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Sunday, September 24, 2017

THE WEEK AHEAD: September 25-October 1, 2017

Check below this post for my Sunday preview and my predictions for the fall season!

It's premiere week and the premiere of a new weekly column I will do on the blog. Since I will no longer be doing daily rundowns, this column will look at the week ahead for each network as well as other TV news. It will appear every Sunday. Enjoy!

ABC is premiering three of their new shows this week but holding off their Tuesday lineup including The Mayor and Kevin (Probably) Saves the World until next week. Scandal is also held until next week due to a two hour premiere for Grey's Anatomy.

8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 The Good Doctor (SERIES PREMIERE)

8:00 Celebrity Family Feud (Season Finale)
9:00 Dancing with the Stars

8:00 The Goldbergs (Season Premiere)
8:30 Speechless (Season Premiere)
9:00 Modern Family (Season Premiere)
9:30 American Housewife (Season Premiere)
10:00 Designated Survivor (Season Premiere)

8:00 Grey's Anatomy (Season Premiere)
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder (Season Premiere)

8:00 Marvel's Inhumans (SERIES PREMIERE)
10:00 20/20

8:00 College Football

7:00 The Toy Box (Season Premiere)
8:00 Shark Tank (Season Premiere)
10:00 Ten Days in the Valley (SERIES PREMIERE)

CBS has the most premieres this week with four including a sneak preview of Young Sheldon on Monday night, which won't return until November on Thursdays. Their Thursday Night Football package also starts with a Packers/Bears game.

8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Season Premiere)
8:30 Young Sheldon (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Kevin Can Wait (Season Premiere)
9:30 Me, Myself, and I (SERIES PREMIERE)
10:00 Scorpion (Season Premiere)

8:00 NCIS (Season Premiere)
9:00 Bull (Season Premiere)
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans (Season Premiere)

8:00 Survivor (35th Edition Premiere)
10:00 Criminal Minds (Season Premiere)

8:00 Thursday Night Football: Chicago at Green Bay

8:00 MacGyver (Season Premiere)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Season Premiere)
10:00 Blue Bloods (Season Premiere)

8:00 NCIS (Repeat)
9:00 48 Hours (Repeat)
10:00 48 Hours (Season Premiere)

7:00 NFL Overrun
7:30 60 Minutes
8:30 Wisdom of the Crowd (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:30 NCIS: Los Angeles (Season Premiere)
10:30 Code Black (Repeat)

NBC has three series premieres including the highly anticipated return of Will & Grace on Thursday. They will also surely have the top scripted performance of the week from the much anticipated return of This is Us.

8:00 The Voice (13th Edition Premiere)
10:00 The Brave (SERIES PREMIERE)

8:00 The Voice
9:00 This is Us (Season Premiere)
10:00 Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (SERIES PREMIERE)

8:00 The Blacklist (Season Premiere)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (Season Premiere)
10:00 Chicago PD (Season Premiere)

8:00 Superstore (Season Premiere)
8:30 The Good Place
9:00 Will & Grace (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:30 Great News (Season Premiere)
10:00 Chicago Fire (Season Premiere)

8:00 Will & Grace (Repeat)
8:30 Superstore (Repeat)
9:00 Dateline NBC

8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Repeat)

7:00 Football Night in America
8:30 Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis at Seattle

FOX actually only has one series premiere this week with The Orville having already premiered and The Gifted not coming until next week.

8:00 So You Think You Can Dance (Season Finale)

8:00 Lethal Weapon (Season Premiere)
9:00 The Mick (Season Premiere)
9:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season Premiere)

8:00 Empire (Season Premiere)
9:00 Star (Season Premiere)

8:00 Gotham
9:00 The Orville

8:00 Hell's Kitchen (17th Edition Premiere)
9:00 The Exorcist (Season Premiere)

8:00 College Football

7:00 The Simpsons (Repeat)
7:30 Bob's Burgers (Season Premiere)
8:00 The Simpsons (Season Premiere)
8:30 Ghosted (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Family Guy (Season Premiere)
9:30 The Last Man on Earth (Season Premiere)

The CW is still in summer mode for a couple more weeks.

8:00 Supergirl (Repeat)
9:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us

8:00 The Flash (Repeat)
9:00 DC's Legends of Tomorrow (Repeat)

8:00 Arrow (Repeat)
9:00 Supernatural (Repeat)

8:00 Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00 Whose Line is it Anyway?
9:30 Whose Line is it Anyway? (Repeat)

8:00 Masters of Illusion (Repeat)
8:30 Masters of Illusion (Repeat)
9:00 Masters of Illusion (Repeat)
9:30 Masters of Illusion (Repeat)

- ABC's midseason drama For the People has temporarily halted production to work on scripts. While this is not uncommon, this seems to be another sign that this could be another Shondaland bust like The Catch and Still Star-Crossed.

The Mayor is available to watch online on abc.com ahead of its October 3 premiere while tonight is the fourth and final night you can catch the series premiere of Ghosted on Twitter ahead of its October 1 FOX premiere. It streams live at 9pm.

- NBC and Hulu are now streaming the original run of Will & Grace. NBC is all in on this Will & Grace revival but I still don't think people are as excited as the network is about this.

Chicago PD will start airing on USA and Oxygen in October. It is the first Chicago show to get this type of cable deal and the first broadcast drama in several years. Chicago Fire could not find a cable network or syndication deal last fall.

