A handful of midseason placeholders are rolling in on the heels of what may be the weakest development period in recent memory. In a year dominated by sophomore comedies like Modern Family and a reprised Hawaii Five-0, the lone new show that generated any life force was, ironically, AMC’s zombie thriller, The Walking Dead.
Except for No. 1 CBS and its CW cousin, there hasn’t been much to crow about. They’ll be talking about new shows at the Television Critics Assn. tour.
The midseason brings two major changes to the schedule that will mix up the broadcast networks rankings over the next few months. The first, of course, is the premiere of Fox’s American Idol, the No. 1 show on television, which has boosted Fox to six straight season wins among adults 18-49. But the other change, equally significant, is what will be missing, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the show that boosted the network to a surprising second-place finish during the fall.
It shifts Blue Bloods to Wednesday. New comedy Mad Love, dramas Chaos and a Criminal Minds spinoff round out network’s midseason moves.
All-new episodes return the week of Jan. 24. Hellcats replaces Life Unexpected on Tuesday at 9 p.m. beginning Jan. 25.
ABC is firming up its midseason plans, scheduling Matthew Perry’s new comedy Mr. Sunshine and Elisha Cuthbert’s sitcom Happy Endings.
After mulling such a move for several years, Fox is finally doing it this season: reality juggernaut American Idol will change its pattern to Wednesday and Thursday night in what is clearly Fox’s most serious attempt to date to become a force on Thursday night.