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Sunday, September 21, 2014

FALL PREVIEW 2014: Sunday

Sunday night has big changes for FOX as they break up their animated lineup with live action sitcoms for the first time in years. CBS is also making changes, bringing a new high profile drama and a transplanted veteran to the night. ABC and NBC have more of the same.

Past Sunday Previews: 2013    2012    2011    2010

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (25th season)
8:00 Once Upon a Time (4th season)
9:00 Resurrection (2nd season)
10:00 Revenge (4th season)
ABC is keeping its spring lineup in tact for the fall. After mainstay America's Funniest Home Videos, ABC is giving a lot of promotional muscle to Once Upon a Time thanks to its fall Frozen story arc. This show stopped the bleeding in the spring and it's possible the Frozen idea will inject some more life into the show. If that happens, the rest of the lineup could benefit. Resurrection had a huge debut in March but lost viewers nearly every week. That's a horrible trajectory and I don't think there's a lot of interest in this show's second season so I think it'll be done this year. Revenge follows at 10pm. It stabilized a bit at 10pm last year but the buzz is so far gone from this show. This could also be its last season.

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes (47th season)
8:00 MADAM SECRETARY
9:00 The Good Wife (6th season)
10:00 CSI (15th season)
CBS is making major changes to a lineup that was getting very stale and old skewing on Sunday night. However, the new lineup may not be any younger skewing. Primetime TV's longest running show 60 Minutes continues at 7pm and will do well when it has an NFL lead-in. At 8pm is the new Madam Secretary starring Tea Leoni. CBS is hoping this will draw the same type of critical acclaim and upscale audience that has kept The Good Wife afloat for five years despite lower ratings. CBS opted to get it closer to NFL overruns in the fall than airing it at 9pm or 10pm, but it doesn't seem like it will be that appealing to NFL fans. The Good Wife, fresh off its most acclaimed season yet, continues at 9pm. At 10pm is CSI, moving over after three years on Wednesdays. This show is clearly nearing the end of its long-run but CBS hopes it can top what The Mentalist was doing recently. There are tentative plans to bring the new spinoff CSI: Cyber to this slot at some point during the season. As they did last season, all the CBS shows will start at 7:30pm on days when CBS has an NFL doubleheader.

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America (9th season)
8:30 Sunday Night Football
As usual, NBC has football on Sundays and early returns are good even with the NFL mired in scandal. For once, NBC does not have definitive plans for this night at midseason. With a lot on the bench though, there are a lot of options for them.

FOX
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT/Animated Encores

7:30 Bob's Burgers (5th season)
8:00 The Simpsons (26th season)
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2nd season)
9:00 Family Guy (13th season)
9:30 MULANEY
FOX has had some type of animated lineup for several years, but they will now bring live action sitcoms to the night for the first time since 2009-10. Bob's Burgers will sometimes air in the 7pm hour, but not when there's a late NFL game. It basically seems like FOX has stopped caring about this show. The Simpsons and Family Guy continue to be the 8pm and 9pm anchors, but the :30 slots are now new sitcoms. FOX is betting big that critical darling Brooklyn Nine-Nine can become a big player as they are sandwiching it between their two animated hits that do well during football season. Either it's going to grow or it's not going to have the same audience and be a glaring weakness like Arrested Development was. I think the nature of the show gives it a better chance to appeal to the Simpsons crowd. At 9:30pm is the new sitcom Mulaney. Branded as a modern day Seinfeld, the multi-camera sitcom hasn't gotten great reviews but has a chance to appeal to the male-skewing Family Guy. However, it also seems like it may just be too bland and Family Guy fans will switch over to football at 9:30pm.

New Friday Show Survival Chances
Madam Secretary (CBS) - Fair. If it can have the acclaim of The Good Wife, it stands a chance even if its old-skewing (which it most certainly will be). But early reviews are not as strong and if the quality isn't there, this show doesn't stand a chance.

Mulaney (FOX) - Poor. I just don't see a bland sitcom being able to hold enough of the Family Guy audience. If FOX really wanted this one to have a chance, they would have put it on at the 8:30pm slot instead.

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