The winter hibernation of the regular season television shows is almost over as the first full week of January 2015 brings the premieres of two new shows and the return of several more. But the prime time schedule for sci fi / fantasy TV shows has not changed too much from Fall (you can see the full schedule at this link). ABC’s Agent Carter and Galavant will be time-sharing in the Agents of SHIELD and Once Upon A Time hours respectively starting next week, and Syfy’s 12 Monkeys and Helix will occupy Friday evenings (as wrestling gets booted to Thursdays) starting January 16th. And by the time that The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its fifth season on February 8th, we will be pretty much back to business as usual with only Agents of SHIELD and Once Upon A Time subjected to extended hiatuses (both return at the beginning of March).
It will be interesting to see how the experiment with Agent Carter and Galavant works, with those show time-sharing and offering similarly-themed programming to their timeslots’ main shows to pad out the season and reduce the number of repeats the network has to air. I for one would like to see this work and have other networks follow ABC’s lead. Wouldn’t it be cool to see a limited-run Birds of Prey or Suicide Squad spin-off from Arrow or Root side-story from Person of Interest to fill up several weeks on the schedule instead of those ill-timed repeats that often show up in Spring? Or take a few gestating ideas for new shows and give them a limited run try-out during the hiatus time of year? If either Agent Carter and/or Galavant do well with their limited runs this season, they could hit the schedule as full-time entries next year or possibly return in their limited-run format with a new set of stories. And this could lead the way to more experiments of this kind; definitely much preferable to the momentum-killing repeats. So keep an eye on this site to see how the experiment pans out.
It is also interesting to see that Syfy is once again concentrating on Fridays for their scripted programming as the Thursday experiment did not work too well for them and the previous Monday blocks faded as well. The network has kicked wrestling out from Fridays (but not off the network) and will debut the much anticipated new series 12 Monkeys as well as the returning Helix (second season) on January 16th. It would be nice if they could pull Haven into that block as well to give that struggling show a boost, but I don’t believe it is scheduled to return until later in the Spring. In any case, Syfy has previously done well on that night and looks like it will try to reclaim it starting in January.
There are also some late entries on the schedule as FOX has the sci fi comedy Last Man on Earth pegged for a March bow and the M. Night Shyamalan “event” series Wayward Pines set to appear in May. And HBO’s Game of Thrones returns for its fifth season in April while Starz’s Outlander resumes its first season that same month (and it has already been renewed for a second year). Also in the month of April, the much-anticipated third season of Orphan Black kicks off on BBC America. There are three shows that I am currently aware of waiting in the wings for mid-season–The Whispers (ABC), iZombie (CW), The Messengers (CW)–which should hit the schedule at some point. And NBC will allegedly give us Heroes Reborn this year as well, though maybe that gets pushed off to the 2015-16 season. Also waiting in the wings are NBC’s Hannibal (which will likely return to the Friday 10 PM EST timeslot when Constantine wraps up) and The CW’s Beauty and the Beast (which could be pushed to a Summer bow). You can see the full mid-season schedule at this link and be sure to check back on a regular basis as the television networks are know for juggling things around and dropping new entries on us with little or no notice. You can see where the returning shows stand going into 2015 at this link and I will be posting my preview of the new shows later this week.