Broadcast Nets’ 10 p.m. Lineups for Fall: ‘Risky,’ ‘Iffy,’ ‘Lackluster’ … and Worse

Jun 17, 2015  •  Post A Comment

When the Big 3 broadcast nets roll out their new fall lineups for the 10 p.m. hour — the critical time slot that sets up the local news for affiliates — they appear to be looking at some trouble spots.

Writing on TVNewsCheck, Adam Buckman talked with TV prognosticators and critics and found out they’re less than enthused about the new programs.

“Most new shows slated for the 10 p.m. time slot … are characterized as ‘risky’ and ‘iffy,'” Buckman writes. “Returning shows are ‘lackluster’ or, at best, ‘modest,’ they say.”

The report quotes Marc Berman, editor in chief of TV Media Insights, saying: “The three networks have a lot of weaknesses [at 10 p.m.]. When you look across the board and you ask: Are there really any Top 10 shows airing at 10 o’clock? The answer is: Not really.”

Seven new programs will be introduced in the time slot this fall, and ABC has already tinkered with the lineup it announced during the upfronts in May. The network is delaying the debut of “Of Kings and Prophets,” moving “Quantico” into its Sunday slot and adding “Beyond the Tank” on Tuesdays to fill the vacated “Quantico” spot.

After about four weeks, “Beyond the Tank,” too, will be bumped, for “Wicked City,” previously slated as a midseason rollout.

But ABC’s 10 p.m. struggle is considered a breeze compared with NBC’s situation. The Peacock “is launching three new shows in the time period, the most of any network: ‘Blindspot’ on Monday, ‘The Player’ on Thursday and ‘Best Time Ever’ with Neil Patrick Harris, the last considered daring by some, perplexing by others,” Buckman writes.

“Best Time Ever,” the report notes, is slated for a 10-week run. “It’s the kind of show that hasn’t been seen on a U.S. TV network in decades, which is one reason why critics are questioning NBC’s decision to pick it up in the first place,” Buckman notes. “The naysayers also say the drama-heavy 10 p.m. time slot is the wrong one for a light-hearted entertainment.”

Josef Adalian, West Coast TV editor of Vulture.com, says ofthe NBC variety experiment: “It’s a little bit of a head-scratcher, quite frankly. … NBC is saying to the other networks, here, go ahead, here’s your chance to find an audience [at 10], while we take some time off and try something totally different.”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read Buckman’s full report.

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