Category Archives: Medium

The Midseason Contenders: The Shows You Might Be Watching in January

It’s now been two weeks since the glut of Network Upfronts coverage, and I guess you could say I’m a little nostalgic for it. Gone are the days when breaking television news hits every hour, which is really quite unfortunate. However, in recent days there’s been some news about the one thing that networks are always unwilling to talk about: the midseason substitutes.

You see, each network knows that they’re not going to actually be able to hold on to all of their fall dramas and comedies, but publicly they need to talk about how awesome they are and how they’ll run for years and years and years! In reality, they’re quietly organizing possible replacements that could be plugged in by January. While some networks have actually scheduled shows at midseason, there is still the possibility that new pilots or existing shows could be picked up. So, let’s take a gander at all of these possible contenders to see where they might fight in should a space open up.

The Contenders



What is it: 70s-set drama about an apparently quiet suburb that, as new residents discover, is actually a swingin’ sex haven.

Where will it go: It will be scheduled at 10pm somewhere, based on its subject matter. Chances are that it would be a good fit on Sundays, but we’ll see how Shark does in the timeslot. Shark is a show that could easily be moved to fill in for a struggling drama, so it could give up its spot to the new show.

Chances of Midseason Placement: High. CBS is only saving the show until midseason so it can air uninterrupted through to May.


What is it: Post-apocalyptic drama turned town survival drama that garnered a strong enough cult following to result in the Nuts for Jericho campaign of the past few weeks.

Where would it go: I really, really don’t know. This is a tough one: technically, the spot guaranteed to open up (Wednesdays at 8 after Kid Nation ends) could work well, but it’s also going to run right back up against American Idol. Meanwhile, there isn’t a whole lot left in terms of timeslots. If CBS really wants to try to take its cult following with it, they could plug it in on Fridays and hope that people show up. Still, it wouldn’t be easy.

Chances for Midseason Placement: The ‘Save Jericho’ movement is still fighting, and the campaign is gaining steam daily, but the deadline is two weeks before CBS loses the cast to other projects. That’s a short amount of time to convince CBS to make a huge commitment, and a late fall miniseries might be the more likely option at this stage.

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Filed under ABC, FOX, Jericho, Law & Order, Lost, Medium, NBC, One Tree Hill, Reality TV, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The Amazing Race, The CW, Upfronts, Veronica Mars

Network Upfronts Extravaganza – ‘NBC’ 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

Well, NBC has made it official (Variety), as their schedule has made it to press before their upfront presentation.

EDIT: NBC has now released their official Fall Preview Website with sneak previews of all of their new shows. Check it out at the link below.

NBC Fall Preview 2007-2008

Now, onto the summary of what went done, and then the final schedule with commentary after the jump.

– First, and most interesting, is that NBC has found as solution for their problem of Heroes going on hiatus: a prequel series. Heroes: Origins will be featuring characters not yet on the show, characters in the periphery, and then at the end of its run fans can vote on their favourite who would then join the main cast (I will talk more about this at some point, it’s fascinating). This is sure to keep fans happy, and gives the network more fresh programming.

“Heroes: Origins” will center on characters not yet seen on the original show. Peacock has also added an interactive element to the show: Viewers will be asked to pick their favorite character from “Origins,” who will then join the cast of the full-blown “Heroes” skein the following year. [Variety]

– NBC, you made a huge mistake placing Friday Night Lights at 10pm on Fridays. It’s a family show, damnit, and it deserves a slot where people can watch it together. Now, as it stands, it is far too late to get a decent shot at succeeding, and the show deserves much better. I also think that moving Las Vegas might have been a decent option, but I figure that the addition of Tom Selleck to the cast might be enough to give it some life. (I forgot about it in my predictions: whoops)

– I also forgot about football. Man, I don’t know how I forgot about the NFL so easily, but I did. This means that Law & Order, Medium and Lipstick Jungle (New Series starring Brooke Shields) won’t be around until January, which freed up some room on the schedule.

– The new shows slotted in where you’d expect them to [For full info on these shows, check out Cultural Learnings’ NBC Preview.]: Journeyman [Time-travelling drama] has been given the post-Heroes dead zone, which leave sci-fi contender The Bionic Woman to find for itself on Wednesdays (Against American Idol in the Spring). Life, meanwhile, inherits the tough Wednesdays at 10 slot, and Chuck (From Josh Schwartz) finds itself possibly facing House at 9pm on Tuesdays.

– Only two Deal or No Deals? It’ll work for now, but let’s not see any more NBC.

– The only shows missing? Crossing Jordan and…The Apprentice! Yes! Woohoo! *Fireworks* Trump has finally fallen.

I’ll have some more analysis later after the Upfront Presentation when they explain these ideas further, but for now here’s NBC’s final schedule [with full analysis of each night] after the break.

