As the Big Four networks prepare to unveil their fall schedules, itâs always fun to play armchair programmer. And when the same person schedules all four, you avoid silly things like we saw last year when three networks went head to head with comedies in the same hour. In fact, it makes you wonder how much stronger the broadcast biz might be if the networks did a better job of counter-programming each other.
None of the proposed spinoffs (of "Once Upon a Time," "NCIS: Los Angeles" or "Chicago Fire") made this final schedule â they don't interest me and there hardly seems to be a national clamoring for them â but they will probably surface at midseason.
(Keep in mind, that the suggestions of new shows are based on auspices, cast, buzz and personal taste; no pilots have been screened by the press.)
I would like to see ABC rest "Dancing With the Stars" in the fall for "The Bachelor," but I opted for the safe/more likely option that it will return in the same Monday and Tuesday slots.
There's an opportunity for the net to make a move early on Tuesday with "Marvel's SHIELD," a big-tent show that should play well at 8 and be easily promotable on sister cabler ESPN's "Monday Night Football." Following the "Dancing" results show, I'd stick with "Body of Proof" for the fall and then try something else later in the season.
ABC is still looking for hit shows for after "The Middle" and "Modern Family" on Wednesday, and will probably take several more swings this season. To start, though, decent recent addition "How to Live With Your Parents" gets a shot at 8:30. And just to try something different away from the family mold, how about Rebel Wilson's "Super Fun Night" at 9:30?
I was leaning toward a shift of the Thursday dramas, and this week's ratings results convinced me that now is the time to pull the trigger. While I believe "Grey's" still has several more years left in it, the net would be best served sliding it down to 8 (one of ABC's most bugaboo timeslots in recent years) and put the hot "Scandal" at 9, followed by a new drama. In the DVR era, when so many people watch on a delayed basis, having "Grey's" earlier in the night may actually work out quite well, giving viewers more time to watch it to count in the same-night ratings. (An added benefit for ABC is that an 8 o'clock start means the Shonda Rhimes dramas could each run 61 minutes, with the new show at 10:02).
After "Scandal," the lottery-winner drama "Lucky 7″ seems like a good, less frenetic drama choice to cap the night.
It's tempting to move "Shark Tank" off Friday, but it's doing so well (and providing a nice lead-in for the rejuvenated "20/20″), that it probably won't budge. "Last Man Standing" and something else will air in the hour before "Shark." The multi-cam "Divorce: A Love Story" (hopefully with a new title) might be a good choice. As for other comedies, "The Neighbors" and/or "Suburgatory" could probably return in some form.
On Sunday, "Forever" (formerly "The Returned") sounded good for 9 p.m., after "Once Upon a Time" and pushing "Revenge" back to 10. But it's probably not wise to put a show about the returning dead opposite "The Walking Dead." So "Revenge" stays put and the net simply tries to do better in the hour behind it this season.
8Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dancing With the Stars
10Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Castle
8Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Marvelâs Shield
9Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dancing With the Stars results
10Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Body of Proof