- Dick Wolf has secured a 13 episode series order from CBS (not NBC!) on a new drama called F.B.I. for the 2018-19 season. Centered on New York City's FBI bureau, it sounds like a Dick Wolf procedural on a network that loves its procedurals. It's just weird that it's not on NBC.

- CBS is developing a funeral home comedy called Quality of Life starring and produced by Jamie Lee Curtis. Sounds promising! CBS is also developing a comedy called I Mom So Hard, based on a web series.

- The CW is developing a spinoff of Riverdale centered on a re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch titled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It is being conceived closer to a horror drama. But shouldn't the CW wait and see if Riverdale actually catches on? The CW is also developing a high school football drama and a drama set both in the Reconstruction era and contemporary Charleston. Both projects are from popular CW producer Greg Berlanti.

- FOX is developing two dramas and a comedy from Lee Daniels of Empire and StarVictory is centered on the behind the scenes drama of gospel choirs while East of Hope is a multiracial soap set in a small working class town. An untitled comedy is a culture clash comedy set around three Minnesota families. FOX is also developing a divorce comedy involving the Royal Family and a CIA drama called Classified.

- ABC is developing Fertile, a single camera comedy set in a fertility clinic. So it sounds as if ABC is still trying to find comedies outside of the family comedy genre. They are also developing Sanctuary Family, a comedy about a family keeping an undocumented nanny and her family. There is a trend of immigration projects in development, so maybe if 2016-17 was time travel shows and 2017-18 is military shows, 2018-19 will be immigration shows. ABC is also developing a family drama called Paradise Falls from Erica Messer of Criminal Minds.

- NBC is developing two projects from Michael Schur of The Good Place and Parks and Recreation. One is a comedy musical show set in New York City while the other is a comedy about a woman running an unlicensed bar in her backyard. NBC is also developing a sitcom centered on a doctor who has a meltdown and has to be move back in with her family after losing her medical license.

FALL PREVIEW 2017: In Summary

I hope you enjoyed this week's Fall Preview! Check back regularly this week for pilot reviews!

Here are my predictions for this season. Last year, I was correct that Speechless, Designated Survivor, Kevin Can Wait, Bull, This is Us, and Lethal Weapon would survive. I mistakenly thought Conviction, The Great Indoors, and No Tomorrow would join the list. I correctly predicted the cancellations of Notorious, Pure Genius, Pitch, Son of Zorn, and Frequency but I thought a lot more would get cancelled: American Housewife, Man with a Plan, MacGyver, Timeless, The Good Place, and The Exorcist.

So here are my predictions this year! I'm not too high on this year's group of newbies so I think I might even be a little generous with these predictions.

Shows I Think Will Make It to Season 2
The Good Doctor (ABC)
The Mayor (ABC)

Young Sheldon (CBS)
The Brave (NBC)
Law & Order: True Crime (NBC)
Will & Grace (NBC) - already renewed
The Gifted (FOX)
Dynasty (CW)

Shows I Think Will Be One and Done
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (ABC)
Marvel's The Inhumans (ABC)
Ten Days in the Valley (ABC)
Me, Myself, and I (CBS)
S.W.A.T. (CBS)
Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS)
The Orville (FOX)
Ghosted (FOX)
Valor (CW)

Finally, the top 5 shows I'm most excited for. Last year among my Top 5, I stuck with Pitch, This is Us, and Designated Survivor but not with Speechless and Conviction.

I'm Mildly Curious About: SEAL Team (CBS), Young Sheldon (CBS), Ghosted (FOX)

5) Ten Days in the Valley (ABC)
I wasn't too excited about this at first but the reviews have me intrigued and a limited series with an actual endpoint is always a plus for a show like this.

4) Me, Myself, and I (CBS)
I like Bobby Moynihan and I like the concept of this, which feels like a comedic This is Us. I'm curious to see what this looks like on a weekly basis.

3) The Mayor (ABC)
This seems fresh and fun and enjoyable. I think it could easily be the year's best new comedy.

2) Law & Order True Crime (NBC)
While I think this could seem like a very inferior version of American Crime Story, it's still a true crime story with a 90s setting. What's not to like?

1) The Good Doctor (ABC)
I'm a little leery here because I don't always end up loving medical dramas but I like Freddie Highmore a lot and I'm curious about the autism angle.

In midseason, I'm excited about Rise (NBC), 9-1-1 (FOX), Alex, Inc. (ABC), Deception (ABC), and Life Sentence (CW)

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Sunday

Here's my Fall Preview for Sunday

7:00 The Toy Box (2nd season)
8:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (28th season)
9:00 Shark Tank (9th season)
ABC has upended its Sunday lineup but it seems to be a placeholder lineup before the expected arrival of American Idol on this night in the spring (if they can nail down some judges!) So it is unscripted from 7-10pm with the low rated The Toy Box getting the 7pm slot, America's Funniest Home Videos leaving its long-time 7pm home and heading to 8pm, and Shark Tank moving after many years on Fridays. This lineup won't do well, but it will be less of an embarrassment than the way things have been going with lineups of dramas. At 10pm is the lone scripted entry, a limited series Ten Days in the Valley starring Kyra Sedgwick. Despite decent reviews, this is in a no-win slot and I expect the ratings to be quite low.

