Today I'm looking at Wednesday, check back tomorrow not just for the Thursday preview but also for a review of the new NBC series "Outlaw" which premieres at 10pm tonight!
The middle of the week brings many new shows including a 10pm face-off between three brand new dramas. CBS made the biggest waves by moving Thursday staple Survivor to this night while ABC tries to build on its bold Comedy Wednesday strategy started last year.
8:00 The Middle (2nd season)
8:30 BETTER WITH YOU
9:00 Modern Family (2nd season)
9:30 Cougar Town (2nd season)
10:00 THE WHOLE TRUTH
8:00 Survivor (21st edition)
9:00 Criminal Minds (6th season)
10:00 THE DEFENDERS
Survivor has been the Thursday night anchor of CBS since it was moved to compete with NBC's Friends in early 2001. But now it returns to its original slot from its debut season in the summer of 2000 to help shore up CBS Wednesdays. Survivor brings a new dynamic to Wednesdays and its loyal audience will follow it here. It should win total viewers easily and will probably win in the demo but not by as much of a landslide. Another long-running hit Criminal Minds follows at 9pm. Without American Idol to compete with and with a better lead-in, it should win in total viewers and compete with Modern Family for the demo win. CBS sent CSI: Miami to Sundays and replaces it with the dramedy The Defenders. Against two other new shows, this has a better lead-in and better buzz. Being on CBS, it should squeak out a viewers and demo win, but it remains to be seen if it can hold CSI: Miami's numbers.
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (12th season)
10:00 LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES
NBC made more aggressive moves on Wednesdays as they continue to overhaul their schedule. The new JJ Abrams spy drama Undercovers leads off at 8pm. This was one of the hottest titles during development but reviews have been underwhelming so far. Still, it will have viewer interest and if it can improve in quality, it could be a hit. Best case scenario though is probably second in viewers behind Survivor and a slim chance at first in the demo if it hits big. The long-running Law & Order: SVU follows at 9pm. Last fall, NBC also had SVU at 9pm and it did not fare well against Criminal Minds but perked up in the spring when it moved back to 10pm. Now returning to 9pm, it will probably be third in viewers and the demo but could move up to second in the 9:30 half hour. The new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles follows at 10pm. It has name recognition in an open competition but audiences could be burned out from the franchise. My guess is second in viewers and the demo with a chance for first if The Defenders flops on CBS.
8:00 Lie to Me (3rd season)
9:00 Hell's Kitchen (8th edition)
FOX has a fairly quiet Wednesday schedule for the first half of the season before Idol returns. Lie to Me returns in November for a half season at 8pm. The show was benched to summer this past year but performed fairly well. Still this is a tougher timeslot during the year and fourth place in viewers and the demo is likely with a slim chance for third. Hell's Kitchen is a stable reality performer but has very tough competition in the 9pm hour. Anything above fourth place in viewers and the demo would be a surprise.
New Wednesday Show Survival Chances
Better With You (ABC) - Fair, in between two successful comedies but ABC has other comedies waiting in the wings if this fails.
The Whole Truth (ABC) - Poor, the least intriguing option in an open timeslot
The Defenders (CBS) - Fair, doesn't seem to fit CBS brand but has a good timeslot for success
Undercovers (NBC) - Fair, if any show can overcome weak early buzz, this is it
Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC) - Fair, audiences may be done with the franchise or new blood may be what it needs, hard to tell.