Tuesday, December 02, 2008

CBS, ABC announce mid-season schedule changes

I just keep finding excuses to run photos of the Bobby Cannavale "Cupid" remake (trailer here, don't forget), in this case because it's one of several mid-season shows on ABC and CBS to get a timeslot today. You can read the ABC press release and its CBS counterpart, and I'll offer up some specifics and analysis after the jump...

• CBS's crime procedurals are holding up as well as anything on TV this season, so there are very few changes on their mid-season sked. "Eleventh Hour" got extended for five more episodes past the initial 13, then will give way for the serialized mystery show "Harper's Island," which they hope will do better in the post-"CSI" timeslot. With "The Ex-List" long dead, "Flashpoint" returns to the Friday timeslot where it did very well in the summer, and Ashton Kutcher's "Game Show in My Head" gets banished to Saturdays, no doubt because of the fast flop of Kutcher's ABC game show "Opportunity Knocks."

• Of the three new ABC dramas to get timeslots today -- "Cupid," "Castle" and "The Unusuals" -- only the latter seems to be placed in a position for easy success, as it will get to air after "Lost." "Cupid" goes Tuesdays at 10, with "Scrubs" and a comedy to be named later as its lead-in, while Nathan Fillion and "Castle" go Mondays at 10, against a certain carrot-topped individual who favors sunglasses and snappy one-liners.

• When ABC announced that they were remaking "Cupid," a show that had failed on the network a decade ago, I argued that the ABC of 2008 was a lot better-equipped to support the show than the ABC of 1998, because a timeslot after either "Desperate Housewives" or "Grey's Anatomy" would be much more hospitable than having to air on Saturday nights or against "Seinfeld" the way the original version did. So, of course, ABC goes and schedules it away from either sensible lead-in, on the same island where "Eli Stone" died a slow death this fall. I understand that ABC is trying to salvage "Private Practice" by pairing it with "Grey's," but couldn't the network have tried "Cupid" on Sundays at 10? "Brothers and Sisters" has to take one of those March/April breaks, doesn't it? Sigh...

(UPDATE: Of course, my scheduling math was off. "Cupid" will be on after the "Dancing with the Stars" results show. I still think getting a lead-in from another drama is more advantageous, but I can't complain about the show not having a huge audience watching ABC right before it comes on.)

21 comments:

Nicole said...

Does Ben Silverman run ABC as well?

I hope Cupid turns out well because there has been nothing this year that has really impressed me on any of the networks. I'll watch Eleventh Hour or Life on Mars, mostly because they aren't the horrible remakes I thought they would be, but for actual original programming, nothing has been a standout. Luckily Chuck has only gotten better with age, but it isn't a member of the Class of 2008. Is this dearth of creativity truly a result of the writer's strike?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. What's the point of having hit shows like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy if you don't use them to help launch even more hit shows. If a spinoff like Private Practice can't stand on its own with the rabid Grey's Anatomy fanbase, then its problems must be bigger than any timeslot. Cupid would seem to be a perfect companion for DH or GA.

On the other hand, as a huge LOST fan, nothing sounds less appealing to me than a quirky Amber Tamblyn dramedy. I may be wrong on this and The Unusuals may turn out to be fantastic, but I was hoping that Nathan Fillion show would be following Lost. What can I say, I love Captain Hammer.

Anonymous said...

Cupid may have aired on Thursdays at some point, but it couldn't have been against Seinfeld. Seinfeld went off in May of '98 and Cupid didn't start until the following fall. If memory serves the NBC Thursday night lineup that fall was Friends, Jesse, Frasier, Veronica's Closet, and ER.

Nicole said...

Cupid aired on Saturdays for the most part, or at least that's when I recall watching it, along with a bad remake of Fantasy Island starring Malcolm McDowell

Alan Sepinwall said...

What's the point of having hit shows like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy if you don't use them to help launch even more hit shows.

It's been pointed out to me (as I note in the updated version of this post) that Cupid will actually be on after Dancing with the Stars, which is a very large (if not necessarily compatible) lead-in.

Matt said...

I'm a bit flummoxed by why they didn't swap Cupid and Castle's proposed slots. Eli Stone, a quirky dramedy, has failed miserably in that Tuesday slot, while quirky dramedy Boston Legal has done well on Mondays. Male skewers on Monday nights at 10 have never done that well, and competing with the inexplicably invincible Sunglasses of Justice is tough for a crime show.

Anonymous said...