7:00 60 Minutes (50th season)
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (9th season)
10:00 Madam Secretary (4th season)
CBS knows they can get some numbers on NFL Sundays in the fall so they are using the 8pm slot to launch a new drama. First up is 60 Minutes in its incredible 50th season. The longest running primetime show of all time is one of TV's top performers still on NFL Sundays. At 8pm is the new Wisdom of the Crowd, which seems right in the CBS wheelhouse but may not be all that appealing to NFL fans. Then again Madam Secretary isn't either and that did pretty well on NFL Sundays when it aired at 8pm. At 9pm is NCIS: Los Angeles, which held down the 8pm slot well last year. At 10pm is Madam Secretary, also moving back an hour and now in the dreaded slot that sometimes gets really late start times. As usual, this whole lineup will be scheduled half an hour later on nights when CBS has the NFL double header.

7:00 Football Night in America (12th season)
8:30 Sunday Night Football
NBC will continue to dominate Sunday evenings in the fall with football, even if the NFL ratings drop again this season. As of now, the midseason plan is Dateline NBC, Little Big Shots, Ellen's Game of Games, and Shades of Blue so it looks like NBC will also be mostly unscripted like ABC.

7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores
7:30 Bob's Burgers (8th season)
8:00 The Simpsons (29th season)
9:00 Family Guy (16th season)

9:30 The Last Man on Earth (4th season)
FOX is keeping things mostly status quo on Sunday nights except they have a different 8:30pm comedy. Bob's Burgers, the 29th season of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Last Man on Earth are all staying put in their slots from at least part of last season. The new 8:30pm entry is Ghosted starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. This seems a lot like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which did OK in the same slot before Son of Zorn and Making History shared it last season. But there could be major problems on non-NFL Sundays as there always is. And this year, they're premiering the lineup on a night without an NFL double-header.

New Friday Show Survival Chances
Ten Days in the Valley (ABC) - Poor. I know this is conceived as a limited series and I'm pretty sure the ratings won't do anything to change that notion.

Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS) - Fair. I like the timeslot but I don't think it's a great fit. It still could survive solely based on where its placed.

Ghosted (FOX) - Fair. I think I like this one's chances a little more than Son of Zorn or Making History, but I'm so skeptical of non-NFL Sundays on FOX.

Friday, September 22, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Friday

Here is my Fall Preview for Fridays: a night with major changes on ABC but little or no changes on the rest of the networks.

8:00 Once Upon a Time (7th season)
10:00 20/20 (41st season)
ABC has abandoned its Friday night comedies and will go with a genre night instead, which I don't think is a good idea since the comedies and Shark Tank were reliable here. Now they are going with Once Upon a Time, which is undergoing a reboot and has languished on Sundays in recent years after once being a big hit. It is followed by the only new show on Friday night, Marvel's The Inhumans, which has gotten panned in reviews and clearly isn't a high priority for ABC given this timeslot. I think this lineup is destined to fail and ABC may regret cancelling the comedies. 10pm remains Friday night newsmagazine staple 20/20, heading into its 41st season.

8:00 MacGyver (2nd season)

9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (8th season)
10:00 Blue Bloods (8th season)
CBS is keeping its same lineup from last year after MacGyver fit in surprisingly well here last year. This is a stable but old skewing Friday night for CBS and I think they will take that. Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods are both heading into their 8th season so they're getting up there in years and Hawaii went through major cast changes with the departures of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park over the summer.

8:00 Blindspot (3rd season)
9:00 Dateline NBC (27th season)
NBC is at least making a little bit more effort on Fridays than they did last fall but still less than I think they should. At 8pm is Blindspot, moving over from Wednesday. It won't premiere until late October though. 9pm was supposed to be Taken, but it got held for midseason so they will instead go with two hours of Dateline on the night. I still don't quite understand why NBC doesn't at least go with two dramas on Friday nights with their limited space available when they have football and The Voice.

8:00 Hell's Kitchen (17th edition)
9:00 The Exorcist (2nd season)
Fridays on FOX are the exact same as they were in Fall 2016. At 8pm is Hell's Kitchen, which is always a solid Friday option for FOX and can still garner decent ratings even for its 17th edition. At 9pm is season two of The Exorcist, which was a surprise renewal after low ratings last year on Fridays in the fall. I think FOX didn't need to renew this show when they could have kept Rosewood on a syndication track and probably gotten about the same ratings in this slot. But perhaps there are other ways The Exorcist is making money for them.

8:00 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (3rd season)
9:00 Jane the Virgin (4th season)
The CW is going with a night of their quirky dramedies on Friday night with a pair of acclaimed but low rated shows. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend aired on this night last year but Jane the Virgin is finally getting benched to this night after three years on Monday. These will be low rated of course, but it doesn't seem like the CW keeps renewing these shows for their ratings. It will be interesting to see what CW does at midseason with this night. Will they continue the dramedy trend with the new Life Sentence or try to give that show a better slot and go with retreads like The 100 and iZombie?

New Friday Show Survival Chances
Marvel's The Inhumans (ABC) - Very Poor. I don't like this show's chances at all. With the terrible reviews and the terrible timeslot, it seems to be a recipe for failure and I think it will be completely ignored.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Thursday

Here is my Fall Preview for Thursday:

8:00 Grey's Anatomy (14th season)
9:00 Scandal (7th season)
10:00 How to Get Away with Murder (4th season)
For one last time, the original TGIT crew is together on ABC. With Scandal ending and Shonda Rhimes signing a development deal with Netflix, it's coming up on the end of an era for ABC. Grey's Anatomy continues to be one of TV's strongest dramas heading into its 14th season. Scandal will follow for its final season, which is already being promoted a lot. This show was huge for awhile but as bright as it burned, it also burned quickly and I think this is a good move because they still might be able to get some mileage by advertising the end game for this show. How to Get Away with Murder continues at 10pm in the only slot it has ever known.

