts. It’s from the director of 500 Days Of Summer. I hope it works, because it would pair perfectly with Jane.

TUESDAY

(Get ready for some major change, people).

ABC

8:00 THE MUPPETS (NEW

8:30 Fresh Off The Boat

9:00 Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

10:00 QUANTICO (NEW)

CBS

8:00 NCIS

9:00 NCIS: New Orleans

10:00 LIMITLESS (NEW)

NBC

8:00 The Voice

9:00 HEARTBREAKER (NEW)

10:00 BEST TIME EVER W/ Neil Patrick Harris (NEW)/Chicago Fire (as of Nov)

FOX

8:00 GRANDFATHERED (NEW)

8:30 THE GRINDER (NEW

9:00 SCREAM QUEENS (NEW)

CW

8:00 The Flash

9:00 Izombie

This fall, Tuesday is change. Some of it good, some of it, meh, and some of it, Why the bloody hell…?

Let’s begin with ABC’s revival of Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets. Yes, please and thank you! I am watching this, and you can’t stop me! The trailer looks like that same kind of Muppet-funny that made me guffaw as a kid. Tuesday at 8, you’ve got me, ABC. And I’m interested to see what a second (extended) season of Fresh Off The Boat will do. I like that show, and it fits perfectly with ABC’s family-brand. In different timeslot news, and for fans of Forever, your favorite 10 P.M. show should have stayed. Quantico looks like a formulaic FBI-agent drama similar to every other network drama that isn’t strictly medical or crime these days.

NBC has The Voice, of course. The lead-out looks…. like Grey’s Anatomy, only way lamer. I don’t buy it, and I hope you won’t, either. The preview made me say ewww and throw up in my mouth a little. Which means it will probably last twelve years or something.

At 10, through November, is the new NPH vehicle, a variety show that I will definitely be tuning into. This is listed as a “limited” series”, which is network speak for: “We want to see how it goes, and if we like it, we’ll do a second season next year”. Chicago Fire will step into the time-period after NPH is done.

CBS has Limitless, which is a TV-adaptation of the same-named movie.

At Fox, wow, the whole night is brand-spanking new. 8:00 has John Stamos starring in Full House (or, oops, not Full House). It’s called Grandfathered, and don’t get used to it. Between The Voice and The Muppets and The Flash, this thing is deader than a spider after my dog sees it and decides it needs something to bark at and then chew on.

At 8:30, Rob Lowe and Fred Savage star in The Grinder, which looks promising. Lowe, a sort of dumb-guy TV lawyer, whose show ends after 8 years, decides to go home and work in his family’s actual law firm with his brother (Savage). I’ll give it a watch.

At 9, Scream Queens is Ryan Murphy’s horror/comedy anthology. Again, I’ll give it a watch. Not much else to say here. Could be good. Could be a pile.

WEDNESDAY

ABC

8:00 The Middle

8:30 The Goldbergs

9:00 Modern Family

9:30 Black-ish

CBS

8:00 Survivor

9:00 Criminal Minds

10:00 CODE BLACK (NEW)

NBC

8:00 The Mysteries Of Laura

9:00 Law And Order: SVU

10:00 Chicago P.D.

FOX

8:00 ROSEWOOD (NEW)

9:00 Empire

CW

8:00 Arrow

9:00 Supernatural

Wednesday is the king of standing pat for ABC. Not a single show is new, which some may see as lazy but I see as correct (for now). If it ain’t broke, why tinker with it? Same to NBC. It sure isn’t great on Wednesdays over there, but up against CBS’s consistent 8-10 ratings performers, they couldn’t hope for much more.

New shows Code Black (Think E.R. meets Grey’s Anatomy, with more of an emphasis on the E.R, bent) and Rosewood (beautiful people in Miami on Fox) are as follows. Code Black has a shot. Rosewood should not.

THURSDAY

ABC

8:00 Grey’s Anatomy

9:00 Scandal

10:00 How To Get Away With Murder

CBS

Thursday Night football until nov. So as of Nov.

8:00 The Big Bang Theory

8:30  LIFE IN PIECES (NEW)

9:00 Mom

9:30 ANGEL FROM HELL (NEW)

NBC

8:00 HEROES REBORN

9:00 The Blacklist

10:00 THE PLAYER (NEW)

FOX

8:00 Bones

9:00 Sleepy Hollow

CW

8:00 The Vampire Diaries

9:00 The Originals (New Time)

What to say about Thursday? Well, a lot of it got said back on Monday, at least for CBS. It’s nice (or perhaps actually lazy) that NBC wants to bring back Heroes, but it is doomed to fail against football, Big Bang, and Shonda-land. As for new shows, Jane Lynch’s Angel From Hell is a maybe (but probably not). NBC’s The Player appears to owe a lot to Person Of Interest and, perhaps, Max Payne.

“We gamble on crime. He’s the dealer. I’m the pit boss. Want to be our player?”

Thanks, but no.

FRIDAY

8:00 Last Man Standing

8:30 DR. KEN (NEW)

9:00 Shark Tank

10:00 20/20

CBS

8:00 The Amazing Race

9:00 Hawaii Five-0

10:00 Blue Bloods

NBC

8:00 Undataeble

8:30 PEOPLE ARE TALKING

9:00 Grimm

10:00 Dateline

FOX

8:00 Masterchef Junior

9:00 World’s Funniest

CW

8:00 Reign

9:00 America’s Next Top Model

And lastly, Fridays (because the networks gave up on Saturday ten years ago). Fridays give us a whole lot of reality (Gordon Ramsay, Shark Tank, Amazing Race) and two okay-looking new comedies, one starring that guy from The Hangover and Community who we all know is is a doctor, because he never stops telling us he’s a doctor, and the other starring Zach Morris, who thinks his new babysitter is also a porn star. Hmmm. Both could work, but since they’re on Fridays it suggests to me neither network thinks they will work.

And that… finally.. is a comprehensive look at the networks’ schedules for next fall. Clearly ABC has the best schedule, Fox is taking the most chances, especially on Tuesday, and I’m excited about maybe three or four shows here (Muppets, The Grinder, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,  and, if we wanted to toss in a perhaps it would be People Are Talking).

Thanks for reading my Fall-TV blog! All comments welcome. I’m curious what you think will (and won’t) work next fall!

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