[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, 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. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "Madam Secretary"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "Mulaney"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"/"CSI: Cyber"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
What's Changed: A lot, actually! Last year, the networks barely touched Sunday and even though nobody had a disastrous time on the night (other than NBC in the spring, I suppose), several networks felt the desire to shake things up dramatically. FOX, for example, has moved two live-action comedies -- "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Mulaney" -- into a block that has been largely Animation Domination in recent years. CBS has moved "Madam Secretary" into the 8 p.m. slot and transplanted the still-reliable "CSI" to the 10 p.m. slot. (or, as I like to joke, the 8:37 slot and the 10:37 slot when you factor in football overrun and whatnot). ABC is sticking with its spring 2014 Sunday lineup and NBC has football, as always.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: In the fall, the impact is likely to be very slight. NBC will dominate every week in all measures. CBS will capitalize on football overrun to regularly finished second overall and usually finish second in the 18-49 demo. ABC will certainly be up over last fall, what with the absence of "Betrayal," but how much improvement it will have year-to-year hinges on whether "Resurrection" stops the ratings attrition that followed its tremendous premiere in March. FOX's moves seem to be based on very marginally improving the hopes for "Brooklyn" and "Mulaney," which will have healthier lead-ins than they might have gotten on Tuesday or, heaven forbid, on Friday, rather than improving numbers for the night, since it's unlikely that "Brooklyn" or "Mulaney" will offer vast boosts over what "Bob's Burgers" and "American Dad" did in those slots last year. CBS is in the most interesting of positions, because "Madam Secretary" is a new show in a volatile time period that will be taking the place of an established and reliable success in "The Amazing Race." Although it remains TV's most-watched network, CBS hasn't had a great track record for new drama launches in recent years and although "Madam Secretary" looks to be very compatible with "Good Wife," it's airing *before* "Good Wife" and it isn't like "The Good Wife" is some massive hit. Personally, I would be surprised if, by November, "Madam Secretary" is doing a better 18-49 number than "Amazing Race" was, though I wouldn't be shocked to see "Madam Secretary" doing a comparable or better overall number. [I also wouldn't be shocked to see "Madam Secretary" tank entirely, leading to an "Amazing Race" return in the spring, "Hawaii Five-0" to 8 p.m. on Fridays and "The Mentalist" at 9.] "The Good Wife" isn't likely to be impacted in any case and "CSI" will probably do basically the same number as "The Mentalist."
My Predicted DVR: Holy cow. This night has become hugely freed. Last fall, I quickly ditched "Revenge" and, after episodes kept piling up on my DVR, I abandoned "Once Upon a Time" as well. I get both a programming hour, plus 75 minutes of recapping time free with the "Amazing Race" shift. I've also stopped watching "Family Guy" on Sundays, opting to catch up on Hulu or OnDemand if I happen to care. That means that, as the fall begins, I have "Bob's Burgers," "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "The Good Wife" as my only returning network recordings. Of course, cable is the big X Factor on Sundays and stuff like the final season of "Boardwalk Empire" is guaranteed to get some viewing time. Still, I'll at least theoretically have time to give at least a few episodes to "Mulaney" -- I like his stand-up, even if the upfronts cutdown was weak -- and to "Madam Secretary" -- I love the cast, but the establishing premise seems dire. That leaves my 10 p.m. hour free, especially if my 10 p.m. cable dramas are on networks that have East Coast feeds.
How have the new schedules impacted your Sundays?
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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