ABC CBS FOX NBC Upfronts

TV’s Most Exciting Moment: The Upfronts

What shows are getting cancelled?

What shows are being renewed?

What veteran shows are calling this next fall the last season?

What new shows will the networks bring?

Which network did the best job assembling a great lineup?

Which network flopped this year?

Which show/network will we be totally wrong about?

Let the debate begin.

FOX and NBC leaked earlier what is to be expected from their Upfronts starting on Monday. Translations: Some shows are cancelled as others are renewed. It’s the final tally: Which shows are coming back, which are coming to an end, and which shows will be brought in to fill the voids?

The Broadcast Network Upfronts, the broadcast networks’ most important day of the year, begins May 16th with NBC and FOX. It’s the day shows are born, put on the schedule to help a winning formula (CBS, FOX), replace ending or ailing shows (ABC), or (desperately) spike the ratings (NBC, CW).

A brief synopsis for those who don’t know what the Upfronts are. Every year towards the end of the television season (September-May), the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and CW) give a huge evening of festivities to present their new line-up of shows for the new fall season. Rumors are put to rest as people find out the fate of their favorite shows. If a show is not announced, it’s cancelled and won’t return (but few shows have returned before: see 7th Heaven and Jericho). Usually, most renewed shows are informed well before the upfront date; so once upfronts come up, shows start getting nervous. But, the viewers are only a secondary audience for the Upfronts. The main purpose of the Upfronts are for the advertisers. Television creates programming for advertisers to buy a spot on that show, which will attract their desired demographics. Upfronts is a presentation to the advertiser, to convince them to invest on the show. For the summer, the network will work at convincing businesses to try the show out. Sometimes, shows that regularly receive low ratings get by because of the money they get through advertising (see Chuck and its Subway endorsement). However, shows with great ratings may not have many advertisers backing it, causing it to be cancelled (See Arrested Development).

NBC and FOX lead off Upfront week on Monday, May 16th. ABC announces on Tuesday, May 17th. CBS will make their announcements on Wednesday, May 18th. CW will end broadcast upfront week on Thursday, May 19th.

For the next couple of days, I’ll be giving my predictions on what the schedules will look like, starting with NBC on Thursday, FOX on Friday, ABC on Saturday, and CBS on Sunday. After each upfront, I will give you a prediction of how it’ll do in comparison to all the other times (e.g. how will Monday 8pm time-slots look like for all the networks). These deadlines are rough estimates, so I apologize if they’re not up as fast as I’d like.

This is the most exciting part of my job. Let’s get ready for Upfront Week. Look out for NBC soon.

Information help from: TVbytheNumbers and The Daily Beast

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