Post Upfront Thoughts And Suggestions:

FOX – This schedule pretty much worked out how most of us expected. The only thing that surprised is me is that FOX is leading with Raising Hope instead of putting it at 8:30 and beginning the night with new Ben and Kate. The other thing regarding FOX is they are expecting a season 2 bounce for New Girl (which makes sense) but as of now I don’t see New Girl reruns on their summer schedule which I think is a mistake. Maybe they will air them Thu at 9 after The Choice finishes its 6 weeks run, but if that show hits, I imagine they will likely extend it. Could it air with Family Guy reruns on Sun? Not sure.  Either way I think it’s foolish of them not to rerun New Girl over the summer and I think they will minimize their fall bounce if they don’t.

NBC – I don’t get much of their schedule, especially Thu. Leaving the Thu comedies as is, followed by Rock Center is just perplexing. I thought they should move The Office to 8 followed by 3 new comedies or followed by Parks and Rec and the 2 new comedies they love (in this case Go On and The New Normal) from 9-10. I wonder if they held off on that since they expected, like many of us, for The Big Bang Theory to go to 9. Now that hasn’t happened, I really think they should move the Tuesday at 9 comedies to Thu at 9, after The Office and P&R and I honestly think they might take advantage of the lack of comedies there and ammend their schedule. Currently, the Tuesday comedies will have the benefit of The Voice but they are also airing against similar skewing comedies on ABC and FOX. Thu at 9 they will have the comedy audience to themselves. NBC could always debut them after The Voice for a few weeks and then move them to Thu.

Rick Kissel from Variety had a very good suggestion. He thought NBC should have moved The Voice to Tue/Wed. I agree. Tuesday it would be the only performance show, no Idol, no DWTS. Airing against DWTS both shows lose some audience. Tuesday, it would have that audience to itself. NBC could schedule Chicago Fire out of The Voice Tuesday which is different from anything else in the hour. I’d suggest they use it to help Parenthood but it’s clear they have no desire to do that. Wed they could start with the 2 comedies hey have scheduled and air The Voice results at 9. It would give NBC their strongest ratings in that hour they have had recently and X Factor is no Idol and they might even take that down a few pegs. At 10 they could launch Revolution out of Voice results show. Nothing else like it in that hour.

So what happens Monday? Well at 8, they could either air 30 Rock/UAN. Before you say up against CBS comedies???? Well, the ones they are currently up against on Thu are far stronger. They can always go the reality route and hold the comedies. SVU could air at 9. They are already moving it to 9 on Wed and on Mon it would not face another CBS procedural like it does on Wed. At 10 they can air Parenthood which is counter to 2 cop procedurals. Will Monday be weaker than it is now? Yes, but I bet SVU could be stronger and Tues, Wed will definitely be stronger, plus The Voice Performance show would be stronger, and I think the comedies have a better shot breaking out on Thu than vs. 2 other nets comedies on Tue.  More importantly, they are seeding the next wave of NBC Thu comedies this way and there are no other comedies airing 9-10 Thu. Another idea would be for Parenthood to assume the Thu 10 quality mantel slot that NBC used to be known for and this way it would follow the new comedies the same way is it now scheduled to on Tue. Rock Center can go to Mon at 10. Still don’t understand why NBC is airing this on a weeknight, it’s beyond baffling.

ABC – I think ABCs schedule is smart in many ways. The Sunday schedule is brilliantly plotted and a gift to the promo dept. All 3 shows have a good vs. evil theme with strong women at the center and two of ABCs biggest and buzziest hits from this past year are now back to back. 666 Park Ave seems like a perfect extension of that with some new elements and a stellar cast of great actors who have been in recent ABC shows.I can already see the promos for Sun in my head. Just a really smartly scheduled night.

I also think Last Resort Thu at 8 is very smart. I’ve been saying there’s an opportunity for ABC to launch one of their strongest dramas there and this is a big tent show. Shawn Ryan is a great writer and show runner and this is the right slot to launch this. There’s no other drama in the hour (excluding CW which skews younger) and I’d be more worried if a show like this launched at 10 where the viewing levels are much lower. This is an 8 or 9p show and I think it’s perfectly placed.

The issues regarding ABCs sked are mostly on Tue. I admire greatly that they are starting the season with Happy Endings and Apt 23 back to back. Instead of leaving those on the shelf til midseason they are putting them front and center and unlike FOX, both shows will be rerunning all summer, beginning next week. It’s smart to schedule them at 9 because after DWTS every Winter, ABC has this big hole. These shows have a strong, loyal, albeit small, audience. If these shows do well enough, then adding the new comedies at 8 is easier. Some have mentioned that DWTS skews much older and these comedies are younger skewing. That is definitely true. However, DWTS still provides a huge audience. The results show should garner at least 14 million viewers. That’s a lot of people to potentially funnel into the next show, Even if HE gets half – 7 million – I imagine ABC will be happy.

