[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]
ABC: “The Middle,” “The Goldbergs”
The CW: “Arrow”
FOX: “Hell's Kitchen”
NBC: “The Mysteries of Laura”
ABC: “Modern Family,” “Black-ish”
CBS: “Criminal Minds”
The CW: “The 100”
FOX: “Red Band Society”
NBC: “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
NBC: “Chicago PD”
What's Changed: “X Factor” is gone! “X Factor” is gone! “X Factor” is gone! Sensing that my resolve was weak when it comes to formally quitting “X Factor,” FOX decided to quit the low-rated singing show for me, replacing it with “Hell's Kitchen” and “Red Band Society.” From there, the changes are limited. NBC has replaced “Revolution” with “The Mysteries of Laura.” CBS has replaced “CSI” with “Stalker.” And ABC has “The Goldbergs” and “Black-ish” as the latest shows to hit the revolving doors that are 8:30 and 9:30. And The CW is sticking to the same lineup it aired from March on.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: The only new show with biggish shoes to fill is CBS' “Stalker,” which is taking over for a reliable hit, but may actually be more compatible with the “Criminal Minds” lead-in than “CSI” ever was. CBS is still a lock to win the night overall every week and be competitive in the key demo. [With “Chicago PD” having largely established itself, NBC would have been smart to move “SVU” back to 10, while I think its ratings would go up and where it would probably take a bite out of “Stalker.” NBC is not smart.] Otherwise, most of the new additions are going into traditionally troubled time periods. So even though “The Mysteries of Laura” is going to fail — Sorry, Robert Greenblatt, but this is the wrong show and the wrong star and the wrong time period — it isn't going to do much worse than “Revolution” did. And “Black-ish” seems like a much better better post-“Modern Family” candidate than anything ABC has aired there for a while, so maybe it'll only lose HALF of its lead-in. “Goldbergs” also seems to be a good match with “The Middle,” so perhaps ABC posts some small gains for the night? “Hell's Kitchen” and “Red Band Society” are unlikely to exceed last year's “X Factor” averages — 6-ish million viewers and a 1.8 key demo rating, though it wasn't doing anything near that in the late fall — which ought to concern FOX, though not enough to regret canceling “X Factor.” I wonder if The CW will regret keeping “The 100” in that slot. It's going to dip without “Arrow” before ending its season next month and that might have been a better match with “Originals” on Monday, letting the network use “Arrow” as a launching pad for something new. But The CW will make whatever changes it needs to make at midseason.
My Predicted DVR: Without an earlier live show to recap, I'll do “Survivor” on my ET Slingbox at 5, which leaves my 8 p.m. DVR free for “Arrow” and “The Goldbergs.” I really should start watching “The Middle” regularly. But I probably won't. At 9 p.m. I'll do “Modern Family” and probably “Black-ish,” unless that's awful. If I catch up with “The 100” over the summer, maybe I'll stick with that, or maybe I won't bother. “Red Band Society” — aka “AmpuGlee” — could make my “The 100” choice easy by being great, but I haven't watched it yet. And I'll continue to watch “Nashville” at 10 p.m. even though it's pretty bad. It's a good thing there's usually something cable-y on Wednesdays, because otherwise that's a really weak night.
How have the new schedules impacted your Wednesdays?