The major broadcast networks appear to be making a strategic shift, with most of the Big 4 nets firming up much of their fall programming with early renewals. “ABC has renewed 15 series for the 2016-17 season, locking in almost 70 percent of its schedule for next season,” TVbytheNumbers.com reports. “NBC has locked in eight shows, plus its ‘Sunday Night Football’ package, for next year as well, so more than half of its fall schedule is set.”
Fox has also already announced a number of renewals, and CBS is expected to follow suit with renewals well before it unveils its 2016-17 schedule in May.
“The tactic has its advantages: It’s a signal to viewers that some of their favorite shows will be back, and to the people that make those shows that they can rest easy and calibrate the endings of the current season to flow into the next one, if they wish,” the article notes. “It likely also provides a clearer picture for networks about what they actually need going into the teeth of pilot season.”
The mass renewals also ramp up the familiarity factor for networks, allowing them to schedule around shows whose performance they can fairly reliably predict rather than rolling the dice on new programs.
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