The broadcast networks unveiled their fall schedules to advertisers this week, and there weren't any really big surprises.
Here are the highlights of the new fall lineups for the four big broadcast networks:
ABC: In addition to its successful Wednesday night comedy lineup, the network is building a new Tuesday sitcom schedule centered around Tim Allen's new "Last Man Standing." The network has 13 new shows coming out, including a remake of "Charlie's Angels," which will kick off its Thursday night schedule starting this fall.
Here's ABC's full fall schedule. For the record, "Cougar Town" won't be back in the lineup until mid-season.
CBS: The biggest news is the move of "The Good Wife" to Sunday nights at 8. Other than that, there's not much new in what has been a pretty successful schedule. Of course, everybody's waiting to see what Ashton Kutcher will bring to the Charlie Sheen-less "Two and a Half Men."
Fox: There's a lot riding on Fox's "X Factor," which returns Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul to judging a talent competition. But sci-fi fans will likely be tuning in Monday night for the delayed arrival of "Terra Nova."
NBC: While "The Voice" won't be back until midseason, neither will "30 Rock," thanks to Tina Fey's pregnancy. But the network will have another singing competition, "The Sing Off" on its Monday night schedule starting this fall. Music is big for NBC, with another mid-season show, "Smash." It's a scripted show about Broadway and looks to be a grown-up version Fox's "Glee."
Among the questions that arise from a glimpse at these new network schedules is whether viewers really need a new version of "Charlie's Angels"? Even if it brings Minka Kelly back to TV? At least we avoided NBC's "Wonder Woman" reboot, which didn't make the cut.
Take a look at the preview of ABC's new "Charlie's Angels." It may not be enough to answer that question:
One show that I'm already looking forward to is Fox's "New Girl," which brings the lovely Zooey ("500 Days of Summer") Deschanel to network TV. Deschanel describes her show as a modern-day "Mary Tyler Moore Show," or "That Girl." And, yes, her sister, Emily Deschanel, is on on Fox's "Bones."
Here's a preview of "New Girl":
What I'm scratching my head about is the fact that both NBC and ABC have scheduled stylish-looking 1960s dramas in the vein of AMC's "Mad Men."
The problem here is that AMC's show can be dubbed a huge success by attracting only a couple million viewers. For the broadcast networks, 2 million viewers equals a quick cancellation.
Here's a preview of ABC's "Pan Am":
Here's a look at NBC's "Playboy Club":
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.