8:00 Thursday Night Football

8:00 The Big Bang Theory (11th season)
9:00 Mom (5th season)
9:30 Life in Pieces (3rd season)
10:00 S.W.A.T.
As usual, CBS will have football for the first several weeks of the season. In November, the comedy lineup comes back with The Big Bang Theory returning from Monday and being paired with its single camera prequel, Young Sheldon (which will have a one-off Monday premiere). It will be interesting to see if Sheldon has better retention out of Big Bang. On the plus side, it's obviously about a same character. However, it looks like it has the feel of an ABC family sitcom so that seems like an odd fit with Big Bang. The 9pm hour stays the same with the solid but not spectacular Mom and Life in Pieces. This year, they have comedy competition from NBC in the same hour. At 10pm is S.W.A.T., the reboot of the TV show and film starring Criminal Minds alum Shemar Moore. This is on brand for CBS, but it's in a slot for CBS that has been very problematic in recent years so I'm not too confident, especially with the November start.

8:00 Superstore (3rd season)
8:30 The Good Place (2nd season)
9:30 Great News (2nd season)
10:00 Chicago Fire (6th season)
aNBC is going back to the four comedy formula on Thursdays that worked for them for decades but hasn't happened since the 2013-14 season. First up is the same 8pm hour that started last year with Superstore and The Good Place. These two shows kept the lights on and it could be worse as far as NBC comedies go. At 9pm is the return of Must See TV staple Will & Grace. It is one of the most hyped shows for the fall and has already been renewed for 2018-19. I'm not convinced it's going to be a huge hit because I just don't think the desire from fans is as strong as NBC and the media think it is. But it should certainly start strong. It leads into Great News, which is getting a huge show of faith from NBC despite abysmal season one ratings. I'm not all that high on this comedy block as a whole and I think it could be a big disappointment for NBC. At 10pm is Chicago Fire, which moves to the night after four years on Tuesdays. Even if the comedy block disappoints, I think this has a good chance of outperforming How to Get Away with Murder.

8:00 Gotham (4th season)
FOX is revamping Thursday night and turning it into another genre night with former Monday staple Gotham moving over to lead off the night. Gotham has a steady but declining audience and I don't think that will change with its move to Thursdays. It leads into Seth MacFarlane's new sci-fi parody The Orville. While The Orville had a very strong debut after the first NFL Sunday at a 2.8 demo, I think it will drop like a rock once it hits Thursdays.

8:00 Supernatural (13th season)
9:00 Arrow (6th season)
Another year, another timeslot change for Supernatural. Entering its 13th season, the CW's longest running drama of all time has aired all over the schedule and will now move up an hour to lead off Thursday nights. It will lead into Arrow, which aired Wednesdays at 8pm for its first five seasons but really struggled last year and is no longer seen as a show that should be used to launch other shows. Once the CW's highest rated show, it has definitely fallen back to the pack and dropped on the CW priority list.

New Thursday Show Survival Chances
Young Sheldon (CBS) - Good. The Great Indoors was one of those few shows that couldn't get renewed despite the Big Bang Theory lead-in, but I can't imagine Young Sheldon will do worse than that and it's a high priority for CBS so I think it gets renewed.

S.W.A.T. (CBS) - Poor. Until a show can break the Thursday 10pm curse for CBS, I'm not going to feel good about any new show's chances there. And with the November start, I just don't see this being the show to break the curse.

Will & Grace (NBC) - Excellent. Considering it already has been renewed for 2017-18, I would certainly like this show's chances to return.

The Orville (FOX) - Poor. I know it had a good start, but I just don't see it being able to sustain it once the Thursday move happens.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Wednesday

Here is my Fall Preview for Wednesday, a night with just two new shows but still a decent number of storylines across the networks.

8:00 The Goldbergs (5th season)
8:30 Speechless (2nd season)
9:00 Modern Family (9th season)
9:30 American Housewife (2nd season)
10:00 Designated Survivor (2nd season)
Wednesday night for ABC has just one change but it is not an insignificant change. While The Goldbergs, Speechless, Modern Family, and Designated Survivor all stay in the same spots, the 9:30pm slot will now be American Housewife, which is moving on up from the Tuesday night lineup. It seems as though ABC is trying to groom new shows to become anchors the way they did with Black-ish for three years before sending it to Tuesdays. I'm not convinced Speechless is strong enough to become an anchor and while American Housewife could be, I already talked about the potential perils of this new slot in my returning sophomores post on Sunday. This will be a very interesting show to watch ratings for this fall.

8:00 Survivor (35th edition)
10:00 Criminal Minds (13th season)
After 12 years airing on Wednesdays at 9pm, CBS is finally moving Criminal Minds, but just back an hour to 10pm. First on CBS though is Survivor, which is now a Wednesday night staple. At 9pm is the new military drama SEAL Team starring David Boreanez. This is a decent slot especially with Empire gone from the hour and this show seems to fit right in the CBS wheelhouse so I'm more optimistic about this military drama than the ones on NBC and the CW. Then Criminal Minds takes over 10pm. Once one of the top rated dramas, it can still pop from time to time but it wasn't all that impressive at 9pm anymore. If it doesn't drop much in its move to 10pm, it has the potential to be one of TV's top 10pm dramas.

