Now that the broadcast networks have set their prime-time schedules for the 2012-13 season, it’s time to start strategizing what we’ll be watching when the season kicks off in September. And in a few cases, it won’t be easy.
It seems to happen just about every season: There are a handful of hours of primetime that will tax even the most high-capacity DVRs. We’ve already discussed the “Revenge”-“Good Wife” conundrum; here are four other time periods that could get crowded in the fall. All times are Eastern/Pacific.
Mondays at 10: Time for a ‘Revolution’?
ABC and CBS are holding fast to their 10 p.m. Monday dramas, and with good reason: “Castle” and “Hawaii Five-0” both average in the 12 million-viewer range and rank among the Top 50 shows among adults 18-49. But while they’re both solid, neither one is so dominant that NBC’s new drama “Revolution” can’t carve out a place for itself. Or so NBC hopes: “Smash” didn’t show a lot of staying power in the timeslot this spring, and the network could badly use a win.
Tuesdays at 9: Comedy collision
At least in terms of total viewers, this will likely be a race for second place behind “NCIS: Los Angeles.” But we’ll be watching the three-way comedy battle between FOX’s “New Girl,” ABC’s “Happy Endings” and NBC’s “Go On” very closely. “New Girl” performed pretty well here this season and probably has the early edge over its rivals. “Happy Endings” has a devoted fan base, but it’s also leaving the safe haven it had behind “Modern Family.” “Go On” stars former “Friend” Matthew Perry and could get a good initial number, but who knows if it will have staying power? The back half of the hour features three new or nearly new shows: ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23,” FOX’s “Ben & Kate” and NBC’s “The New Normal.”
Wednesdays at 9: Something for everyone
Crime shows? Check — “Criminal Minds” on CBS and “Law & Order: SVU” on NBC. Comedy? Check — ABC’s “Modern Family” will lead into new series “The Neighbors.” Reality? Check — hour two of “The X Factor” on FOX. And some scares? Check — it’s now the home of “Supernatural” on The CW. We’re not sure if any of these shows have a ton of audience overlap, but in terms of programming diversity you can’t really beat this hour.
Wednesdays at 10: Old vs. new
“CSI” is currently the second longest-running drama currently on TV (after “SVU”). Its ratings this season were only about half what they were at its peak, but we have little doubt it will remain competitive next season. “Revenge” gained a nice foothold in the hour for ABC this season, and if “Nashville” can do the same the network will probably be fairly happy. NBC also has a new drama, “Chicago Fire,” in the timeslot.
Which of these shows will you be watching first next fall? What other time periods look crowded to you?