The network upfront presentations, which used to be the cornerstone of every television season, have fallen out of favor in recent years. However, with the pandemic and upfronts being conducted virtually, the news about them have been virtually nonexistent, especially with so much still up in the air regarding the fall season and when production can even start.
The CW has seemingly resolved part of their problem by deciding not to return any of their regular shows until 2021. They will fill the fall schedule with repurposed shows, like DC’s Swamp Thing, Whose Line Is It Anyway? episodes, and the final seven episodes of Supernatural, which ends its 15-season run in the fall. Nothing on the network has yet been cancelled, although Katy Keane is still on the bubble.
CBS is operating under completely different assumptions. As of now, its fall schedule is business as usual, although obviously that may change, depending on events in the world. CBS has bumped Amazing Race, which was supposed to begin this month, into the fall, but Jeff Probst also says that he’s committed to having a 41st season of Survivor on in the fall, as well. Most of CBS’s line-up will return, as is, although there have been a few cancelations: Broke, Patricia Heaton’s Carol’s Second Act, God Friended Me, Matt LeBlanc’s Man With a Plan, and Edie Falco’s Tommy.
NBC, meanwhile, has delayed its upfront presentations, and at the moment, only two shows have officially been cancelled, The InBetween and Sunnyside. However, there are still a number of shows on the bubble — some of which may not return — including Bluff City Law, Council of Dads, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, Manifest and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. NBC will also be rolling out its streaming service, The Peacock, in July, where the third season of A.P. Bio will debut.
Fox is not returning its scripted, live-action staples in the fall, holding those back until 2021. Their fall is what they call a pandemic-proof schedule, with its animated shows, L.A.’s Finest (repurposed from Spectrum), The Masked Singer, several midseason replacement series they bumped to the fall, and a lot of NFL, meaning it is only pandemic-proof if the NFL can return in the fall. Fox has canceled four series, mostly midseason replacements, including Almost Family, BH90210, Deputy, and Outmatched. Meanwhile, The Orville has moved to Hulu.
Finally, over on ABC, there have been a few painful cancellations. Bless this Mess with Dax Shepard and Lake Bell has been canned, along with The Goldbergs spin-off, Schooled and Single Parents after their respective second seasons. All three of those were well-liked. Emergence with Alison Tolman, Grand Hotel, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and Reef Break have also been canceled.