8:00 The Blacklist (5th season)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (19th season)
10:00 Chicago PD (5th season)
NBC is keeping the status quo from 9-11pm but the new 8pm show is The Blacklist, coming off of three years on Thursdays. This is no longer a high priority show for NBC but they didn't bench it to Fridays or midseason so they still must value it some. It is followed by Law & Order: SVU entering its incredible 19th season. With Empire out of the hour and the similar Criminal Minds also gone, there might be a chance for this show to be the go-to drama in the hour. At 10pm is Chicago PD, which lost series regular Sophia Bush but is one of TV's most consistent dramas.

8:00 Empire (4th season)
9:00 Star (2nd season)
FOX has the lineup on Wednesdays this season that everyone thought they would last year: Empire leading into Star. Now in season four, Empire will move to 8pm and it will be interesting to see what happens with the ratings since this was a show that was already showing steep declines from its incredible numbers at the end of season one and beginning of season two. It will lead into Star, which had an OK run as the Empire fill-in last winter. These shows are certainly compatible so they have that going for them but I just don't understand why FOX didn't make this move last fall.

8:00 Riverdale (2nd season)

The CW is revamping their Wednesday night and banishing superheroes to other nights of the week. Instead, they will go with a soapy feel in a night that feels like it belongs on the CW in 2009 or 2010. At 8pm is the second season of Riverdale, which hasn't done well but has a small cult following. It leads into the glitzy reboot of hit 1980s primetime soap opera Dynasty. This show seems to have a mixed reception so far but I just don't see it breaking through on the CW. It's still their highest profile newbie so they will do everything they can to help it succeed.

New Wednesday Show Chances
SEAL Team (CBS) - Good. I'm feeling pretty good about this being the military drama that works. Partly because it's on the network where a military drama should work, CBS, and partly because it has the best timeslot of any new CBS drama.

Dynasty (CW) - Fair. I'm mixed on this one. I think with it being a high priority, it could get a pity renewal especially because I think Valor will bomb. But I'm not optimistic on this show actually doing well for the CW.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Tuesday

Here is my Fall Preview for Tuesday, a night with the buzziest show on broadcast, several re-locations from Wednesdays and Thursdays, and three new series.

8:00 The Middle (9th season)
8:30 Fresh Off the Boat (4th season)
9:00 Black-ish (4th season)
ABC is revamping its Tuesday comedy block but The Middle will start it off again for what has been announced as the final season for the long running family sitcom. This has had a loyal audience that will see it through but I don't think it will see a pop in the ratings for its farewell tour. It is followed by Fresh Off the Boat, sliding up half an hour after and up and down run at 9pm last season. At 9pm, ABC is moving Black-ish over from Wednesdays after it aired following Modern Family for the past three seasons. The Emmy nominated comedy will no longer have to air against Empire but now it has to air against This is Us and anchor an hour. At 9:30pm is The Mayor, which has gotten a lot of buzz as being the best new comedy of the fall. But again, it has This is Us against it so that doesn't help matters. At 10pm is new dramedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. This quirky newbie seems to have instant flop written all over it airing in a slot that has not been kind to ABC since NYPD Blue.

8:00 NCIS (15th season)
9:00 Bull (2nd season)
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans (4th season)
CBS is keeping the status quo on Tuesday nights with a solid and dependable lineup on a competitive night. At 8pm, NCIS enters its 15th season and is still one of TV's top shows in total viewers. Last year, it was paired with Bull and the two dramas fit together very well with Bull also being a top draw among total viewers. NCIS: New Orleans is quieter at 10pm but it is one of the better 10pm dramas on TV and can occasionally spike when the competition is light or it has an event like a crossover.

8:00 The Voice (13th edition)
9:00 This is Us (2nd season)
NBC originally had plans to send its megahit This is Us to Thursdays, but they reversed course in the summer and will keep it right where it is. I definitely agree with that decision but the problem is what's before and after it. I don't know what else they could have done with The Voice but it's too bad that two solid standalone veteran shows are airing back to back so the one hour edition of The Voice will continue to lead off Tuesdays. Then This is Us airs at 9pm and will try to keep the magic going from its huge season one. The oddest entry is the 10pm drama though. While Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders will probably do decently and is capitalizing on the real crime trend in recent years, it seems odd that NBC is using its biggest hit to launch a limited run show with a built-in name brand. Especially when they had a show like Rise on the bench, which seems like a perfect fit with This is Us. But even when True Crime ends, it sounds like the plan for now is to go with season three of Chicago Med.

8:00 Lethal Weapon (2nd season)
9:00 The Mick (2nd season)
9:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (5th season)
FOX is bringing over its Wednesday lead-off to Tuesday nights as Lethal Weapon will relocate and join FOX's comedy night. This seems fitting because it was an OK self starter and also seems compatible with comedies. I think this is a good place for this show. FOX is giving The Mick a chance to be the comedy it wants it to be by giving it the anchor slot in the 9pm hour. It didn't seem to warrant that kind of faith in the spring but we'll see. It's paired with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which has gone from being a darling of the FOX lineup to an after thought over the last year and a half.