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Filed under 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Law & Order, Medium, NBC, Ratings, Reality TV, Television, The Apprentice

Network Upfronts Extravaganza – ‘NBC’ Preview

NBC had a motto heading into this season: “first be best, then be first.” It was quite the slogan, don’t get me wrong, but it was also a flawed strategy considering they have only seen two dramas survive their development season and one of them is limping into the end zone instead of high-kicking their way into it. It was a year that was supposed to slow the network’s decline, and yet the shows that were struggling last season just kept struggling. NBC is still sitting in the basement among the big four networks, and they need a good development season quickly. While Heroes has certainly been a big success for the network, there’s also very little question that it isn’t enough: they need something big, and they need it soon. They can be best all they want, but if people aren’t watching NBC is only going to fall further. And, based on their pilot selections…well, the jury remains out on whether NBC is capable of rising to the occasion.

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Filed under 30 Rock, Andy Barker P.I., Crossing Jordan, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Law & Order, Medium, NBC, Ratings, Reality TV, Scrubs, Television, The Apprentice, Upfronts

How ‘Wedding Crashers’ Could Cancel Your Favourite NBC Drama

One of the things that has always been quite perplexing about Lost has been its inability to provide a solid lead-in for any shows. Both this season (‘The Nine’) and last (‘Invasion’), ABC attempted to build new series in the 10/9c timeslot to no avail; Lost just wasn’t providing the right lead-in audience for either show to thrive enough to be worthy of renewal. In fact, ABC got so tired of it that they moved Lost into the timeslot to give newscasts a strong lead-in and to boost 18-49 numbers in the time period. But, it looks like the mystery has been solved: Sci-Fi fans don’t like to stick around for the rest of the network’s offerings. Because, as the season nears its end, the post-‘Heroes’ slot on NBC is about to get its third occupant.

NBC Invites ‘Crashers’ to the Party –

“The Real Wedding Crashers,” a hidden-camera show based on the hit 2005 movie…will debut at 10 p.m. ET Monday, April 23, following the return of “Heroes.

“…A group of five improv performers will take to the churches and reception halls or our fair nation, posing as guests or cater-waiters or other attendees to disrupt the proceedings, presumably to make sure that the happy couple never forgets their wedding day…One catch: The bride and groom know what’s coming. They’re in on the joke and will help the “crashers” reveal the hoax at the end of each episode.”

Now, I won’t speak to the reality show in question, as that’s an entirely different issue altogether. However, from a programming perspective, this has quite a few ramifications for NBC:

A ‘Black Day’ for the ‘Donnelly’ Brothers

It’s a tough break for Paul Haggis and company, as the show is more or less dead at this stage. The show opened to meager returns to begin with, and has continued to fall over the past few weeks. While the show appears to have stayed on fairly good ground creatively, it reminds me of the debut of Daybreak in the fall: the show wasn’t the problem, it just lacked the marketability of other hit shots. Of course, Daybreak was taking over for a hit show; the Black Donnellys had the biggest watercooler show as its lead-in, and should have been able to take better advantage of it.

The Fate of the Black Donnellys? Chances are the remaining episodes will be available online at over the summer.

Lights Remain Out at ‘Studio 60’

It’s somewhat less than surprising that NBC isn’t quick to move Studio 60 back into a timeslot where it struggled to find an audience, but it’s still yet another sign of indifference to Aaron Sorkin’s drama. It’s very clear at this point that the show won’t be renewed for a second season, but considering the star power involved chances are that NBC is looking for a place to burn off the rest of the series. Its ratings were actually above what the Black Donnellys was averaging, so we should be returning to Studio 60 at some point before summer hits.

The Fate of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? Chances are that it will take over for Raines on Friday nights at 9/8c once it finishes its 8-episode run (Or sooner if its ratings fall substantially)


Bad Luck for ‘Jordan’, says ‘Medium’

I’m stretching for titles here, but the fact is that two of NBC’s returning dramas are currently fighting it out in tough time periods on Wednesday, and each could have used a reprieve. ‘Crossing Jordan’ has moved from its safety on Sundays into a battle against ‘American Idol’ and ‘Criminal Minds’ on Wednesdays at 9, while ‘Medium’ finds itself against ‘CSI:NY’ and ‘Lost’ at 10. Mondays at 10 is Medium’s old timeslot, and any chance of the drama regaining its past ratings success has more or less been lost with this decision. Similarly, after struggling against ABC and CBS on Sundays and failing to improve on Wednesdays, Jordan is officially out of options.

The Fate of ‘Crossing Jordan’ and ‘Medium’? They’ll be riding out their remaining episodes in their current timeslots, and chances are that NBC will be looking for some new dramas next season. That said, Medium has the best shot at renewal.

The Bigger Question:

What is the Fate of Non-procedural Drama at NBC?

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Filed under Crossing Jordan, Heroes, Medium, NBC, Television, The Black Donnellys