Saturday, May 20, 2017

Now that the networks have set their Fall schedules...

...here are a few things to look for:

ABC is really going to challenge NBC in February with AMERICAN IDOL, ROSEANNE, and THE BACHELOR. NBC will have the Winter Olympics. Usually any Olympics obliterates the competition, but the ratings three years ago from the Sochi games were meh at best. Of course, it doesn’t help that the USA wins maybe five medals total.

Tuesday night will have a flood of comedy. ABC, NBC, and Fox all have competing sitcoms.

WILL & GRACE will go up against THE BIG BANG THEORY when CBS no longer has Thursday Night Football. Good luck to WILL & GRACE.

On Thursday night, SCANDAL takes on THIS IS US. There’s enough real scandal in the White House. I expect THIS IS US to kick ass. And the Seth MacFarlane vanity Fox series goes against them both. That way Fox services the very few who think Seth MacFarlane is talented enough to warrant his own series (like he was talented enough to star in major motion pictures and talented enough to host the Academy Awards) and also satisfy the vast majority of viewers who don’t.

CBS has the most stable schedule. And stability has its advantages.

The CW is the all-Super Hero network. Unless your series star wears a cape you have no chance. How soon until they do a live version of Mighty Mouse? Fox and ABC only have half their schedules devoted to comic book characters.
AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS is still on the air. How is that even possible?

Is ABC giving up on Sunday night? I guess they feel they can’t compete against NBC Sunday Night Football. So they have TO TELL THE TRUTH and SHARK TANK. Their logo should be a white flag.

Friday night is now officially the dumping ground for hour-long series that have lost their luster. It’s hospice care for dramas.

YOUNG SHELDON will be the new hit comedy of the year. It’s also very funny.

Fox hopes that Lee Daniels becomes Shonda Rhimes as they’ve devoted all of Wednesday to his shows. By the way, I’m rooting for STAR.

Lots of military dramas on the schedule this year.  Green is the new Orange.

There are also a few religious-themed shows.   If you don't watch them this administration may just deport you.  

SURVIVOR is back. The only island they haven’t been to is Gilligan’s.

Throw in the intangibles like the World Series, two shows tanking and being cancelled right away, and it is still anybody’s guess how many episodes of ROSEANNE they’ll make before that thing implodes.

Next week I’ll talk about the types of sitcoms that were picked up and what to expect. Should be fun.

31 comments :

Tom said...

Am I the only person who doesn't understand the Will & Grace revival? The only thing that show excelled at was mediocrity. I guess they're hoping that people's memories are hazy?

Test yourself to prove the point: without looking it up, what happened in the final episode of MASH? Cheers? Seinfeld? ... Will & Grace?

MikeN said...

SuperGirl runs on ABC, but is called a CW show.
Shark Tank is moving from Fridays?

B.C. Christiansen said...

Possible Friday Question - do you think it really even matters any more what night things air? I am always two or three days behind with DVR, and I record two or three shows that go against each other anyway.

Judd said...

Seth Macfarlane is talented. He tells a lot of good Jewish jokes ;)

Brad Apling said...

As you and David Isaacs were involved in writing shows that had elements of both comedy and drama, how did you provide a balance between the comedic and dramatic portions of any show, any episode? Granted, both of you learned from the best and gave the best through many years of fingers to the keys and rewriting but, were you given a ballpark percentage (have to tie-in your baseball background somehow) - 85% comedy / 25% drama - or did it just happen through telling the story each episode or keeping to the story arc? It seems it could have been easy to turn M*A*S*H into a complete drama or keep Frasier completely light-hearted every moment without the showrunner making course corrections every so often.
In the writers room discussions, were there any times when the top

Same thing with calling a game - how do you find that balance between 'calling the shots as they come', giving some background on a player or adding a lighthearted comment versus turning a Padres game into sketch for that 'ticket to Hollywood'?

blinky said...

Of all the shows you mentioned on the NETWORKS I think I may only watch about 3 or 4 at most, and that is a stretch. My question is: How are networks even a thing now? Back in the day when there were only 3 networks I used to map out my evenings to watch all the good shows. There was even a good show on Friday night: The X FIles.

Jack said...

You may hate Seth, but he is rich 200 Mil and counting.

Terrence Moss said...

With the exception of "Jane the Virgin" -- which the CW foolishly moved to Fridays.

Nolan Howe said...

Can't say that any of the new (or many of the returning) shows have me all that excited for the fall. Unless the piƱata or trampoline lobby gangs up on ABC I'm willing to wager AFV will still be on the schedule 25 years from now assuming network television still exists. People enjoy watching other people's minor misfortunes and the entire season of AFV probably costs less than one episode of Last Man Standing ever did.

Peter said...

All those shows pale in comparison to the cultural event of the decade: tomorrow night's return of TWIN PEAKS!!!!!!!

William said...

