So the upfronts are over and we know which sci fi /fantasy shows have been cancelled and renewed plus the new entries that will be hitting the schedule this coming Fall (at least from the broadcast networks). I have the full initial schedule below based on the information from the upfronts as well as the shows that I know will be returning or debuting on the cable channels (consider the day and time for those tentative, though).
Among the most interesting scheduling moves, CBS has put new series Supergirl directly against Gotham on Monday nights. To me, that seems like a slap in the face to the Warner Bros. studio (which produces both shows), and I have to wonder if the eleventh hour haggling between CBS and WB over Person of Interest might be partly to blame. The network claims that Supergirl will attract a different audience than Gotham, but I would beg to differ. SG might skew younger and have higher female viewership, but there are still a lot of genre fans who will be watching both and that will hurt the overnights for one of these two shows or both (and no, those delayed viewing stats don’t help much in keeping a show alive). I can’t believe that Warner Bros. is happy that two shows it produces are competing for the same audience numbers on the same night and with Gotham slipping late in its first season it could come up the loser in this battle next year. Maybe we will see some schedule shifts before the season starts, but if not this could be an ugly battle and its possible both shows could end up suffering.
Another CBS scheduling move I don’t care for is putting freshman series Limitless in the Tuesday 10 PM EST timeslot. It is taking over the hour that Person of Interest previously had (and I am assuming that one will show up at mid-season or take up fill-in duties), but it’s not a great place for a new show to build an audience. ABC’s Forever languished there this past season and the prior year CBS’ promising Intelligence (which starred Lost‘s Josh Holloway) could never attract many viewers to the hour. And seeing as Limitless appears to have a lot of similarities to Intelligence, I don’t like its chances in that timeslot.
As for The CW, it is just wrapping up its best season in viewership in years, and it did that by focusing mostly on genre shows (particularly the DC entries which hail from WB). And the network is adding two more sci fi shows next season with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Containment (formerly Cordon). Both of those are targeting a mid-season bow and The CW has indicated that The 100 and Beauty and the Beast will return around that time as well. But my question is where are they going to put those shows? The network only programs ten hours a week, and all of those timeslots appear to be booked for the season right now. I’m thinking that Vampire Diaries may only do a half season and then call it quits, but even if that is true it only frees up one hour. Perhaps they will slot the mid-season entries in while the other shows are on hiatus like ABC did this last season with Galavant and Agent Carter. And that would be a good move because excessive repeats led to a notable drop in The CW’s numbers this past season. But I am thinking that Beauty and the Beast will end up getting pushed to Summer again (its third season bows in a few weeks) and its possible that The 100 could get bumped to the hot months as well (more on that one in a upcoming post). It will be interesting to see how The CW sorts all that out, but I’m guessing it won’t have much tolerance for ratings laggers on its schedule this coming season.
Thursdays are getting crowded this year with Heroes Reborn debuting in the 8 PM EST timeslot and The CW’s The Originals along with FOX’s Sleepy Hollow moving to the next hour. And at 9:30, the new CBS supernatural comedy Angel from Hell will try to find an audience, though it may have a decent chance with the lead-in from that network’s other comedies. Tuesday remains pretty clustered as well with Limitless stepping in for Person of Interest and FOX’s Scream Queens likely tapping into the genre audience as well. But Sundays are finally are finally easing up, at least as it stands now, and the other nights don’t look too bad either.
The schedule is not set in stone yet, and I do expect some changes before the season begins. But do I see a fair number of logjams and ugly head-to-head battles for the upcoming season, so their could be plenty of drama as those ratings numbers start to come out in the Fall of 2015.
Tentative Fall 2015 Schedule for Sci Fi / Fantasy Shows:
8 – 9 PM Once Upon A Time (ABC) Returning for 5th Season
9 – 10 PM The Walking Dead (AMC) Returning for 6th Season
9 – 9:30 PM The Last Man on Earth (FOX) Returning for 2nd Season
9 – 10 PM* The Librarians (TNT) Returning for 2nd Season
8 – 9 PM Supergirl (CBS) NEW SERIES
8 – 9 PM Gotham (FOX) Returning for 2nd Season
9 – 10 PM Minority Report (FOX) NEW SERIES
10 – 11 PM Blindspot** (NBC) NEW SERIES
8 – 9 PM Flash (CW) Returning for 2nd Season
9 – 10 PM Agents of SHIELD (ABC) Returning for 3rd Season
9 – 10 PM Supernatural (CW) Returning for 11th Season
9 – 10 PM Scream Queens** (FOX) NEW SERIES
10 – 11 PM Limitless (CBS) NEW SERIES
8 – 9 PM Arrow (CW) Returning for 4th Season
9 – 10 PM Supernatural (CW) Returning for 11th Season
10 – 11 PM* The American Horror Story (FX) Returning for 5th Season
8 – 9 PM Vampire Diaries (CW) Returning for 7th Season
8 – 9 PM Heroes Reborn (NBC) Limited Run Series
9 – 10 PM The Originals (CW) Retuning for 3rd Season
9 – 10 PM Sleepy Hollow (FOX) Returning for 3rd Season
9:30 – 10 PM Angel from Hell (CBS) NEW SERIES
9 – 10 PM Grimm (NBC) Returning for 5th Season
10 – 11 PM Z Nation (Syfy) Returning for 2nd Season
*Day and time is tentative
**May only have minimal genre elements.
AKA Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Fall Shows Not Scheduled Yet:
Childhood’s End (Syfy, NEW MINI-SERIES), The Expanse (Syfy, NEW SERIES), Haven (Syfy, Returning for 2nd Half of 5th Season)
Agent Carter (ABC, Returning for 2nd Season), Galavant (ABC, Returning for 2nd Season), Person of Interest (CBS, Returning for 5th Season), The 100 (CW, Returning for 3rd Season), Containment (Formerly Cordon, CW, NEW SERIES), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW, NEW SERIES), The X-Files (FOX, Limited Run Series)