The Upfronts over now, and we know what the Fall schedule will look like for the broadcast networks as far as sci fi & fantasy shows. At this point, there are eighteen set for a Fall debut, which is the exact number we had from the broadcast nets last year. This will get padded out once the cable and streaming entries are added and once again genre fans will have plenty to choose from on the schedule.
As far as the actual scheduling decisions, there are definitely some questionable moves. Pairing up Lucifer with the new X-Men spin-off series The Gifted seems like a decent enough move for Monday nights, but shifting Gotham (which has been experiencing steady ratings attrition) to Thursday and having that act as the lead-in to the new sci fi spoof series The Orville seems like a sacrificial lamb move on the part of FOX. Those two have to go up against ABC’s Shondaland shows, the CBS comedy block lead by The Big Bang Theory, and also NBC’s breakout hit This Is Us which will be moving to that night. Sure seems like the two FOX shows will end up getting squeezed out in that battle of juggernauts.
As for the ABC shows, I can understand moving Once Upon A Time and Agents of SHIELD to Fridays because they are basically plugging up a couple of low-viewership hours on the schedule before those two eventually head off into syndication. But new series The Inhumans will also air on that night as its eight-episode run will lead off the Fall season before AoS steps in for the rest of the year. Seems like a tough slot for a new show, but maybe the network hopes the IMAX debut of the first two eps will be enough to draw viewers to that night. It would also be nice if the networks would quit clustering genre entries on Fridays (MacGyver and The Exorcist will remain on that night).
As for ABC’s The Gospel of Kevin, that one barely counts as a genre entry and I think it may not stick around for long on the schedule. It moves into the Tuesday 10 PM EST timeslot which has been a disaster for the network the last few years. Agents of SHIELD is actually the best performing show the network has had in that hour in a while and they are kicking it to Fridays.
NBC’s The Good Place is moving to a, well, good place on Tuesdays at 9:30 PM EST. It keeps Superstore as its lead-in and the two of those will get an extra boost from The Voice at 8 PM EST.
The CW’s Arrow moves to Thursdays after Supernatural which means that the network no longer sees that aging series as a viable lead for one of its Prime Time nights. Not that fans should be worried, though, because the fifth place net is known to keep shows around even when their ratings are not that great.
Below is the Fall schedule as it currently stands for the broadcast networks. Expect some shifts before the season actually starts, because the networks are known to change their minds. But I don’t think that we will see any major shuffling.
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No Genre Programming
No Genre Programming
8:30-9 PM Ghosted (FOX) NEW SERIES
9:30-10 PM The Last Man on Earth (FOX)
Mid-Season Start (or Later)
The 100 (CW), Black Lightning (CW), The Crossing (ABC), iZombie (CW), The Originals (CW), Reverie (NBC), Timeless (NBC), The X-Files (FOX)