Friday Question: What is the toughest schedule you've been given? Did you ever write for a show that had to go up against Cosby, Seinfeld or a similar juggernaut? How did your set react to "oh, damn... we're up against Friends" or whatever your tough opponent was?

Anonymous said...

Gilligan's Island doesn't exist anymore. It's an office building....

VP81955 said...

Peter,

Please let David Bianculli shill for "Twin Peaks."

Sincerely,

The rest of us

Jeff Weimer said...

MikeN - Supergirl *was* a CBS show for one season before being cancelled and subsequently picked up by the junior network CW. It also moved production form L.A. to Vancouver, B.C - which is also the reason you don't see much of Calista Flockhart on there anymore. One of the conditions for her being a regular was that it be filmed in L.A. and they couldn't afford it any longer with the smaller CW budgets.

Y. Knott said...

I'm trying and failing to think of a worthwhile prequel, but you really seem to love "Young Sheldon". You've seen it already?

(Personally, I have less than zero interest in watching it....)

DARON72 said...

I'm still disappointed that Fox decided to cancel "Pitch." The concept may have been too much for sports fans to buy but I still thought it was well acted and written. Then again, Fox surprised me by giving "The Last Man On Earth" another season. The writing can be uneven at times but I still think it's one the most original network comedies in years.

Peter said...

VP,

I don't know who that is, but I won't apologise for being excited about something I and millions of others have waited 26 years for.

Sincerely,

Millions of Lynch fans

Rick said...

"Better Call Saul" is an excellent prequel, Y. Knott.
(Rick Libott)

Cap'n Bob said...

Of all the shows you mentioned the only one I'll watch is Shark Tank.

Eric J said...

I stopped watching network shows at all when they started using those idiotic and distracting animated chyrons announcing other shows. Anytime anyone I know mentions a show, it turns out to be on cable, not on the air networks.

And there are more guys getting shots to the nuts on youtube right now than every episode of AFV, so what's the draw. Some of the youtube videos are of guys literally getting shot in the balls, so there's the bar for AFV.

Tom Wolper said...

Another reason that meh ratings for the Winter Olympics is that the NHL will not be shutting down and, with a few possible exceptions, NHL players will not leave their teams to play in South Korea. I think the Olympics suffer in general because sports fans can be immersed in their favorite sports all year long, watching the dedicated cable channel and discussing the draft or free agent signing period in the off season. It's harder to get peoples' attention for a short term sports festival.

Tom Galloway said...

I'm going to be curious as to how McFarlane treats The Orville. Doing a parody is relatively easy...but you only have to do one. This is supposed to be a series. If they approach it as "writing a comedy series that includes parodic elements and focuses on characters", it may have a chance. Probably not it they approach it as "writing a parody...oh crap, it's episode four and we've already done all the good parody stuff".

Lionheart said...

'AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS is still on the air. How is that even possible? '

Maybe because there are at least 10 laughs in each episode?

Many sitcoms struggle to reach that level.

Barry Traylor said...

From what I have read about the shows coming to ABC, CBS and NBC I will be catching up on a lot of reading.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get through a four minute trailer for "Young Sheldon." Then again, I think TBBT is terrible, so I'm not really the audience for it.

-Jeffrey

MikeN said...

Nolan, AFV has a huge budget. They have to hire writers to come up with plots for all these videos and then film them at various sets. It's possible they save from using less sophisticated equipment to make it look like home videos, but perhaps they are spending more to get that look.

Barry Traylor said...

'AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS is still on the air. How is that even possible? '

Perhaps also because it is a show parents can watch with their children without hearing any vagina/penis jokes.

ADmin said...

I think someone should do a comedy about a serial murderer for an upcoming Fall schedule. :)

forg/jecoup said...

AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS outrated ABC Sunday scripted shows this season so yes it's still a viable show. TO TELL THE TRUTH and SHARK TANK on Sundays is a good move, they would do better than scripted programming and they really are just placholder for IDOL in 2018

Y. Knott said...

I must admit to not having watched Better Call Saul -- probably due to prequelitis. My instant reaction to a prequel is to think "Who cares? If the overall story should have started earlier, why didn't the writer start it there to begin with?"

But there are probably exceptions to this rule. Ken, please keep us posted on the upcoming BeforeM*A*S*H...

Rory Wohl said...

Hi Ken,

Here's my pitch for a new show:

SF Giants reliever Derek Law is traded to the AL's Texas Rangers. He discovers that he and second baseman Rougned Odor share an interest in solving crimes.

After solving a minor crime together, they get noticed by the REAL Texas Rangers and are recruited as undercover agents. Their handler: Cordell Walker (Chuck Norris reprising his role from Walker: Texas Ranger).

Over the course of the baseball season, they solve various crimes in the various cities they visit with the baseball team.

It's "For the Love of the Game" meets "Lethal Weapon."

The name of this gem? "Law & Odor."