Monday’s scheduling announcements from NBC and FOX packed a few twists for TV aficionados, but nothing worthy of the surprises on “The Blacklist” or “Hannibal.” Still, the upfronts from two of the Big Four networks sported plenty of juicy tidbits for the upcoming fall season and beyond. Indiewire’s TV team Liz Shannon Miller and Ben Travers discuss their most anticipated shows, the best network shifts, and what it could all mean come the fall.
Liz: First things last — it actually seems like NBC cares about Fridays. Between “Grimm” and “Constantine” and presumably “Hannibal,” in the off-season, that’s a lot of talent and money on a night that other networks ignore.
Ben: I wonder how David S. Goyer, a man accustomed to a great deal of eyeballs pouring over his work at the cinema, feels about having TV shows airing on the two lowest-rated nights of the week. His Starz show, “Da Vinci’s Demons,” shows on Saturdays and now the rather expensive pilot he penned will premiere on a Friday — are Starz and NBC onto something, perhaps making back the money with DVR and online views?
Liz: Good point! Specifically because it highlights how timeslots may, genuinely, just not matter anymore.
This is the obvious point at which we acknowledge time-shifting as a key part of the industry, at this stage — which shows up as a contrast to what’s brought NBC to the top, with sports and live events like “The Voice.”
Ben: Indeed. Both NBC and FOX showed how willing they were to abandon tradition for the sake of ratings, with the former dismantling its long-standing Thursday night comedy block and the latter tossing aside Animation Domination on Sundays. How do you feel “The Blacklist” will fair on Thursdays opposite “The Big Bang Theory,” as well as “Brooklyn 99” being wedged between “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy”? Oh, and what about this epic animation crossover episode? I’m not a huge fan of either show, but seeing Homer Simpson meet Peter Griffin is a tantalizing tease.
Liz: Honestly, anyone scheduling anything against “The Big Bang Theory” seems like a fool’s move. Though, I suppose, it’s a sign that NBC has a lot of faith in what was basically the only successful drama of the fall 2013 season.
There’s a part of me that existentially wonders if people actually want to watch serious dramas at the end of the week. Maybe there’s a reason why “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men” both happen on Sundays. We’re much more ready at the end of the weekend for reality, perhaps.
That said, I remain hesitant on “Gracepoint” and the Shyamalan series. If only because I’m not sure (as much as I love him) about David Tennant’s ability to do an American accent on a long-term basis. Despite my accent worries, though, I think Fox has me genuinely interested in what happens next for them. And it’s been years since I could say that.