The broadcast networks unveiled their fall schedules this week. Here are some highlights from the presentations.
ABC: Much is riding on the new season for ABC, which, despite megahits Modern Family and Scandal, does not see a roster go as deep as some of its competitors. It is currently in fourth place among advertiser-desired young adults.
To boost ratings, it has scheduled a number of new multiethnic shows that ABC Entertainment Group chief Paul Lee said reflect the changed face of America.
CBS: Despite the declining ratings and increased competition from an improved NBC, CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves was optimistic about his network and the TV industry.
This is really a great time to be in the television business, he said. Noting that Amazon, Netflix and others are increasing their presence in original programming, Moonves said, it is good for everyone.
Welcome to the game, he said.
NBC: We are as well positioned for growth as we possibly could be, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said after a season in which the network poised to finish No. 1 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic for the first time since the end of Friends 10 years ago.
Fox: This past one was a tough one for us, Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said. According to Nielsen, not including sports, Fox’s prime-time lineup averaged about 5.9 million viewers. Last season, Fox averaged 6.7 million viewers.
Mining comic books
A handful of comic book-based series will join a TV landscape that already includes Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC and The CW’s Arrow. CW’s The Flash is a spinoff of the latter series. S.H.I.E.L.D. origin story Marvel’s Agent Carter will fill in a midseason gap on ABC while Agents is off the air.
Fox is getting in the comics business with the Batman prequel series Gotham while NBC airs Constantine based on the DC Comics series Hellblazer.
That’s a wrap
Networks confirmed the coming season will be the last for several veteran series. CBS’ Two and a Half Men, which began airing in 2003, will wrap after 12 seasons. NBC will end comedy Parks and Recreation after seven seasons and drama Parenthood after six.
Fox will air the previously announced final run of Glee in the second half of the season.
Some schedule shuffling will pit heavy-hitting veterans against one another, not to mention create headaches for viewers wondering how to program DVRs.
NCIS: Los Angeles moves to Monday nights on CBS and will go head to head with ABC’s Castle and NBC’s The Blacklist in the 10 p.m. hour.
On Thursdays, Fox has moved Bones into competition with CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy at 8 p.m.
NBC says it’s planning to air a live production of The Music Man.
Greenblatt said Monday the network has acquired rights for a TV version of the 1957 Meredith Willson musical.
The network had success with a live production of The Sound of Music and is following that with a live version of Peter Pan in December.
No date was set for The Music Man.
NBC will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live with a retrospective Feb. 15.