Cultural Learnings’ 2008-2009 Network Upfronts Analysis

Last year, Cultural Learnings produced a lot of hits (And perhaps a few new readers) during its coverage of the Network Upfronts, a process wherein each network reveals the shows that will make it onto their Fall or Winter schedules the following year. There were a lot of surprises last year: Jericho’s cancellation and subsequent campaign couldn’t have been predicted, and as a whole there were a lot of shows on the bubble that squeaked through.

This year, we can’t say the same thing: a network like ABC announced most of its pickups a while ago, and is leaving little room for new shows, while NBC announced a version of its schedule a month ago so we already know its lineup (Or what it looked like in April). For anyone following the trades, there’s few surprises to be found in these announcements, so now the real drama will be how your Fall viewing schedule will emerge. And whether Moonlight, the show that has been dominating at sites like Hey! Nielsen, will be able to avoid becoming another Jericho (And if it does, in all seriousness, has CBS not learned their lesson?).

So, at Cultural Learnings I plan to focus on analysis of how the schedules align, and how each network has adapted or not adapted post-strike to accommodate last year’s freshman offerings and this year’s foreign imports (A certain trend). Below, you’ll find a nice combination of helpful links and, eventually, links to our Upfronts coverage.

Cultural Learnings’ 2008-2009 Upfronts Analysis

NBC – Analysis from April (Open Letter, Office Spinoff, Timed-Friday Night Lights)

  • We can expect Jimmy Fallon to be confirmed to be taking over for Conan (Already confirmed, in fact), along with potentially more information on the elusive Office spinoff and on some of the neetwork’s new series.

ABC – Full Fall Schedule Analysis

  • New Shows: Life on Mars, various reality shows, Scrubs, The Goode Family
  • Returning Shows: Eli Stone, Boston Legal, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies, etc.
  • Canceled Shows: October Road, Men in Trees, Miss/Guided, Cavemen, Carpoolers

The CW – Full Fall Schedule Analysis

  • New Shows: 90210, Surviving the Filthy Rich, Stylista
  • Returning Shows: Reaper, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Supernatural, etc.
  • Canceled Shows: Girlfriends, Aliens in America, Life is Wild, WWE Smackdown, Beauty & the Geek

CBS – Coming Wednesday May 14th

  • Moonlight has officially been canceled (Read Full Story)
  • Moonlight is a huge cult favourite, but could be gone in favour of Les Moonves’ personal choices. This would result in another campaign, this time with more than peanuts to deal with.

FOX – Coming Thursday May 15th

  • FOX’s pickups are pretty clear, with most returning shows confirmed and big budget shows from Abrams and Whedon already announced. Scheduling is the only real drama.

Links to Other Coverage

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