Releasing your schedule later in the week is something of a mixed bag in terms of strategy. On the one hand, you get to see what everyone else does before you and make your move accordingly; you can’t be surprised by a network behind you moving something that would directly compromise your schedule. On the other, though, you get forced into moves as a result of what the other networks do and become much more reactionary as a result. The aggression that you show is solely based around the aggression of others, so you end up just trying to survive instead of making forward momentum. An example of this is The CW’s 2017 fall schedule, which finds Arrow being displaced from the Wednesday slot it’s had since its series premiere to Thursdays at 9:00, where it will do battle with NBC family drama This Is Us after the Dan Fogelman series was unexpectedly moved. Will the founder of the Arrow-verse, armed with a Supernatural lead-in, be able to withstand both football and the sea of tears over at NBC? Or will the soft ratings it had for much of its most recent season continue into 2017-2018?
That’s what KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams are trying to figure out, as they’ve tasked themselves with analyzing the fall schedules of each broadcast network. They’ll break down the schedule of every network on a nightly basis, telling you what surprised them and what they think might be set up for failure, all before naming everything from the most promising new show to worst scheduling move and what they’ll be watching in the fall. But before you delve into the article, you can check out every 2017-18 scheduling article below, as well as links to every trailer The CW released.
CRAIG’S PREDICTIONS: 8:00 Black Lightning; 9:00 Dynasty
SHILO’S PREDICTIONS: 8:00 Supergirl; 9:00 Life Sentence
ACTUAL SCHEDULE: 8:00 Supergirl; 9:00 Valor
CRAIG: Hrm. I really thought The CW would go big, bold, and different on Mondays this year… I was correct in assuming that some night would change, but it wasn’t Mondays. Supergirl has been a pretty consistent performer, so I can understand keeping it where it is, and at least next season, it won’t have fellow DC property Gotham to deal with in the same time slot. (Yes, Lucifer is a DC book too but not as reliant on the comic book connection.)
However… the lead-out Valor I don’t get, especially after seeing the Valor trailer. I get that they’re promoting the female lead Christina Ochoa a lot more now, which is great, but a military drama on The CW? I think that’s going to go down about as well as Containment, a show that I loved, but it didn’t really feel like a CW show. Valor doesn’t really feel too CW either. Props for trying to expand into new programming territory, but I could see this being The CW’s first ratings headache in the Fall.
It’s ultimately irrelevant anyway, because I’ll be switching from The CW to FOX to watch The Gifted at 9.
SHILO: If Valor had to be on in the fall, I think it’s probably in the right slot, as it’s facing the weakest CBS comedy hour and two reality shows that skew heavily female. You could also argue that the Supergirl lead-in makes sense because both shows center on women in traditionally male-dominated genres and the military genre itself is, at least theoretically, open to the family co-viewing audience that Supergirl enjoys. However, Valor has some stuff working against it, as it’ll likely be the third military project to premiere in the fall, so even if The Brave and Seal Team succeed, how much appetite is there for three similar new shows in a specific sub-genre at once? Especially since this past season’s biggest success came from weepy, warm-and-fuzzy family drama This Is Us; are people even going to want one military show considering the current political climate? Plus, as you mentioned, there’s the distinct possibility that if the Supergirl audience isn’t interested in Valor, or if Valor becomes a bit too edgy for the family audience, they can flip to The Gifted at 9:00 to find another family-friendly superhero show that better matches their sensibilities.