[This week, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned.]
ABC: "The Middle," "Suburgatory"
The CW: "Arrow"
NBC: "Animal Practice," "Guys with Kids"
CBS: "Criminal Minds"
The CW: "Supernatural"
FOX: "The X Factor" (and then "Idol")
NBC: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
NBC: "Chicago Fire"
The biggest shakeup to the night is probably either The CW's manly, muscular overhaul with "Arrow" and "Supernatural" or else ABC's decision to take its first legitimate Wednesday
10 p.m. hit in years and immediately send it off to Sundays, replacing it with a small screen version of "Country Strong" from the writer of "Thelma & Louise." The night also includes NBC's latest futile attempt to move "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" to 9 p.m. -- Not only isn't it going to work this time, but NBC has so badly crippled "SVU" that it's not really a very good lead-in for "Chicago Fire" or anything else -- and a precarious-looking new comedy after "Modern Family."
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: It's too early to gauge The Britney [And Kinda Demi] Effect on "The X Factor," which is a big deal, because while CBS is almost guaranteed to win this night overall, the 18-49 demo race could just as easily go to FOX, CBS or ABC depending on various possibilities. With its full lineup intact, CBS's numbers are pretty much locked in, but "X Factor" could theoretically get an all-star bump, or it could plummet, especially with "The Voice" airing on the two nights previous and producing guaranteed fatigue. ABC, meanwhile, can be confident in the performance of the first half of its night -- assuming "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" regain some of the audience "Idol" siphoned away last spring -- but the aura coming off of "The Neighbors" is, to put it politely, problematic and if that suburban aliens comedy tanks hard, it could have a hugely negative impact on "Nashville," which wasn't really a compatible lead-out to begin with. So who knows? One thing I think we can be sure of is that NBC is offering up "Animal Practice" and "Guys with Kids" as a ritualistic sacrifice to some unholy deity, but which deity and with what aims? Finally, this feels like a positive night for The CW. "Arrow" is a solid show and should at least draw curiosity, while even if "Supernatural" just draws its Friday nights, that would be a step up from the dismal returns from the withering "America's Next Top Model."
My Predicted DVR: I'll be recapping "X Factor" on ET, so "Survivor" has to get one of my DVR slots for weekly recaps. Depending on OnDemand access for "Arrow," I'll probably continue to just record "Suburgatory," though those two may get swapped. At 9 p.m.? Only "Modern Family" and a few weeks of seeing if I care about "The Neighbors." And 10 p.m. will be "Nashville" in the early-going and then possibly NOTHING if both "Nashville" and "Chicago Fire" prove not to be my cup o' tea. Wednesday is simultaneously a brutal day for my recapping, but a really light day for scripted shows that I enjoy. So... Yay!
How have the new schedules impacted your Tuesdays?