Nothing beats the fun of an upfronts surprise. Even those of us who follow the trades and feel like they understand network patterns can get thrown for a loop; while that might not be good for prediction articles or anything where you put yourself out there trying to figure out what these networks are going to do, it’s a major part of why this sometimes tedious, sometimes frustrating process can be so enthralling to watch unfold. Not knowing what’ll happen brings tension to the days leading up to upfronts and makes that moment when you click the link to look at a schedule for the first time all the more anxious. Never without anxiety are KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne and Shilo Adams, two TV fans who, for the fourth year in a row, attempted to predict what each network was going to do in the fall. Now they’ve returned to dissect every fall schedule on a night-by-night basis and name everything from best trailer to worst scheduling decision.
Before you dig into the article, though, you can check out links to every scheduling prediction, fall analysis, and trailer below.
SHILO’S PREDICTIONS: 7:00 60 Minutes; 8:00 Bunker Hill; 9:00 Madam Secretary; 10:00 Elementary
CRAIG’S PREDICTIONS: 7:00 60 Minutes; 8:00 Madam Secretary; 9:00 Drew; 10:00 Elementary
ACTUAL SCHEDULE: 7:00 60 Minutes; 8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles; 9:00 Madam Secretary; 10:00 Elementary
SHILO: Well, we’re starting off with a surprise because I didn’t think that NCIS: Los Angeles was Sunday bound whatsoever. It strengthened on Mondays as the season went along, so I assumed that it would either stay there or shift to Tuesdays for an all NCIS night; Sundays are where veteran shows go out to pasture on CBS and NCIS: Los Angeles has enough ratings life in it that a move to Sundays feels premature. While the show does have an age skew that could make it work post-60 Minutes, and it does seem like something that could hold football viewers more readily than Madam Secretary, tonally I don’t think the show is right for Sundays. This is more blue collar than CBS tends to go on Sundays, especially early in the night, as the network targets heavily upscale audiences here with shows like The Good Wife. If CBS was going to move NCIS: Los Angeles, it would be much more at home on Fridays, a night filled with solid meat-and-potatoes procedurals where the show wouldn’t stick out as badly.
I do support moving Madam Secretary to 9:00, though. The show has had two seasons of the NFL halo and said exposure hasn’t really benefited in the ratings, so now that a fourth season is within reach, it makes sense to deprioritize it just a bit. Plus, with Elementary going into a possible final season, a move to 9:00 would make the transition of Madam Secretary to 10:00, which is a distinct possibility for 2017-2018, a little less jarring.
CRAIG: I’m the opposite. I might be stereotyping CBS — or at least, the CBS that Nina Tassler gave us for so many years… and I may be stereotyping the CBS viewer, but I would think that CBS viewers like a familiar schedule, so I’m not too big on Madam Secretary moving an hour back. However, the lead-in of the third most powerful NCIS show might help it a little bit; I just think I would have preferred to keep the Tea Leoni series at 8 with something female-skewing at 9 that wouldn’t conflict with The Walking Dead stuff the men and the young people are watching.