Cultural Learnings’ Network Upfronts Extravaganza: Preview

So, I realized something last night after posting my 5th Blog Post in 24 hours: I need to blog less. Although each post was informative in its own special way, it just wasn’t necessary. I need to learn to control my urge to blog when it comes time to, you know, write a Thesis next year, so I figure that I should be conditioning over the summer.

Of course, this realization came as we come to one of the most important television weeks of the entire year, so I think it will be put on hold for a little while at least. Starting on Monday, the five major networks (And other smaller networks) will present their Fall lineups to the media and advertisers, and it’s always a fascinating experience. This is called the Network Upfront Presentations. It’s a combination of all sorts of things:

There’s suspense, waiting to see whether your favourite “On the Bubble” show has been renewed (This year I’m holding my breath for ‘Veronica Mars’).

There’s conflict, as when you realize that you’ll have to choose between ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘CSI’, or that you’ll have to TiVo the new Grey’s Spinoff if they choose to stick it against ‘Heroes’/’24’ (Which would be a nightmare for people who watch pretty well everything, like me).

There’s comedy, in seeing what idiotic pilots are picked up despite not having a hope in hell of being decent (See: ‘Geico Caveman’, the Sitcom! Seriously, ABC? Seriously?)

There’s drama, as certain shows that seemed to be sure things are left cut due to unforeseen circumstances (See: ABC’s high-profile adaptation of the British ‘Footballer’s Wives’).

And, perhaps most of all, there’s speculation. It’s perhaps one of my favourite things, because it allows us to make assumptions about these series and their potential both creatively and financially for the networks involved.

And thus begins the madness that is the Network Upfronts. So, what will Cultural Learnings be doing in order to inform its readers about this chaotic process?

Well, as much as it pains me, I don’t really want to leave little news bytes about everything. Yes, sure, I would have loved to have blogged about ‘Friday Night Lights’ being renewed (Which pretty well made my day yesterday), but I figure that’s best saved for discussing NBC in detail. I want this to be a resource for people wading through hundreds of announcements and news briefings and just about everything else, so I figure there’s a better way of going about it (But Yay Friday Night Lights!).

Over the weekend, I’ll be posting my pre-game thoughts if you will for each network: a brief summary of what they did right and wrong last pilot season, and what they should, theoretically, be looking for. I’ve even made a convenient little schedule, it’s quite exciting.

The Networks in Review

Friday: The CW

Saturday: CBS, FOX

Sunday: ABC, NBC

Then, starting on Monday, I’ll be detailing the upfront presentation of each network with analysis of whether or not they made the right decisions, and how each night of television might fare.

The Upfronts in Review:

Fall Schedule Details

Monday: NBC

Tuesday: CBS

Wednesday: ABC

Thursday: FOX, The CW

At the end of the week, after all the madness is over, I’ll be running down each night of television for the fall season so you’ll get an idea of what your TiVo will be recording in four months’ time, and what shows you might have to cut.

This is one of the most hectic weeks in television history (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but seriously). You’ve got the ‘Survivor’ finale on Sunday, the penultimate episodes of ‘Heroes’/’24’ on Monday, the Series Finale of ‘Gilmore Girls’ on Tuesday, the penultimate ‘Lost’ on Wednesday, the finales of: ‘The Office’, ‘Scrubs’, ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ AND ‘CSI’ on Thursday, and then even Saturday has the season finale of ‘Saturday Night Live’. And, on top of all of this, there’s the network upfronts?

It is going to be a busy week: stay tuned to Cultural Learnings if you want to see how it all ends up. If you want to get your news as it breaks, though, here’s some links to major resources for all your upfront and Pilot news.

The Hollywood Reporter: Pilot Chart

An extensive collection of every single pilot ordered by all networks, this offers you with the chance to peruse to see which series you might want to see pop up next week.

Variety: Pilot Watch

Variety’s got a newsfeed which is dedicated to news related to pilot season, so check this out for up-to-the-minute updates over the weekend regarding which shows are being staffed and which ones are being put to pasture.

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Filed under ABC, FOX, NBC, Ratings, The CW, Upfronts

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