Some New Fall Shows Might Not Stand a Chance Because of Bad Time Slots

TV's worst times claim new victims

After the broadcast networks trotted out their fall schedules at this month's upfronts, much of the focus was on the most promising freshman shows, setting up fall's biggest time-slot battles. Many of the networks were clear about which new series they felt strongest about, placing them in their most-protected time slots—CBS' Life in Pieces in its post-The Big Bang Theory slot, for instance, and NBC's Blindspot in its coveted 10 p.m. Monday spot after The Voice. 

But, far less was said about the shows that ended up in their networks' least-desired spots—the ones we noted last fall were the 10 worst time slots on television. Even as more viewers time shift their programs each season, certain time slots have proven consistently poisonous to any program.

Now that this year's renewals and cancelations have been finalized, it's time to look at which of this season's shows fell victim to toxic time slots and which of next season's unlucky newcomers might not want to make long-term plans.

(All ratings data are from Nielsen and reflect the average adults 18-49 rating in live-plus-seven through May 10 and live-plus-same-day for the most recent two weeks.)

Sundays, 10 p.m., ABC

Previous casualties: Where do we start? So many failed dramas, including Pan Am, GCB, 666 Park Avenue, Red Widow and Betrayal.

Last season's victim: Revenge (1.9), which moved into the slot this season and was canceled by ABC after four years.

Next up: Biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets.

Mondays, 8:30 p.m., CBS

Previous casualties: Most of CBS' short-lived comedies of the last few years made mostly brief appearances here including We Are Men, Friends With Better Lives, Accidentally on Purpose, Mad Love and Partners.

Last season's victim: The Millers (2.0) entered the time slot as TV's No. 1 new comedy the previous year. After four episodes, it was canceled.

Next up: Life in Pieces, which has the advantage of being protected by The Big Bang Theory. In November, CBS hopes to have better luck with drama Supergirl.

Mondays, 10 p.m., CBS

Previous casualties: Two dramas entered in 2013—Hostages and Intelligence—and neither survived.

Last season's victor: NCIS: Los Angeles (2.2), which broke the Monday-at-10 curse for CBS. 

Next up: NCIS: Los Angeles, again.

Tuesdays, 8 p.m., Fox

Previous casualties: While Raising Hope and Glee both died in other time slots, much of their ratings erosion happened here. 

Last season's victim: Utopia (1.7) flamed out spectacularly last fall; Fox successfully plugged the leak with MasterChef Junior (2.2).

Next up: Promising new sitcoms Grandfathered and The Grinder.

Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m., ABC

Previous casualties: Networks' sitcoms don't get any worse than Man Up! or Work It, both of which quickly expired here.

Last season's victim: Manhattan Love Story (1.2), last fall's first canceled series.

Next up: Fresh Off the Boat (2.3), a surprise midseason hit, moves to the time slot.

Tuesdays, 10 p.m., ABC

Previous casualties: In 2013-14, the time period wiped out an astounding three dramas: Lucky 7, Killer Woman and Mind Games.

Last season's victim: One show, Forever (1.7), actually made it through the entire season, but it still didn't last to Season 2.

Next up: Yet another new sacrificial lamb, er, drama: Quantico.

Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m., ABC

Previous casualties: Incompatible post-Modern Family comedies like Super Fun Night, Mixology and How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).

Last season's victor: Black-ish (3.0), which became the first successful Modern Family lead-out in six seasons.

Next up: More Black-ish. ABC can finally stop tinkering here.

Thursdays, 9 p.m., Fox

Previous casualties: Rake, Surviving Jack, The Finder, Touch—comedies and dramas alike failed to gain traction.

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