8:00 The Flash (4th season)
9:00 DC's Legends of Tomorrow (3rd season)
The CW does not have major changes to the night and it is not using its top drama as a lead-in to something new but rather to something it has proven to be compatible with. The Flash remains the top show on the CW and will continue to lead off the night. It is followed by DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which aired in this same slot last winter and proved to be an OK companion. Since Legends produces only 16 episodes a season, it seems like this is a very possible landing spot for midseason superhero drama Black Lightning.

New Tuesday Show Survival Chances
The Mayor (ABC) - Good. Even in a tough timeslot, I tend to be high on shows that get a lot of critical buzz these days because they seem to find an audience and I think The Mayor, with many glowing reviews so far, is no exception.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (ABC) - Very Poor. I don't see any scenario where this show works. It doesn't sound like it will be able to have mass appeal and the track record for newbies in this slot for ABC is just horrendous. I don't know why they keep putting shows like this in this slot.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (NBC) - Good. I don't think this is going to be a buzzy show like the show its obviously trying to be (The People v. OJ Simpson). But it's a Dick Wolf show about true crime and following This is Us. There will surely be further editions.

Monday, September 18, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: Monday

Here is my Fall Preview for Monday, a night with the most new shows of any night of the week!

8:00 Dancing with the Stars (25th edition)
ABC finally broke up its Dancing with the Stars/Castle pairing last season by cancelling Castle, but they didn't find the right replacement as Conviction was an instant bomb and Quantico was past the point of no return in its second season. They will try again with The Good Doctor, starring Freddie Highmore fresh off of his run on Bates Motel. The show has gotten some decent buzz over the summer, which very few new shows this season can say. I have to think it will be an improvement on Conviction and Quantico. Earlier in the night, Dancing with the Stars begins its 25th edition with a solid cast. As usual, The Bachelor will take over in the winter.

8:00 (Sep) The Big Bang Theory (11th season)/(late Oct) Kevin Can Wait (2nd season)
8:30 9JKL
9:00 (Sep) Kevin Can Wait (2nd season)/(late Oct) ME, MYSELF, AND I
9:30 (Sep) ME, MYSELF, AND I/(late Oct) Superior Donuts (2nd season)
10:00 Scorpion (4th season)
As usual, CBS is somewhat of a mess due to The Big Bang Theory starting off here before heading back to Thursdays. In fact, its Thursday companion and spinoff, Young Sheldon, will even get a preview here on opening night before 9JKL premieres a week later. At 9pm, Kevin Can Wait will air for two months before heading to 8pm as the lead-off into 9JKL while newbie Me, Myself, and I will start at 9:30pm before sliding up to 9pm. At 9:30pm in late October is Superior Donuts while the only slot not impacted by all the craziness is Scorpion, which will start from the beginning at 10pm. It's crazy that the entire 8-10pm lineup on the first Monday is different shows and/or different slots than what's planned for just over a month later, on October 30. I get trying to use Big Bang as a lead-in as much as possible, but this is getting a little ridiculous. I know timeslots matter less, but this is still pretty confusing.

8:00 The Voice (13th edition)
Once again, NBC will pair up a high profile newbie with The Voice, now entering its 13th season and featuring returning coach Miley Cyrus and new coach Jennifer Hudson. Last year, the new drama was Timeless, one of many new time travel shows in Fall 2016. This year, the new drama is The Brave, one of many new military shows in Fall 2017. This could be a more accessible show for the Voice audience than Timeless was and the slot is there for the taking with a fellow newbie on ABC and a drama that has probably maxed out its potential audience on CBS. Still, these post-Voice shows haven't seen a true breakout since The Blacklist in Fall 2013 and this one doesn't seem to be next breakout in my opinion. It might do enough to get renewed, they usually do, but I don't see it being a huge hit.

8:00 Lucifer (3rd season)

FOX is changing things up a bit on Mondays by moving Lucifer to 8pm. This has consistently been a solid performer for FOX, but it hasn't been asked to lead off a night until now. We'll see if it can hold its own in a difficult slot. It is followed by The Gifted, one of two new Marvel shows airing this fall on the broadcast networks. By all accounts, this is the stronger creatively of the two (the other being ABC's The Inhumans). FOX has not aired a Marvel show but they are no stranger to superhero and/or genre shows. It will get a ton of promotion from the NFL so it has a chance.

8:00 Supergirl (3rd season)
9:00 VALOR
Even the CW is getting in on the trend of military shows this fall. It will air the drama Valor, which is a military show but also with a CW-style soapy element to it. Despite the fact that it seems somewhat aimed towards the CW audience, this is not their typical type of show and it could be a tough sell as military dramas tend to skew older and that is not something the CW does well. It's also a weird match with its lead-in, Supergirl, which in its first season on the CW last year, became the second highest rated CW show after The Flash.

New Monday Show Survival Chances
The Good Doctor (ABC) - Good. I was high on Conviction last year and that backfired on me, but I'm gonna put faith in ABC again here. This seems to have the buzz to be a nice improvement.

9JKL (CBS) - Poor. Yes it has a great slot for awhile (after The Big Bang Theory for a month) but with its terrible reviews, I think it will fade quickly once Big Bang leaves the night.

Me, Myself, and I (CBS) - Fair. I could see this being an instant bomb too, but for some reason I'm a little more optimistic. I think relative to expectations, it will be stronger than 9JKL.

The Brave (NBC) - Fair. As far as post-Voice shows go, I'm pretty down on this. I guess it could still get a second season, even Timeless did, but I'm skeptical. I liked its previous title, For God and Country, much better.

