Across the past five TV seasons, 61% of midseason launches wound up canceled after that freshman run. In that same span, 58% of fall launches were ill-fated — so, premiering earlier isn’t necessarily better.
The broadcasters have launched 17 new shows since Jan. 1 — with zero breakouts — as CBS signals an end to its wait-and-see strategy.
ABC and CBS must stabilize their declining veteran shows. Fox needs to revive its Tuesday and Thursday nights. The CW needs a new midseason hit. And NBC? It’s doing just fine.
The network announces premiere dates for several of its new midseason offerings, including 24: Legacy and cop drama APB. In addition, baseball drama Pitch will conclude its 10-episode run on Dec. 8, with the show’s future still to be determined.
OK, we know that you’ve barely digested the names of all the new fall series. But there are plenty more new shows — remakes, thrillers, comic book adaptations — eagerly waiting in line to premiere after this season’s shows … well, flop early. Here’s a list of tantalizing midseason shows that are slated for late fall and winter to replace the ones that don’t last.
There’s absolutely no doubt what the big winner is at midseason on broadcast: New Fox drama Empire. In fact, the show is the entire season’s MVP. If not for Empire, the network would be finishing fourth every week in the demo. But last week it tied with CBS for second behind ABC, which was boosted by the Oscars. Beyond Empire, here are this midseason’s other big winners, along with the biggest losers.
It’s not Christmas yet, but TV networks already are looking ahead to 2015 and the January start of midseason. Due to the overwhelming influx of new programming, the midseason preview will get spread over two weeks this year, beginning with broadcast network plans this week and concluding with cable network plans next Friday. To be sure, this is just what’s been announced so far. Some broadcasters have additional series waiting in their cupboard but have not yet announced plans to bring them out.
Midseason used to be the time when the networks rolled out a bunch of loser shows that were too weak for fall, hoping to toss them on the schedule without any major embarrassments. That’s changed over the past few years. Now, a slew of highly anticipated new shows are bowing, including Empire and American Crime, alongside returning shows such as ‘American Idol’ and ‘Voice’
November sweeps always brings lots of specials and stunt casting as the networks try to raise ratings during the four-week period used to set ad rates for stations. But the first sweeps of the season also brings something else: The first round of midseason shows.
The CW kept things simple on its midseason schedule, with new drama Cult filling the Tuesday, 9 p.m. slot, which will become vacant after freshman Emily Owens, MD ends its 13-episode run.
Last fall’s crop of new shows were a lot more promising than the previous year’s, and the same looks to be true of this year’s midseason offerings. Two new shows, Fox’s Napoleon Dynamite and Alcatraz, have already debuted to strong ratings, and the highly anticipated Feb. 5 debut of NBC’s Smash is expected to do the same.