On the eve of Upfront Week, when the five English-language broadcast networks will present their respective 2014-15 prime-time schedules to media buyers, advertisers and the working press, news of various renewals and cancellations continues to seep out like booze through a sot’s pores three days into a bender.
2013-14 Broadcast TV Season
Jack Bauer’s return to prime time was met with a reception that hovered somewhere between a bang and a whimper.
Having earned bragging rights as the season’s fifth highest-rated new drama, Almost Human would seem to be a prime candidate for a renewal. Instead, the J.J.
Whether they’re going up against zombies or dragons, the broadcast networks can’t seem to catch a break in the Sunday night 9 p.m. slot.
With just a month to go before the 2013-14 broadcast TV season slinks off into the murk of history, the networks on Thursday night launched a pair of last-gasp series. As one may well expect from a couple of shows that were reserved for a late-April premiere, the results were unspectacular.
While the broadcast networks are pressuring agencies and clients to start writing more deals against a C7 ratings currency, at first blush, it would appear that there’s little cause to rush into a paradigm shift. But nothing could be further from the truth.
With no fewer than four broadcast series calling it a day, Thursday night was a time for cliff-hangers and farewells. But as has been the case throughout the season, only one of these shows delivered a blockbuster audience.
Although Tuesday night’s installment of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was heavily promoted as a tie-in to the newly released theatrical hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier, relatively few viewers were on hand to see the ensuing plot twist play out.
While extended hiatuses may work for the likes of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, broadcast TV series that take lengthy breaks or are erratically scheduled increasingly run the risk of losing their audiences.
Pop quiz: In the series finale of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, the titular mom is revealed to be: a) a MacGuffin b) a red herring c) the Yellow [Umbrella] King d) a nice, limpid-eyed dead lady e) a burlap sack full of hissing eels