The Gifted (FOX) - Good. I think this will have enough football promotion and Marvel luster to do enough on Monday nights and get a renewal.

Valor (CW) - Poor. CW and military dramas just don't mix and I don't think Valor will be able to find an audience.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

FALL PREVIEW 2017: The Sophomore Class

The 2017-18 season is very close but before doing a night-by-night preview this week, I will take a look at the sophomore shows coming back for a second season. As I have done every year, here are stats on the returning shows for the big four networks (I didn't include CW until last year so their stats are not included).

40 new shows, 10 returned for Season 2 (25%)
4 still on the air entering Season 8: Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-0, The Voice, Bob's Burgers

47 new shows, 20 returned for Season 2 (43%)
3 still on the air entering Season 7: Once Upon a Time, Scandal, New Girl

33 new shows, 9 returned for Season 2 (27%)
2 still on the air entering Season 6: Chicago Fire, Elementary
** also Nashville on CMT and The Mindy Project on Hulu

43 new shows, 12 returned for Season 2 (28%)
7 still on the air entering Season 5: The Blacklist, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Chicago PD, Mom, The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Masterchef Junior

40 new shows, 16 returned for Season 2 (40%)
8 still on the air entering Season 4: Empire, Gotham, How to Get Away with Murder, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat

45 new shows, 17 returned for Season 2 (43%)
10 still on the air entering Season 3: Chicago Med, Blindspot, Lucifer, Quantico, Code Black, Superstore, Life in Pieces, Little Big Shots, Shades of Blue, The X-Files (season 2)
** also Supergirl on the CW

48 new shows
20 returning for Season 2 (42%)
And here they are!

THIS IS US (NBC) - The buzziest sophomore show (and it's not even close) is NBC's breakout hit This is Us. Originally slated for a move to Thursday nights, NBC reversed its decision in the summer and will leave the family drama in its Tuesday 9pm slot it had last year. There is already a ton of buzz about its return and I wouldn't be surprised to see it return to a series high. The question is if it will sustain the ratings or pull an Empire and still be a top show but have a consistent decline during the season. I think it will hold up better than Empire has because it seems less of a flash in the pan. It is already renewed for 2018-19.

GREAT NEWS (NBC) - The sophomore getting the biggest vote of confidence is NBC's Great News. After a very low rated 10 episode run late in the season, NBC is giving the Tina Fey produced sitcom a great chance by airing it after the heavily hyped return of Will & Grace. This season will feature appearances by Fey herself and it seems to be a show that NBC really wants to make work. However, I'm a little skeptical because NBC seems to be the only people into this show. It had such little interest from viewers in both live and delayed viewing and very little buzz online.

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE (ABC) - Another sophomore getting a show of faith from its network is ABC's American Housewife. After airing on Tuesdays at 8:30pm this past season, the show moves to ABC's premier night of comedy, Wednesdays, and will air after their top comedy, Modern Family. But this show needs to be careful what it wishes for. In 2013, Suburgatory seemingly got an upgrade by moving to the same slot but it lost all its mojo there. I'm a little surprised that ABC is moving this show here especially with The Middle ending because it could have been groomed as a Tuesday anchor. But I still view it as a sign that the network is definitely behind this show.

KEVIN CAN WAIT (CBS) - A show that was in the news quite a bit this summer was Kevin Can Wait. After a guest appearance by James' former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini to end last season, it was announced that Remini would become a series regular. Then the real shocker happened when the show announced it was letting James' on-screen wife Erinn Hayes go. Then we found out the show planned to kill off the character. That's a lot of drama for a mundane CBS sitcom. The show clearly wants to capitalize on the chemistry between James and Remini and it will probably be the most different show in season 2 compared to season 1 this year.

THE GOOD PLACE (NBC) - NBC's quirky sitcom starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson was a pleasant surprise last season but capped its run in January at 13 episodes. Now it will return almost nine months later after a big twist to end last season. The show will get some extra love from NBC by having its season premiere after the season finale of summer's top show America's Got Talent. But then it settles back into its Thursday 8:30pm. It didn't set the world on fire in the ratings but it constantly seemed to outperform expectations. We'll see if it can do it again.

SPEECHLESS (ABC) - ABC kept finding its family comedy mojo last season with both American Housewife and Speechless. Speechless will return in its same Wednesday 8:30pm slot. It was a show that consistently did just a bit worse than its lead-in, The Goldbergs, throughout the season. It seemed to lose a little of its critical luster as the season wore on and there's a little bit of me that thinks it might be a disappointment this year even though the circumstances are the same.

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR (ABC) - Designated Survivor was one of the most anticipated freshman shows last year, but it went through some growing pains during its first season. It's now on its fourth showrunner already and there is a plan to transition it more to a West Wing-style show. If it's done well, that might be a great thing. However, this show has suffered a lot from tonal whiplash so I hope if they go in this direction, they choose to keep going that way. It returns to the same Wednesday 10pm timeslot.

THE MICK (FOX) - The Mick was a midseason entry for FOX that didn't do all that well but was no worse than any of FOX's other live action sitcoms and stronger than a few of them. It will get another chance anchoring the 9pm hour on Tuesdays nights. FOX really wants this show to work as evident by how they treated it during its first year. FOX comedies have a pretty low bar, it seems like The Mick has a decent chance to clear it.