The first ten episodes aired on Saturday. Then for some reason ABC thought it would be a good idea to move the show to Thursday against NBC's Must See Thursday lineup of Frasier and Veronica's Closet. (Fraiser was a top #5 show in 1999.) After airing two episodes in the new time slot, ABC stopped production on the show on January 26th. ABC aired two more episodes on Thursday after they stopped production.

Matthew L said...

Hey, I didn't know Amber Tamblyn had a new series. I was a big fan of Joan of Arcadia, a show that really tested her acting abilities, and she always managed to impress me. So I'm pleased that she's got a new series.

Although, playing a homicide detective? Okay, in real life she's 25, which may be old enough to actually be a homicide detective. But it's going to be a bit of an adjustment, since I'm used to seeing her playing a teenager (just last year, she was a pregnant teenager in Stephanie Daley, and there's the Travelling Pants films). The problem with having mid-20s actors play teens is that they seem wrong when they actually play their age.

jcpdiesel21 said...

I missed out on Cupid the first time around, but the trailer for the remake has me charmed. I'll definitely try to catch this version. It looks cute.

annie said...

Dancing is a compatible lead in for me! :D Too bad I don't watch anything live.

Matthew L said...

Cupid will actually be on after Dancing with the Stars, which is a very large (if not necessarily compatible) lead-in.

I'm curious about why you think Dancing will not be a good lead-in? At the absolute broadest audience view, I'd guess both shows would skew female. Does Dancing skew older or something?

And, can I just say I always find it surprising the time shows air in the US. People talk about how strong CSI Miami is when it airs at 10, which to me seems very late since here in NZ that show will air at 8.30pm. It's surprising to me just how different our TV viewing cultures actually are.

zodin2008 said...

Alan,

Where is "Life on Mars"??? I thought it was supposed to be on after "Lost"?

Adam said...

And in the winter, there's no football on Monday nights.

I'm just glad the Race is coming back early.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Where is "Life on Mars"??? I thought it was supposed to be on after "Lost"?

It will be, starting in late January. The Unusuals won't be debuting until April, by which point Life on Mars will either move or be done.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm curious about why you think Dancing will not be a good lead-in? At the absolute broadest audience view, I'd guess both shows would skew female. Does Dancing skew older or something?

Dancing skews very, very old, though as with American Idol the overall audience is so big that there are plenty of young eyeballs in the tent. My concern is that, outside of Idol/House and Survivor/CSI, reality shows have very rarely been good lead-ins to scripted dramas.

Pamela Jaye said...

If a spinoff like Private Practice can't stand on its own with the rabid Grey's Anatomy fanbase

as a rabid member, my only opinion of PP is that it's "there." Was it on last week? If so, I may have forgotten to watch it. if so, yay, another hour of something to watch. If it gets canceled, oh well.

It's mildly interesting. Only slightly moreso that Chicago Hope after David E Kelley left. (i got two years behind at one point - it must have been my social life. i had to reconstruct the correct airing order to watch both CH and ER, cause they didn't make sense out of order. yup, 2 seasons each.)

Today i have either less life or more TV (and this year, it's *not* more tv)
but still. PP doesn't take place in a hospital (one strike) and I just can't relate to any of the characters (i'm one of the rare people who actually likes Meredith) and that just leaves pretty faces, ethical dilemmas, and sex. and if sex was what i wanted, most shows would do.

Alan, are you tired of The Thirteen Show or just behind?
i'm hoping they found their climax last night and will move on now.

Tracey said...

Watched the Cupid trailer... many of the lines are straight out of the original, which is oddly comforting. But the trailer also reminds me that I'm getting old: the original show was very hip/trendy in a dark, late 1990s kind of way; this trailer has a very different feel.

Do you know why they changed the characters' last names? In the original, it was Trevor Hale and Claire Allen. Now it's Trevor Pierce and Claire McCrae. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just seemed an odd detail to change.

Anonymous said...

There was some Pushing Daisies stuff in what I read too. Looks like the final episode (to air) will be 12/17? Guess the remaining 2 or 3 will be online?

Matthew L said...

My concern is that, outside of Idol/House and Survivor/CSI, reality shows have very rarely been good lead-ins to scripted dramas.

Thanks for that explanation.

dez said...

I'm just glad the Race is coming back early.

Same here. I need to get the bad memories of this season out of my head.

Pamela Jaye said...

I just heard the Knight Rider got canceled just not sure where to mention it. (this was my best guess. someone else probably already noticed)