Fall TV Schedule Moves in Review: The Savvy, the Shocking and the Sorta Snoozeworthy
BONES IN FRIDAY ‘GRAVEYARD’?
Year-in, year-out we grumble about how the MLB postseason disrupts Fox’s fall launches. Well, file that under “Be careful what you wish for….” This year’s seeming solution is to premiere Bones in its most recent Monday time slot… and then, after the boys of summer have hit the showers, relegate it to Fridays. Will this be the first time Fox follows through on the “Friday Bones” threat?
MIKE & MOLLY MIA
Though Mike & Molly won’t return until midseason, CBS boss Nina Tassler assured the press that it will be back with a full 22-episode order, explaining that star Melissa McCarthy has a big movie coming out… this summer. (The logic was a disconnect for us, too.) Maybe the FCC has capped the number of Chuck Lorre sitcoms on one network at a given time at three…? If not, it seems odd to bench a buzzy star.
ABC is dropping the Dancing With the Stars results show — just as Fox did with So You Think You Can Dance — and Fox is (yet again) promising less bloat during the next cycles of X Factor and American Idol. Could it be that reality-TV is officially on the other side of the crest?
ABC THROWS ITS MIGHTY S.H.I.E.L.D. AT NCIS
ABC has a big, noisy, fanboy-magnet ace up its sleeve in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so it’s pitting TV’s buzziest new pilot against no less than TV’s most watched series, NCIS. While we’re confident that S.H.I.E.L.D. will hold up fine, the rest of ABC’s all-new Tuesday line-up — a pair of new comedies and a “lottery winners” drama (Lucky 7) that, history has shown us, will be a tough sell — seems ripe for a bloodbath opposite NCIS: LA and a relocated Person of Interest. Speaking of which….
CBS STACKS THE TUESDAY DECK
Since Golden Boy failed to shine — and with CBS needing to move one of its Thursday dramas to make room for a second comedy block — TV’s No. 3 most watched drama, Person of Interest, landed in the Tuesdays-at-10 spot, right behind Nos. 1 and 2. POI fans seem to be thrilled (which on the Internet means “not furious”) with the move, while NBC’s Chicago Fire, even after moving, again finds it facing off with a venerable CBS procedural.
A SPIN-OFF STAKES ITS CLAIM
Though at first blush it seemed logical that a Vampire Diaries spin-off would simply air Thursdays at 9, The CW decided that The Originals and its “fan favorite characters” is worthy of sinking its teeth into Tuesday’s lead-off spot — opposite NCIS and fellow genre-TV newbie S.H.I.E.L.D. At the very least, The CW scores points for not letting Thursday OD on bloodsuckers.
ABC WEDNESDAY’S REBEL YELL
As we forever wonder exactly what it is ABC expects from a Modern Family lead-out, this fall that burden falls on the Rebel Wilson-fronted Super Fun Night. Will the saucy Aussie be able to succeed where Jules, Grayson, the Beek, the b—-, Max, Penny, Dave and Sarah Chalke have failed?
ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
Originally envisioned as an American Horror Story-style limited series to air during Once Upon a Time‘s winter hiatus, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland instead conjured a fall berth, in ABC’s problem time slot of Thursdays at 8. (Explaining the change in plans, Disney-ABC prez Anne Sweeney told us, “We saw so much strength in the pilot … that we wanted to go with it, and we wanted to go early.”) Even so, and despite a very pretty trailer, we worry that Plan B won’t have a happy ending.
THURSDAY’S FOX HUNT
When NBC ordered a new Michael J. Fox-fronted comedy to series — and as current Peacock sitcoms continued to muster meager ratings — the smart money was on the beloved Family Ties alum rebooting “Must-See Thursday” in a super-accessible 8 o’clock launch pad. Instead, NBC is making you wait until 9:30 for The Michael J. Fox Show — maybe as a favor to/vote of confidence for its lead-out, Parenthood?
We don’t begrudge The CW its decision to greenlight one new drama that is neither futuristic, dystopian nor supernatural in theme. But while Reign, a free-wheeling history lesson about Mary, Queen of Scots, looks suitably ambitious and visually lush, its dearth of “name” actors (familiar to us Yankees, at least) and period setting may doom it to worse retention out of Vampire Diaries than Beauty and the Beast.
HOPE IS LOST
As part of Fox’s staggered 2013-14 launch plan, the dysfunctional and hysterical family comedy Raising Hope — when it ultimately does surface, in late fall — will undoubtedly languish in a new Fridays-at-9 time slot (albeit with a solid-enough lead-in in Bones).
Shawn Ryan’s small-screen follow-up to the Beverly Hills Cop film franchise failed to cop a home on CBS — surprising given the source material and Eddie Murphy’s on-camera involvement, and yet not surprising for a network that, mind you, renewed 20 shows and thus had “limited shelf space.” Hopefully, Axel and his son Aaron (played by Brandon T. Jackson) end up pulling duty on a flithy language-friendlier cable network.
We can’t put our finger on it, but the 24 revival news should have been… bigger, right? After all, the return of Jack Bauer came across as a de facto scenario the instant Touch‘s cancellation was announced. And yet Jack won’t be back until May? And the 12-episode event series barely merited mention during Fox’s Upfront presentation? All together now: Damn it, Chloe!