STAR (FOX) - FOX is giving Star the treatment everyone thought it would get last year, airing after Empire. Last year, Star served as the winter replacement for Empire and while it kept the lights on, it was nothing compared to a show that is still one of TV's top draws even though it is far past its hot start. I think this might be too little, too late for FOX, which should have paired Star with Empire at some point last year. At this point, Star can probably only hope for similar ratings to last year, even with the lead-in. Still, that's more than most sophomore shows can aspire to.

BULL (CBS) - It's hard to believe but around this time last year, there were questions of whether Bull or This is Us would prevail in the Tuesday 9pm slot as Bull seemed like the more sure thing. Well of course This is Us exploded, but Bull did not do terribly. It fit with its NCIS lead-in by being strong in total viewers but skewing old. It seemed like it had a chance when This is Us was going to be sent to Thursdays, but now it has to face it again. I'd expect similar results where Bull can eke out total viewer wins but gets trounced in the demo.

MACGYVER (CBS) - Probably the most improbable show on this list in terms of expectations going into last season, MacGyver defied the odds by debuting surprisingly well and proving to be a good fit with the CBS Friday lineup. It will return to the same slot with its Friday night buddies, Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods. This show showed a little less spunk late in the season before ending its season early to make room for The Amazing Race. It will be interesting to see how it comes back. It might have less timeslot competition with ABC's Once Upon a Time likely being less of a crossover audience than their now cancelled comedies.

SUPERIOR DONUTS (CBS) - CBS's midseason comedy entry was one of many CBS sitcoms picked up for a second season. It is a little bit of an odd show out in the CBS lineup as it doesn't have a natural pairing in the lineup and it will air on Mondays at 9:30pm but not until late October. This seems like the lowest priority comedy on the CBS lineup besides Man with a Plan, which is held for midseason. So the best bet for this show would be one of the three new CBS sitcoms tanking in the ratings.

LETHAL WEAPON (FOX) - FOX's high action reboot was a solid Wednesday player last year as a lead-in to Empire. When Rosewood moved away from Empire, it completely fell apart last year but there's reason to believe that won't happen for Lethal Weapon, which is moving to Tuesdays. It seemed to be more independent of a diminishing Empire so I think it can hold its own on Tuesdays. It won't be great, but it could be an improvement in the hour for FOX.

THE EXORCIST (FOX) - A big surprise renewal came from FOX and The Exorcist, which quietly aired just 10 episodes last fall on Friday nights. It didn't do well at all, but it wasn't expected to given its timeslot. FOX must have been happy with its creative direction because this can't be a ratings or syndication inspired move. It will return to the same Friday 9pm slot and expectations will be low again so perhaps it can defy the odds again.

THE TOY BOX (ABC) - Another surprise renewal (but you never know with these unscripted shows) is ABC's The Toy Box. The show bombed on Friday nights in the fall, even losing to another low priority reality show in the same slot, NBC's First Dates. But FOX is bringing it back and moving it to Sundays at 7pm, the slot that was home to America's Funniest Home Videos for many years. We'll see if this even more family friendly hour can help this show, but I doubt it. I don't really understand this renewal even if it's cheap to produce.

RIVERDALE (CW) - The only CW renewal for a freshman last year was given to Riverdale if only because it didn't bomb as hard or as quickly as other freshmen No Tomorrow and Frequency. Riverdale has posted a couple ghastly repeat numbers this summer, but the CW still seems to be behind the show. It will air on Wednesdays at 8pm as a lead-in to their heavily promoted reboot of Dynasty. This has a small cult following but it is small and I don't see it helping its night or its lead-in.


All these shows will air at some point during the season but are not on the fall schedule!

Check back tomorrow for my Monday preview!

Sunday, September 10, 2017



Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson

Created by Seth MacFarlane
Written by Seth MacFarlane, Directed by Jon Favreau

One reason I seriously considered ending this blog this summer was how uninterested I was in the new fall shows after seeing the trailers during Upfronts. One trailer that looked particularly bad was The Orville on FOX and I'm sorry to say after seeing the show, the full version of Seth MacFarlane's vanity project is not much better.

Set 400 years into the future, The Orville is clearly a send-up of sci-fi shows, most obviously Star Trek. But it weirdly straddles between being a spoof of one of those shows and actually being a legitimate sci-fi show. This weird hybrid gives the show a very odd tone. The show would bounce between a silly argument between two characters that used to be married and then the characters would find themselves in a life and death situation. The reason it didn't work is the funny parts weren't all that funny and the serious parts were hard to take seriously because it was a silly show half the time.

The funniest part of the entire episode was actually the opening when Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) walks in on his wife, Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) cheating on him with an alien. The exploding alien actually made me laugh and made me hope that maybe this show was going to be better than I thought it was. But the laughs ended there. Introductions of the Orville crew was clearly meant to be funny but fell quite flat. And the ongoing battle between MacFarlane and Palicki in the midst of a crisis got really old really fast.

From a sci-fi perspective, I really can't comment since I watch so little of that genre, but I have the feeling that sci-fi nerds will not find this enjoyable or creative. The decent cast doesn't rise above the material. As I said, this seems like a vanity project for MacFarlane and I don't find him all that funny in general. The strongest performance came from Adrianne Palicki, who was poised and charming. Scott Grimes was pretty annoying in the best friend role while Penny Johnson Jerald wasn't given enough to do. I didn't expect to like this show but I always try to keep an open mind. This one met my expectations.

Even with no other new shows premiering for a couple weeks still... probably not.