Last week, all five American networks held their respective "Upfronts" in New York City, where advertisers and the press are given a chance to take a look at the preliminary schedules for each network for the following year, and begin to decide where to spend their cash for the next television season. And for the 2010/2011 season, things are definitely moving and shaking at all five networks, with most of the potential changes being announced next week (remember, nothing in TV is ever set in stone).
First, there were some big cancellations across the board. Some, however sad they may have been, were completely expected, with factors such as struggling (or downright sad) ratings, rising expenses, and creative issues making these casualties almost certain weeks or even months ago: ABC's Scrubs, Better Off Ted, and FlashForward; NBC's Heroes, Mercy, and Trauma; CBS' Numb3rs, Cold Case, and Miami Medical; and the CW's Melrose Place). Others, meanwhile, took a lot of people by surprise: CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine and The Ghost Whisperer (though there's a chance ABC could grab it); FOX's 24; and the show that could've broken Gunsmoke's record for most TV seasons for a drama (instead, ending tied with the classic series), NBC's Law & Order.
There were also some somewhat shocking renewals announced last week, most notably FOX's pair of Lie to Me and Human Target (industry insiders were sure only one would survive) and, to a lesser extent, the CW's Life Unexpected and One Tree Hill (again a case where it seemed only one would be able to stick around). Seeing as how I'm personally a fan of both Human Target and Life Unexpected, I was very happy to see their respective networks take a chance on a second season for both these great but relatively low-rated shows.
As for what will be on the schedules this fall, with all the cancellations comes a bunch of new shows, particularly on the usually stable CBS (which is shaking up its line-up considerably in the fall) and the "needs to fill time that used to be Jay Leno 5 nights a week" disaster that is NBC prime time. There are also quite a few big-time moves around the schedule, especially on CBS, with Survivor moving to Wednesday's at 8pm, The Big Bang Theory moving from Mondays to Thursdays opposite NBC's Community, and 2 CSI spin-offs moving to Fridays (CSI: NY) and Sundays (CSI: Miami).
We'll tell you way more about the new shows coming up as the summer goes on -- which ones are likely to be instant classics, which ones to at least try out, and which ones are a waste of your time -- but for now, here is are the (tentative) fall schedules for your the five broadcast networks, in handy table form.
|Chuck||The Event [new]||Chase [new]|
|Dancing with the Stars||Castle|
|How I Met Your Mother||Rules of Engagement||Two and a Half Men||Mike & Molly [new]||Hawaii Five-O [new]|
|90210 [new day]||Gossip Girl|
|The Biggest Loser||Parenthood|
|No Ordinary Family [new]||Dancing with the Stars: Results Show||Detriot 1-8-7 [new]|
|NCIS||NCIS: Los Angeles||The Good Wife|
|Glee||Raising Hope [new]||Running Wilde [new]|
|One Tree Hill [new day]||Life Unexpected [new day]|
|Undercovers [new]||Law & Order: SVU [new time]||Law & Order: Los Angeles [new]|
|The Middle||Better Together [new]||Modern Family||Cougar Town||The Whole Truth [new]|
|Survivor [new day]||Criminal Minds||The Defenders [new]|
|Lie to Me [new day]||Hell's Kitchen [new]|
|America's Next Top Model||Hellcats [new]|
|Community||30 Rock [new time]||The Office||Outsourced [new]||Love Bites [new]|
|My Generation [new]||Grey's Anatomy||Private Practice|
|The Big Bang Theory [new day]||Sh*t My Dad Says [new]||CSI||The Mentalist|
|The Vampire Diaries||Nikita [new]|
Who Do You Think You Are?
School Pride [new]
|Dateline NBC||Outlaw [new]|
|Secret Millionaire [new]||Body of Proof [new]||20/20|
|Medium [new time]||CSI: NY [new day]||Blue Bloods [new]|
|Human Target [new day]||The Good Guys [new day]|
|Smallville||Supernatural [new day]|
|Football Night in America||Sunday Night Football|
|America's Funniest Home Videos||Extreme Makeover: Home Edition||Desperate Housewives||Brothers & Sisters|
|60 Minutes||The Amazing Race||Undercover Boss||CSI: Miami [new day]|
|The OT [new]||The Simpsons||The Cleveland Show||Family Guy||American Dad|
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)
Those are good-looking tables, Paul.
Cameron McLeod says...
Are these times correct? Most of the shows I watch are all 1 hour earlier than these show. Perhaps these should've been labeled in eastern time?
I heard TNT might pick up Law & Order, in case anyone cares
And Cam, I think the fact that the table starts off the primetime evening with an "8:00" instead of a 7 would be a big hint for you! :P
Big Bang Theory deserved a Thursday night slot a long time ago.
Cameron McLeod says...
Right. It should be labeled somewhere. :)
Paul Little says...
TV schedules are always Eastern and Pacific. Us in the central time zone are the minority and thus assumed to be able to do math. :)
If Big Bang Theory causes Community to be cancelled, we'll have a problem here. A "big" one. That show is pathetic, I'm ashamed to be a nerd or a geek when people talk about that show. But 95% of sitcoms suck anyways, so it's not THAT surprising that it does, too.
Then in that case, it's gonna be a good thursday night war.
The mindless masses will undoubtedly side with their nerd fix, unless Community star Joel McHale gets naked more often to secure all the lady fans... and if it's comedically humorous, I'm more than ok with that.
I thought Old Christene was being picked up by ABC?
I am highly upset that Flashforward is CANCELED!!!!
That was one of the best shows I had seen in a while and it kind of angers me that its gone. I mean it is sort of the same thing as Lost and that show last 6 seasons the least they can do is give Flashforward and second. :(
Paul Little says...
It was rumoured that Old Christine would be picked up by ABC, but unfortunately it wasn't, and it's now done.
I was also disappointed that FlashForward was cancelled, but its problem was it started really slow and the viewers just didn't come back. By the time it returned in the spring after its hiatus (which, by the way, I think is never a good idea if you want to keep momentum with a new show), its ratings were so bad it was being beat by shows on the CW.
So while I enjoyed the show, and wish it had continued (and hopefully improved), its ratings were so bad that it was a pretty easy decision for ABC, unfortunately.