ABC and Fox chiefs share fatigue with the early May crunch, while CBS and NBC execs seem more wed to the upfront schedule.
As cable and streaming options continue to win a greater share of advertiser budgets, the broadcast networks are far from done. They showed last week that they are still major players, still the favorite of the big mass advertisers, the people who throw around billions. It won’t always be that way.
The 2019-2020 broadcast season will be here before we know it, and the schedule for the season has several compelling match ups to offer. The final seasons of multiple shows will bow this fall, while several freshman shows will find themselves facing stiff competition in their timeslots. Likewise, some returning shows have been shuffled to slots that do not portend well for their futures. Check out the full schedule.
The CW is making a lot of changes for next season, with only four of the 12 time slots on the fall schedule featuring the same occupants they did last fall. The fall 2019 lineup includes two intriguing DC superhero team-ups: a suoerheroine Sunday with Supergirl and Batwoman and The Flash and Arrow together for the first time on Tuesday.
Just like its competition this year, ABC is using “stability” as its buzzword for next season, as well as leaning into its female-centric brand. The company announced on Tuesday that its fall 2019 schedule will feature just three new scripted series, touting that it makes for the network’s “most stable schedule in over a decade.”
Upfronts Week 2019 is underway, and Fox is the second broadcast-TV network (following NBC) to announce its schedule for the fall TV season.
Calling comedy the “heart” of its brand, the network announced it is adding four new sitcoms to its lineup for 2019-20, with stars including Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live and sitcom veterans Fran Drescher (The Nanny) and Steven Weber (Mom, ‘Wings). In addition, the return of network’s popular drama This is Us wasn’t in doubt, but NBC cemented its value to the network by renewing it for what it called an “unprecedented” three more years.
What does it take to get “canceled” these days, anyway?
This fall’s freshman slate from the Big Five resonates with a clear message: Creatively, the broadcast networks are fed up trying to compete for new-and-different with their cable and streaming rivals, and have thrown in the towel. Surprise is off the table for the broadcast nets, which have succumbed to formulas and spinoffs. Comfort TV is the rule.