Over the last week, television networks have been rolling out the red carpet for the new fall line-ups during the annual spring up-front week. The week is designed to allow marketers to buy television commercial airtime months before the season begins, or up-front. There have been several items to come out of this week, including pick-ups and cancellations of shows, making certain television lineups a lot different in the 2014 Fall season.
1. Goodbye NBC Thursday Night Comedy Lineup
One of the glaring marks coming out of the NBC up-front schedule is the lack of classic style NBC Comedies on Thursday Night. The former home of must-see TV, Friends, Seinfeld, Cheers, Will & Grace, Community, The Office, and more, now has a different look. 8:00 PM on Thursday now opens with The Biggest Loser, a program that used to be slated for the Monday/Tuesday night line-ups. Also added are two new half-hour programs that fall in the line of dramedy, I suppose. The first is Bad Judge, a Adam McKay/Will Ferrel program starring Kate Walsh as a, well, bad judge. It looks like a courtroom version of Bad Teacher. In the trailer it looks like she’s also having to take care of a child that isn’t hers, not unlike NBC’s Tuesday show, About a Boy.
The Other show added to Thursday is A to Z, a romantic comedy show starring Cristin Milloti (How I Met Your Mother) and Ben Feldman (Mad Men). Sadly, because I was a big fan of NBC’s show ED, this will probably be something I watch. 10:00 PM will be capped off by Parenthood, which has always had the will it/won’t it get cancelled cloud hanging over its head.
It is sad to see Community get the axe, but all-in-all the fact that it continued after the second season is a miracle, and you’ll just have to live with that. NBC has picked up other comedies including Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” which has yet to be placed in a timeslot.
2. America’s #1 Network, CBS, Staying Status Quo
CBS returns in the Fall of 2014 with 21 (!) shows. 21. Mondays will still open with 2 Broke Girls and Mom. Tuesday features NCIS and new NCIS: New Orleans. Wednesday is Survivor and Criminal Minds, Thursday is Thursday Night Football from Sept. 11 – Oct. 23, after which will return as the home of CBS Comedy with Big Bang Theory (which was renewed through season 10), The Millers, Two and a Half Men and new show The McCarthys. Not much is changing on CBS, and for them, it seems to be a good thing. I’m sure NBC and ABC are quite envious that CBS is ALMOST returning as many shows as the two will cancel over the next year.
Speaking of shows that either got cancelled, or not picked up, CBS got rid of Robin Williams’ The Crazy Ones, Intelligence, Bad Teacher and Friends With Better Lives have all been taken away, presumably by some psycho from Criminal Minds. Even the spinoff of How I Met Your Mother, creatively titled, “How I Met Your Dad,” was not picked up by CBS.
3. “Mulaney” Episode Order Boosted from Six to 16
This one will stay pretty brief as we looked at Mulaney last week on the site. John Mulaney’s self-titled show picked up an extra 10 episode order, with Fox showing confidence in the program. Strangely, both Mulaney and Golden Globe Award Winner, Brooklyn Nine-Nine are now in the Sunday night line-up along with Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and Family Guy. It appears as Fox is trying to make sunday nights destination television. Sunday is a strong night for HBO, PBS (Downton), and other non-traditional networks like AMC. But, most of the major programs on those channels do not start until 10:00 PM, so the sunday night lineup for Fox would be a nice lead-in without having to miss any of those premium shows.
4. Which ABC Show Will Be Cancelled First?
ABC can really only boast about one show that was on the air last season, being Scandal, which was around for its second season on the network. Agents of SHIELD had a nice start, but it wasn’t exactly the breakout hit that ABC was looking for. That being said, ABC in recent years, has been know for having some of the earliest programs to be cancelled. In just the last couple of days, ABC cancelled Super Fun Night, The Neighbors and Suburgatory. Trophy Wife and Mixology, as well as the baseball dramedy, Back in the Game were all cancelled as well.
So which ABC program will get nixed first in the new lineup? Here are the shows to choose from:
Forever (This is my ironic pick)
Fresh off the Boat
How To Get Away With Murder
Manhattan Love Story
Marvel’s Agent Carter
Secrets and Lies
Selfie (Probably this…) Edit: With Karen Gillan, it might not get cancelled immediately, needs name change
5. The Chris Gethard Show Not Picked Up By Comedy Central
If you read Funkhouser frequently, you know I’m a big supporter of the eccentric New York public access program, The Chris Gethard Show. The program airs on the internet and local New York public access channels and provides an outlet for “losers” and people who feel they are different from the main stream crowd. While it seems like a downer of a show, TCGS is a very high energy program featuring punk/rock bands each week. Gethard and his crew put together a pilot for Comedy Central that was produced by Zach Galifianakis, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. In a post on his tumblr page, Gethard notes that while Comedy Central has passed on the program, other networks might be interested.
“There are a number of networks who have already heard we’re back to being a free agent who have contacted us through back channels.” – Chris Gethard
So, it will be interesting to see where Gethard and the crew go from here.
What are your favorite news items from this week’s up front season? Let us know: @funkhouserksr