Networks Play It Safe, Lead-Ins Rule On 2014 Fall Schedule: Full Grid & Top Face-Offs

“Protect our young” seems to be the broadcast networks’ motto Upfronts2014_badge__140505214755in making the fall schedules this year. Besides ABC’s new comedies Selfie and Manhattan Love Story, which are being thrown to the wolves at 8 PM on Tuesday, there are virtually no new series that are not protected by an established lead-in, something that traditionally has been CBS’ scheduling M.O. That is, of course, if they were not designed to work as 8 PM shows, like two new comic book-based series, Fox’s Batman prequel Gotham and the Mysteries Of Laura NBC Debra MessingCW’s The Flash; NBC’s light procedural The Mysteries Of Laura; and Fox’s reality series Utopia. Observers note how conservative all the broadcast networks have been this year, with a lot of stability and not many shake-ups. The CW left three of five nights intact. There is not a single nightly lineup of all-new series on any network next fall. Because of that, there are fewer big schedule showdowns next season. We break down the top matchups below the grid:

Networks Play It Safe, Lead-Ins Rule On 2014 Fall Schedule: Full Grid & Top Face-Offs
Upfronts 2014: Comedy Sputters, Diversity & Adaptations Flourish; Other Trends, Oddities

Primetime TV Schedule 2014

scandal-season-finaleThe biggest one, that has industry types salivating, is still hypothetical — ABC’s hot, soapy DC drama Scandal going against NBC’s breakout The Blacklist at 9 PM on Thursday. It is hypothetical, because Blacklist is slated to move from Monday to Thursday in February. A lot could happen between May and February — that’s why few midseason scheduling scenarios announced at the upfronts ever materialized. Who knows how The Blacklist’s Monday replacement, new drama State of Affairs, will do? Nevertheless, a potential Olivia Pope-Red Reddington face-off has high drama written all over it at 9 PM on Thursdays. (more…)

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