DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Monday Nights

[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.]


8:00 p.m.
ABC: “Dancing with the Stars”
CBS: “The Big Bang Theory” and “2 Broke Girls,” “Mom”
The CW: “The Originals”
FOX: “Gotham”
NBC: “The Voice”

9:00 p.m.
ABC: “Dancing with the Stars”
CBS: “Scorpion”
The CW: “Jane the Virgin”
FOX: “Sleepy Hollow”
NBC: “The Voice”

10:00 p.m.
ABC: “Castle”
CBS: “NCIS: Los Angeles”
NBC: “The Blacklist”/”State of Affairs”

What's Changed: ABC hasn't changed. So there's that! And NBC won't change through November, with “The Voice” and “Blacklist,” but in late November Katherine Heigl's “State of Affairs” takes over the 10 p.m. hour. While the departure of “How I Met Your Mother” left CBS with a gaping hole, the network responded first by shifting “Big Bang Theory” over to 8 p.m. for the season's first few weeks and then removed the familiar 9 p.m. comedy block in favor of a nerd-wrangling Katharine McPhee in “Scorpion,” before filling the difficult 10 p.m. slot with veteran hit “NCIS: Los Angeles.” The CW is finally getting down to the business of repairing the network's long-troubled Monday with the introduction of “The Originals” as a cornerstone, pairing with “Jane the Virgin.” Finally, FOX has put one of its biggest fall swings, the not-exactly-Batman-prequel “Gotham” in the 8 p.m. hour, leaving “Sleepy Hollow” in the slow where it did fine numbers last fall, but hasn't been seen since January.

How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: This could be very interesting, because there's a strong chance that the Monday winners as of September won't be the Monday winners as of December. CBS won't feel the absence of “HIMYM,” because “Big Bang Theory” will easily outdo what “HIMYM” did in its final season and there's a good chance that it could give a bump to the network's underrated, underwatched “Mom.” But come November, CBS'll be back to the decaying corpse of “2 Broke Girls” at 8 p.m. and the near inevitability that “Scorpion” will struggle, if not fail outright. So yes, “NCIS” is guaranteed to boost CBS' 10 p.m. averages, but will that be off-set by declines in the first two hours? And sure, NBC's fall will get off to a good start with “The Voice,” but could five or six weeks of success turn to immediate discomfort if America rejects the return of Katherine Heigl to primetime? [I assume “State of Affairs” will — relative to “The Blacklist” — fail. You assume “State of Affairs” will fail. But what if there really IS a silent majority awaiting The Return of Heigl? Won't we all look foolish?] And while curiosity is likely to get a good initial sampling for “Gotham,” will that sustain and boost the night or will it end up below Ol' Reliable “Bones,” which has been moved to Thursday, but could ALWAYS get brought back to Monday. And I think “The Originals” will give The CW its most stable Monday building block in years, but it doesn't immediately look like a good match with “Jane.” And ABC will do what ABC does.

My Predicted DVR: I'll definitely be watching “Gotham,” at least for a while, and that'll be paired with the CBS comedy block as long as it's “Big Bang Theory” and “Mom.” Having finally successfully disengaged myself from the pain of “2 Broke Girls” after “HIMYM” left, I'd like to believe I won't be sucked back in because it's sharing the hour with “Mom,” which I liked much more than “HIMYM” last year. Assuming I catch up on “The Originals” this summer — That's my plan!” — I'll continue to record it on my office TV and catch up later. In the 9 p.m. hour I'll be recording “Sleepy Hollow” and possibly either “Scorpion” or “Jane the Virgin” depending on pilot quality. I'm really not sure if either one will be for me, despite the Kat McPhee Factor. I'll keep watching “Castle” and “Blacklist” at 10 p.m. until “State of Affairs” arrives and I'll have to decide on that one after seeing more than one episode.

How have the new schedules impacted your Mondays?

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Sunday Nights