The broadcast networks have unveiled their 2012-2013 Fall Prime schedules. The program offerings are a mixed bag of hopefuls, serving up some promising new dramas and comedies. The main trend that we’ve seen is the resurgence of the sitcom. The networks are clustering comedy blocks and match-ups on key nights and we’re most curious about the Tues. 9-10 PM “laugh-off” between ABC, NBC, and Fox. NBC is banking on Go On with Matthew Perry at 9PM, hoping The Voice lead-out will propel the show to emerge as a leader in the time slot. In total, of the new shows, sitcoms comprise 50% of the freshman offerings, while dramas constitute the other half.
In the drama arena, the buzz centers around event dramas and procedurals, with a slant to the supernatural or alternative realities. There is a lot of competition in the 10 PM key drama hour on most nights. An interesting Wednesday night match-up will be ABC’s Smash-feeling Nashville pinned against new show NBC’s Chicago Fire and strong crime procedural, CSI. Of the new quality offerings, we are optimistic about two dramas in particular, Vegas (CBS, Tues., 10PM) with Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, and NBC’s Revolution,(Mon., 10PM), crafted by Lost creator, JJ Abrams. Other interesting dramas to watch are ABC’s supernatural thriller 666 Park Avenue (Sun., 10PM), and CBS’ Elementary (Thurs., 10PM), a modern take on Sherlock Holmes. However, we are dubious about ABC’s Last Resort, which may earn its name and eventually not survive, given its odd Thursday 8PM slot.
Overall, we don’t predict any major shake-ups from last year in rating deliveries with the big four. CBS should still lead in total viewers, Fox should continue to own the coveted A18-49 demo, and ABC and NBC should fall somewhere in between. And, “are you ready for some football?” All things NFL will definitely win again in Prime. So stay tuned, and we’ll keep you informed with an updated prime scorecard later in the year.