|The CW’s Tomorrow People|
Yesterday, fifth place network The CW was the last of the broadcast networks to announce their Fall schedule at the upfronts, and they presented one dominated by genre entries. Of the ten hours that the network progams from Monday through Friday in Prime Time, six of them will be genre entries (with three more waiting in the wings for mid-season). This involves shuffling their three highest rated shows (Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Supernatural) across three nights to spread out the ratings wealth and anchor the schedule a bit better for the network. Supernatural gets moved to Tuesdays–where The CW has struggled for quite a while–and will stay in the 9 PM EST timeslot while Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals will lead out the night at 8 PM. The network must have a lot of faith in that one if they are giving it the start-off hour for the night and perhaps they can finally see some ratings gains on Tuesdays (where unfortunately Cult was cast to die a quick death this past season). Arrow will remain on Wednesdays and new series The Tomorrow People will take the lead-out slot for that night. That sounds like a pretty solid genre pairing and gives the new entry a pretty good chance of succeeding. Vampire Diaries will stay on Thursdays with non-genre historical soap Reign taking the lead-out slot for that evening (which proved less than cushy for The Secret Circle and Beauty and the Beast the last two seasons). Moving to Monday nights is low-rated series Beauty and the Beast which will pair with equally low-rated non-genre entry Heart of Dixie. The prospects for those two on that night where The CW has struggled for some time does not look good.
In addition to the six genre shows scheduled for Fall, The CW has three (and possibly more as they are retooling their Wonder Woman pilot) waiting in the wings. The post-apocalyptic series The 100 has been picked up as has the aliens-among-us soap opera Star-Crossed. Both of those will hit the schedule a mid-season (perhaps after Beauty and the Beast and Heart of Dixie get cancelled). Also returning at some point will be spy fi entry Nikita which has been picked up for a shortened, six episode final season. All in all, The CW is definitely gambling high on genre appeal, even if it most of their entries do appeal to a younger-skewing crowd. But the general sci fi community should be able to find several shows they like among these offering, particularly Arrow, Supernatural, The Tomorrow People, and The 100.
The least sci fi friendly network, CBS, announced their schedule on Wednesday and had no new genre entries on the schedule for the Fall line-up. But they do have one targetted for mid-season that genre fans will want to check out. Lost alum Josh Holloway will star in Intelligence, a series about a man (played by Holloway) with a computer chip implanted in his brain that he can use to tap into the worldwide information grid (whether he can uplink to The Machine from Person of Interest is yet to be seen, but it would make a cool cross-over). Sounds like just another procedural with a twist, but it will be good to see Holloway back in action (again playing a bad boy-type character) and should be worth a look (the full description for the show is below). CBS’s other (quasi) genre entry Person of Interest will be getting moved to a new night and time: Tuesdays at 10 PM EST. That’s not a particularly great landing spot, but the show should still be able to keep itself afloat there throughout its third year.
I will be compiling the full schedule of genre shows for the Fall 2013 season shortly and also pointing out the shows that are in the best position in the new lineup as well as those that have hard times ahead based on these scheduling moves. Keep an eye out for that as well as my recaps from this past season.
Intelligence (CBS Mid-Season Entry)
INTELLIGENCE is a dramatic thriller starring Josh Holloway as a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel (Holloway) is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid and have complete access to Internet, WiFi, telephone and satellite data. He can hack into any data center and access key intel in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies. Leading the elite government cyber-security agency created to support him is Director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger), a straightforward and efficient boss who oversees the unit’s missions. Strand assigns Riley Neal (Meghan Ory), a Secret Service agent, to protect Gabriel from outside threats, as well as from his appetite for reckless, unpredictable behavior and disregard for protocol. Other skilled members of the Cybercom team include Chris Jameson (Michael Rady) and Gonzalo “Gonzo” Rodriguez (James Martinez), two resourceful federal investigators. The brains behind the design of the chip is Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy (John Billingsley), whose son, Nelson (PJ Byrne), is jealous of Gabriel’s prominent place in his father’s life. As the first supercomputer with a beating heart, Gabriel is the most valuable piece of technology the country has ever created and is the U.S.’s secret weapon. Michael Seitzman, René Echevarria, Tripp Vinson, and David Semel (for pilot) are executive producers for ABC Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.