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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

FALL PREVIEW 2016: Tuesday

Here is my Fall Preview for Tuesday, a night that finally brings a two hour comedy block to ABC, sees a familiar NCIS face take up the 9pm hour on CBS, has one of the most buzzed about new dramas on NBC, is mostly status quo for FOX, and has one of The CW's two new shows.

Past Tuesday Previews: 2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010

ABC
8:00 The Middle (8th season)
8:30 AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE
9:00 Fresh Off the Boat (3rd season)
9:30 The Real O'Neals (2nd season)
10:00 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4th season)
After years of fits and starts with Tuesday lineups, ABC is finally going to four comedies on the night. Comedies is ABC's strongest area right now so this is a good move for them. Perhaps the biggest schedule move on any network was The Middle leaving its longtime Weds 8pm home to lead off this new block. This show has loyal fans but the competition is tougher on every network except FOX compared to Wednesday. It leads into the new American Housewife starring Katy Mixon. On paper, this seems to be right in the ABC wheelhouse but the big question is how will The Middle do on Tuesdays? It was a good lead-in on Wednesdays, we'll see if that carries over. The 9pm hour is the spring 8pm hour - Fresh Off the Boat and The Real O'Neals. ABC is very committed to Boat, less so to O'Neals. In fact, with two comedies on the bench, I wouldn't be surprised if The Real O'Neals is the first comedy pulled of the 10 airing on ABC this fall. Boat will have an easier timeslot than before and if the 8pm hour works, it could benefit. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. moves another hour later to 10pm. At this point, its upside is pretty limited. It will probably be down year to year but could be an improvement on the very troubled Tuesday 10pm slot.

CBS
8:00 NCIS (14th season)
9:00 BULL
10:00 NCIS: New Orleans (3rd season)
CBS is bringing a non-NCIS show to the 9pm slot for the first time since 2008-09. But it's about as close as it can get without being an NCIS show. The 14th season of NCIS will air at 8pm but it will be without longtime co-star Michael Weatherly. That's because he is the new star of Bull at 9pm. CBS is already playing this up to NCIS fans in hopes that they will follow him over to his new show. On paper, it seems like a very fitting CBS procedural. Since this is one of the big CBS priorities this fall, NCIS: New Orleans slides back to 10pm after just two seasons following the mothership. This show had a rough fall last year but improved in the winter and spring. It will surely be down at 10pm but like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, it could improve the 10pm slot for CBS.

NBC
8:00 The Voice (11th edition)
9:00 THIS IS US
10:00 Chicago Fire (5th season)
NBC will once again lead Tuesdays off with The Voice and end the night with a show that has quietly become TV's top 10pm show, Chicago Fire. In the middle is a new drama that at first glance seems like a tough sell. This is Us is a warm relationship drama intended to fill the Parenthood void. That may seem a bit outside of recent NBC dramas but its trailer has been a huge hit since it was released in May with record views on social media. It will be an interesting test to see if this online buzz can translate to ratings. NBC has certainly heard the buzz and amped up their marketing for this show. The 9pm hour is there for the taking for either Bull or This is Us so it'll be interesting to see how things work out.

FOX
8:00 Brooklyn Nine-Nine (4th season)

8:30 New Girl (6th season)
9:00 Scream Queens (2nd season)
With presidential debates, the election, and baseball screwing up Tuesday nights in the fall, FOX is making it a pretty low priority with three returning shows with low ratings. Brooklyn Nine-Nine did alright on Sundays the past couple years but struggled when it moved to Tuesdays. It seems to have dropped on the FOX priority level as the critical luster has subsided some. New Girl had a renaissance season creatively last year but still remains pretty low-rated though it doesn't look as dire as it did a year ago. Scream Queens was a surprise renewal and is a pretty weak player when it comes to same day ratings. FOX could easily fall behind The CW at times on Tuesdays.

CW
8:00 The Flash (3rd season)
9:00 NO TOMORROW
The CW is keeping its top rated show, The Flash, at 8pm. It will no doubt continue to hold that title unless Supergirl really surprises. It also may benefit from crossovers galore. It has an interesting lead-out with the new sci-fi/rom com No Tomorrow. This is an attempt to appeal to young viewers but it also doesn't seem like the most natural fit out of The Flash. CW has four returning dramas on the bench in case something doesn't work so we'll see.

New Tuesday Show Survival Chances
American Housewife (ABC) - Fair. I'm pretty optimistic on this new Tuesday comedy block and The Middle still being able to be a decent lead-in. I think The Real O'Neals is in far more trouble than American Housewife. Still, ABC has so many comedies so not everything is going to survive.

Bull (CBS) - Good. I think this fits the CBS Tuesday lineup quite well and Bull will get its fair share of NCIS fans. It's in a slot that has had successful shows for nearly a decade. I don't see that being any different here. It's a safe but good pick for CBS.

This is Us (NBC) - Good. I wasn't as high on this show until I saw the massive social media reaction. I may be over-analyzing it and the social media success may not translate to viewers but I think it will have a big enough start to build up some goodwill for this show. If the quality is there, it could become a critical darling.

No Tomorrow (CW) - Fair. This seems like an odd fit on the night and I don't see anything instantly appealing about it for CW fans. I think we may see one of their returning dramas in this slot by midseason.

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