(One other thing ABC could have done on Tue was to move The Middle here (followed by a new sitcom), which is a much better fit with DWTS. The Middle is already a big enough hit, self starting on Wed, that at 9, after DWTS, it probably could have done even better and possibly win the hour. It also has a different audience skew than the comedies on FOX/NBC. On Wed they could have moved Suburgatory to 8 followed by a new sitcom. I imagine the reason ABC didn’t do this is because the Wed lineup is so strong and important to them and they didn’t want to mess with it and I completely understand that. Plus, they are already making one big move on Sunday. I applaud them for trying to make HE/Apt 23 work. I imagine if it doesn’t, The Middle or Suburgatory might be leading an hour on Tuesday next year but I’m ahead of myself. )

Private Practice mostly held up Tue at 10 but now it won’t have the DWTS lead and it’s possible it won’t hit a 2.0. Still, against Vegas it should likely still do well with women, but then again Parenthood is very female skewing. It does fit well after the new comedies and ABC can’t launch 4 new dramas in the fall, so it’s a good option. I imagine PP will air here til ABC launches a new drama like Red Widow mid season. This night is a risky one for ABC as the comedies aren’t guaranteed to do great at 9 especially against similar comedies on other nets, but there’s good flow to the night and I appreciate ABC trying.

Wednesday, The Neighbors is finally a family sitcom after Modern Family which is what ABC needed to do to make that night complete. I imagine they were hoping American Judy was gonna go here but it didn’t make the cut and they are allegedly redeveloping it. The Neighbors, while a single cam family comedy, is much broader than MF and part of me wonders if they would be better served to air it at 8:30 where it’s a much better fit with The Middle (in that they are shows that the entire family from age 2 on can enjoy) and then slide Suburgatory to 9:30, which has the more sophisticated tone of MF and can hopefully benefit from the lead. Also, while I  think Nashville is in the right place at 10, it might be harder for ABC to launch a new 9:30 and 10p show on the night. Airing The Neighbors at 8:30 and Suburgatory at 9:30 makes launching Nashville much easier, rather than out of another new show (though it’s possible ABC could stagger launches and have a 1hr Modern Family lead into Nashville premiere, or one week air two new eps of The Middle or Subugatory, one in their regular slot and one at 9:30, til they premiere The Neighbors. As is, the second Wed is a Presidential debate and the shows will be pre-empted from 9-11. There are lots of issues regarding Wed in the fall that will make scheduling a challenge.) I am guessing ABC hopes that its broader tone will help it hold on to more of the Modern Family audience than previous shows and that’s why it is airing at 9:30, which is I guess is possible. It just seems it would be benefit them to flip the 2 comedies.

CBS – most of us were very surprised that they didn’t go with 4 comedies on Thu but seeing they only picked up 2, its clear they just weren’t satisfied with their comedy development. CBS is very strong and its smart of them to just go with their best shows rather than pick up inferior shows just to make a 4 comedy block on Thu. I expected CBS to move 2 Broke Girls to Mon at 9, as I mentioned in my pre upfront thoughts, and I expected 2.5 Men to go to Thu to lead off the comedy block but moving it to 8:30 is smart and they have a sitcom to match the numbers of TBBT and it gives Person of Interest a boost. This way they are really nurturing PoI. I also expect TBBT and POI reruns to bookend the Thu edition of Big Brother this summer and that should likely give the latter show a nice boost as well. As much as I think CBS would benefit by airing TBBT at 9p,  I can’t argue with any of their Mon and Thu moves.

I am surprised, however, that they didn’t launch Vegas at 9, especially with the comedy glut and NCISs 20 million. I would never bet against CBS but 10p is just harder to launch a new show now and part of me wonders if they know this show is a big leap and they are protecting themselves and not upending NCIS:LA in the process.

I don’t understand the scheduling of the dramas on Sun. I think they would benefit immensely by flipping The Mentalist and The Good Wife. Both shows would likely do better.

CW – I don’t usually delve in to the CW, but I must applaud Mark Pedowitz. I haven’t understood for most of this season why their second highest rated show, Supernatural, is wasted on Friday while lower rated shows air on more viewed nights. Mr. Pedowitz moved it to Wed at 9 which makes much more sense as does most of the flow to their new schedule.

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