It’s already time to start looking at what’s hitting in fall, and as the network upfronts wrap up, we can try to figure out what to watch, what to DVR, and what to avoid.
New shows abound, but the schedule has some new efforts looking to grab attention as well.
First we’ll run through the schedule, and on following pages we’ll take a closer look at each network’s new show, with trailers for those that have them available.
[table id=1 /]
Monday kicks off with Dancing, The Voice, and Gotham. You pretty well know where you are there. We aren’t into new things, and you either want to watch “talent” or gritty comic action, and you aren’t really being pulled. CBS has the only new entry there, and if you’re watching The Big Bang Theory, you’ll probably be okay with Life in Pieces. It looks pretty good, and possibly just crazy enough to work, especially with the spot it has.
In November that spot switches to Supergirl, which means you have to pick between your comic efforts, which is a little nuts. Supergirl looks fun. The CBS page has trailers for both of those.
At 9 there’s some action, and hopefully Minority Report can kill off Scorpion. If you aren’t still watching “talent,” those are your options, and Scorpion is insufferably silly, whereas Minority Report looks to have a lot of potential. It could be huge, and is at least trying something serious.
At 10, Castle, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Blindspot all want your attention, which should mean that Blindspot has a good chance. Castle has been on too long, and if you’re on board with NCIS, very little else matters. That should open a door. Blindspot can capitalize on both fans of investigation shows in general, and the sub-genre of really crazy mysteries.
[table id=2 /]
Tuesday kicks off with a really fun mess that reminds of the way schedules used to look 30 years ago. The Muppets, NCIS, Grandfathered, and The Voice. It’s like no one is competing at all. I’m somewhat hopeful that the variety can do some damage to the NCIS double whammy.
The hour is a little tricky though with Fresh Off the Boat pairing with The Muppets, and The Grinder following Grandfathered. This makes it feel even more like we’re in a time machine, as all four of those shows are trying like hell to make me think about the ’80s. How that’s going to play out is a massive question mark. The Muppets is bound to be awesome, and might help Fresh Off the Boat get an extra nudge. The FOX shows don’t look like the kind of efforts that will shoot out of the gates, and if they don’t surprise, they could be in trouble.
At 9, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. squares off with more NCIS, and two new efforts – Scream Queens and Heartbreaker. Again, we’re kind of leaving everyone to their own genre. Heartbreaker looks like a certain sort of Grey’s Anatomy reboot, except we start with our heroine as the obnoxious know-it-all, instead of watching her grow into same. Scream Queens is either going to be a lot of fun, or depressingly stupid – so AHS season 1 vs. the last two ridiculous season. You probably have to give it a shot, but keep your expectations in check.
10 is oddly up for grabs with three new shows. Quantico, Limitless, and Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. The variety show is going to be a hit, at least for a while. That’s just guaranteed. Quantico is going to have a hard time. It doesn’t have a lot of big names, and it’s a somewhat screwy premise, with a main character that tries, at least if the trailer is any judge, to be unlikable. Meanwhile, Limitless at least has a certain familiarity, and a sci-fi hook, and Bradley Cooper in a recurring role.
[table id=3 /]
Rosewood is in a weird spot at the beginning of Wednesdays, and the only chance it has is by way of the competition. Survivor, The Mysteries of Laura, and The Middle and The Goldbergs leave open a space for people who are looking for a more serious investigation effort. Rosewood doesn’t look like something that has a lot of chance at a big launch, but it might win people over.
The Mysteries of Laura was a surprise renewal. It’s like live-action Scooby Doo, but if people are watching it, it’s in a decent spot for survival.
The best thing about 9 is that Modern Family and black-ish are about as safe as they could get. It’s comedy, or Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, and Empire. Nothing new, you know what you’re a fan of, and frankly, it’s sort of sad.
10 has Nashville hanging on to life against Chicago P.D. and newcomer Code Black. This is what’s known as “there’s something on cable.” Code Black is working on the theory that we want another hospital show, one that focuses on the ER… which sounds familiar, and Marcia Gay Harden can pull the thing off. Good luck.
[table id=4 /]
CBS kicks off with Football, and the shows begin in November. With that in mind, the night starts with Bones in a lot of trouble. The show obviously has a lot of fans, but it’s been on too long. Grey’s Anatomy fans, apparently, will never leave, but if Heroes Reborn is even moderately decent, Bones could really fall apart.
9 turns the night into the most bizarre shlock-fest you’ve ever seen. Sleepy Hollow is the sanest show at this point, which isn’t something I should have to say. Mom is going to do well wedged in here, and Jane Lynch and PSYCH‘s Maggie Lawson should rocket to serious ratings with Angel From Hell. The Blacklist has gone so goofy at this point that it is hard to distinguish from its competition, Scandal, which ought to be a slap in the face to the creators of the show’s pilot, but apparently isn’t.
The night closes with two good shows up against the second dumbest show in the last few years. Guess which one is going to have the best ratings. Actually, The Player is only potentially a good show. It looks fun, and might play out well, but it isn’t a sure thing. If it really runs with the potential, it should be one of the strong wins of the new season.
[table id=5 /]
Compared to a few years ago, Friday is turning into an interesting. Not at all long ago, the night was all but abandoned. Not only were there no battles, there was hardly anything on at all.
Suddenly, we’ve got a real fight to start things off, as comedy tries to find a home. Undateable has grown into one of my favorite shows, and after dropping the mic with a live episode, next season is going to be all live shows. That squares off against Last Man Standing, the fair-performing, and fun, ’80s throwback effort. The next half of the hour is a battle of new shows. People Are Talking and Dr. Ken. Here’s the really crazy part – these both look good. Not only because they look fairly funny, but because they are both inventive, and have tons of potential. It’s a tough choice there.
The rest of the night is the same old thing, and you know where you are.
[table id=6 /]
[table id=7 /]
Sunday keeps switching gears, and little seems to stick. You have to hand it to FOX for at least being willing to commit. What you’re watching at 8 is cable. I hope. Well, except for Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Things get interesting at 9. That is not to say that I want to watch any of the shows that are on, but things are interesting. It’s interesting because OIL is in such a great spot. It’s a very weird show, and one that reminds vaguely of much better shows that didn’t last, but against The Good Wife and Family Guy, it could hardly ask for a better chance. I don’t know if it can distance itself from syrupy nonsense enough to last, or can embrace syrupy nonsense enough to last, but it won’t lose out because of its spot. On the other hand, Don Johnson… so that’s cool.
At 10, ABC is making a fantastically weird bet, and my sense is that they are doing so because they have a lot of back-up shows ready to go.
That’s the once over of the schedule, and who fights who.
Dive into the network rundowns of new shows, complete with trailers, and mid-season shows not on the schedule here.