While ABC, NBC, and CBS delivered trailers depicting heartfelt stories with executives talking brand safety online, CW instead focused their upfront presentation on the heartfelt message that has been winning viewers for years.
CW had a pretty interesting pilot season this year. They ultimately decided to cast a wide net, picking up: a comic book show, a prime-time soap reboot, a military drama, and an hour-long comedy. Given the network’s inherent difficulties in drawing eyeballs, you have to wonder if such a broad approach is smart.
I’ll give this to CBS: they are completely unapologetic. People say their shows are too white, don’t have enough female leads, that their dramas are too procedural, that their comedies are hacky. If you go purely by Nielsen ratings, I guess they’ve done OK with that strategy to date.
Like their network rivals NBC, CBS brought the star power to their upfront presentation as chairman and CEO Les Moonves and company presented their wares for fall to their advertiser audience. CBS performers Stephen Colbert, Young Sheldon‘s Iain Armitage, James Corden, David Boreanaz, Shemar Moore, and more took the stage.
Cabler TNT is hoping to make big waves in the next year as it made clear at the Turner upfronts presentation, where they unveiled a slate that refocuses the network’s brand on high-end drama series and unscripted projects that are documentary-centric. Meanwhile, TBS is continuing to evolve its brand of comedy with talk show host Conan O’Brien showing the network’s ability to grow.
ABC probably had the most interesting pilot season among the networks. Unlike the competition, they filmed a pretty healthy number of pilots and picked up a pretty large percentage to series, granted many will be mid-season premieres.
Like NBC, Fox didn’t pick up as many pilots this year. They did, however, pick up a pretty large percentage of those pilots to series, particularly on the drama side. Does that mean they’re giving up on comedy? Not really.
It was a weird pilot season. No network embodied that statement more than NBC. The craziness in a nutshell: the most coveted timeslot in all of television, between Will & Grace and This is Us, is going to sophomore series Great News, whose renewal was iffy as recently as two weeks ago.
Last year’s crop of CBS pilots were lackluster, and of those ordered to series, only Bull and MacGyver have been renewed so far. With Doubt already canceled, and Training Day and Pure Genius unlikely to be renewed, CBS has plenty of room on its fall schedule.
This season has a lot of pilots shot, but not a lot of schedule room. How these pilots come in may determine the fate of 2 Broke Girls and The Great Indoors. Let’s see if the network will fare better than last season.
ABC’s three major drama pickups last year — Notorious, Conviction, and Time After Time — failed to connect with audiences and critics alike. Channing Dungey must really be feeling the pressure to deliver.
With the instant critical and viewer praise for The Handmaid’s Tale, the attitude was upbeat at the Hulu presentation at Upfronts. In addition to Handmaid’s Tale, the streaming network announced the big acquisition of the SVOD rights of This is Us and Atlanta, two of the biggest hits of the last year.
New ABC Network president Channing Dungey had an important decision last year: greenlight more family comedies or add other types of comedy to their strong lineup. She went with a bit of both and now they are bursting at the seams with half-hours.
Last year, Fox was all about IP and filling a gaping, American Idol-sized hole. Its development was all over the place. This year, much like NBC, Fox seems to have found its groove as well.
Fox has recently taken a cautious approach to comedy development, but now that New Girl is likely canceled, and Last Man on Earth may be winding down soon, Fox has to get a bit more aggressive.
As the happy home of critical and Nielsen darling This is Us, NBC marches towards the upfronts with its head held high. Clearly happy about the show’s success, Bob Greenblatt has been quite forthcoming this past year about NBC’s emphasis on positivity on all fronts, be it in the office or on screen.
A few years ago, NBC comedy was in a bad place. Though critically adored and beloved by many, flagship shows Parks & Rec and 30 Rock simply weren’t ratings juggernauts, so NBC had a choice to make: go broader with comedy development or continue to focus on smaller, quality projects. As with most things in television, the pursuit of money won out.
With last year’s pilots Frequency and No Tomorrow both unlikely to see renewals, The CW is looking for a big hit that isn’t attached to the DC universe and can add to the critical clout they’ve gained with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin. See what’s next for the CW in our preview of their 2017 drama pilots.
CW excitedly pointed out during their upfront presentation that they have a clear audience and are aware of what that audience wants to watch.
ABC may have gotten some backlash over their cancellations, but CBS is taking serious heat for their pilot orders on the newly announced schedule – a lineup filled with male-led comedies and procedurals.
CBS releases first looks for their new shows including Star Trek, MacGyver, and Kevin Can Wait.
Jimmy Kimmel made a splash this morning with an opening monologue at ABC’s upfront presentation that may have been closer to a roast. With performances, light-hearted moments, and videos of new series all on full display.
The highly anticipated 24 reboot, 24: Legacy, just landed itself the best premiere slot on television: right after the Super Bowl. Find out what else Fox announced at the 2016 Upfront here!
Premium cable networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz have taken the battle for subscribers to another level this year as each channel has fully implemented an a la carte system in order to win over the cord-cutters.
It’s Upfronts time! This week, TV executives, creators, and stars head to the east coast to present their lineup after the spring cleaning and new orders that occurred last week and we’ve got your guide to all the presentations and parties.
NBC is adding a new addition to the DC TV universe with a series order for Powerless, the superhero insurance comedy starring Vanessa Hudgens and Dani Pudi.
Bull starring Michael Weatherly has received a series order along with Pure Genius, MacGyver, and Training Day, and comedies Man With A Plan and The Great Indoors.
Bordertown, Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life, Grandfathered, and The Grinder have all been cut from Fox’s series ranks.
Say goodbye to cult favorite Agent Carter and long-standing hour-long Castle, as ABC has decided to cancel both shows in addition to The Muppets, Galavant, Nashville, and The Family.