[This week, 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.]
ABC: “Dancing with the Stars” Results
The CW: “Hart of Dixie”
FOX: “Raising Hope,” “Ben & Kate”
NBC: “The Voice”
ABC: “Happy Endings,” “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”
CBS: “NCIS: LA”
The CW: “Emily Owens, M.D.”
FOX: “New Girl,” “The Mindy Project”
NBC: “Go On,” “The New Normal”
ABC: “Private Practice”
What’s Changed: Almost everything, actually. Tuesday is probably the most changed night of the week. The completely stable slots — “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” on CBS, “New Girl” on FOX and “Parenthood” on NBC — are easily outweighed by the whopping six entirely new shows on the night, as well as the slew of of juggled time slots and whatnot (I’m leaving aside the few shows like “Raising Hope” and “Dancing with the Stars” and “Private Practice” that all received try-outs in their new homes, but didn’t air the majority of their runs there). Tuesday is basically total anarchy.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: CBS will win Tuesday in overall viewers. That’s the only thing I can say with some confidence. “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” will continue to win their time slots by several million viewers and even if CBS’ attempt to court male viewers at 10 p.m. after several years of catering to women led to poor retention isn’t successful, you can still count on “Vegas” to win the 10 p.m. hour overall. In fact, the evening has been made significantly smoother for CBS, with “NCIS” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” also reasonably likely to win their hours in the 18-49 demo. “The Voice” is the wild card at 8 p.m. but I’m anticipating this second night, rather than the standard Monday block, will be where attrition its NBC hardest, though it’s almost guaranteed to outperform anything else the network could have plausibly programmed, providing the 9 p.m. comedy with the best possible chance to succeed. As it stands, that 9 p.m. hour with three different comedy blocks going head-to-head is going to be a bloodbath. It’ll be interesting to see who blinks first. FOX’s “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” will have a weak lead-in, but I think they’ll draw OK among young viewers, while ABC’s block will draw well among my Twitter feed, as “Happy Endings” begins bucking for a move to TBS sometime around February. NBC’s got two comedies that aren’t compatible with “The Voice” and aren’t especially compatible with each other, so… Yeah. “NCIS: LA” probably wins that hour overall by verging on 10 million viewers. CBS is cackling all the way home. The CW’s Tuesday night of pretty fish-out-of-water doctors makes sense and viewers who are watch “Dixie” won’t be pained by “Emily Owens,” whatever that amounts to.
My Predicted DVR: Tuesdays have traditionally been a relaxed night for my DVR and that’s not going to change. I’ll do “Hart of Dixie” and the FOX comedies at 8 p.m. though with little urgency to watch. I’ll go with ABC and FOX comedies at 9 (watching the NBC stuff OnDemand til I decide how I feel about them). And then “Parenthood” and “Vegas” at 10 p.m. Wait. Did I say this was a relaxed night for my DVR? Suddenly I still ended up with a full DVR slate and that’s even with screeners for whatever FX drama happens to air. [I watch a lot of TV.]