23rd Annual TV Preview – Network Controversies The 2018-19 TV Season
Welcome to the 23rd edition of Harmelin Media’s annual TV preview.
This past 2017-18 season, the networks renewed 18 of their new shows which is the same number as the previous two years. This coming season, the networks will premiere 18 new shows in the fall (ten dramas, eight comedies). Additionally, there are more than 19 shows to be introduced at various points in the season. This is the lowest number of new broadcast scripted shows since 2012. In the past seven years, the number of scripted shows from broadcast, cable and streaming services has more than doubled. In the past 15 years that number has almost tripled from 182 in 2002 to a projected 500+ for 2018.
The amount of television content has led to more video viewing; however, with all the increased competition for viewers, ratings continue to be fragmented. But the networks can still point to some bright spots from last season’s new shows. ABC’s The Good Doctor was the most successful freshman drama and CBS’s Young Sheldon was the most successful freshman comedy.
Remakes continue to be a positive resource for the net- work schedules and all five from last year will return this year: Will and Grace, S.W.A.T., American Idol, Dynasty and The Conners (Roseanne spin-off due to Roseanne Barr’s Twitter controversy).
Roseanne wasn’t the only show with an employee problem. FOX’s Lethal Weapon will return minus one half of its original duo. Clayne Crawford has been replaced by Seann William Scott (American Pie).
This year’s remakes include Murphy Brown starring Candice Bergen and most of the original cast returning to CBS. CBS will also debut a new version of Magnum P.I. starring Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad). The first Magnum P.I., Tom Selleck, stars in the long-running CBS drama Blue Bloods. CW will reprise the WB’s series Charmed but without any of the original cast as some of them were not in favor of the reboot.
NBC will continue with their live musicals with the production of Hair and FOX has Rent scheduled for this upcoming season.
Some of the big names we will see on series television this year include Cedric The Entertainer in CBS’ The Neighbor- hood and Damon Wayans Jr. in CBS’s Happy Together. Ryan Eggold leaves NBC’s The Blacklist to star in their medical drama New Amsterdam. Nathan Fillion returns to ABC as The Rookie and Scott Foley, coming off a seven-year Scandal run, will return to ABC mid-season as an FBI agent in Whis- key Cavalier. Behind the scenes, Eva Longoria is an execu- tive producer of ABC’s Grand Hotel set in Miami Beach.
Over the coming days, in addition to the network offerings, you will find our write-ups on cable television programs and Hulu shows.
We hope you enjoy our previews for the upcoming television season.