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Upfronts 2017

Upfronts 2017

As summer approaches and more and more season finales begin to air, that means only one thing: the 2016-2017 television season is coming to a close. Fans will be sitting on the edge of their seats, praying that their favorite series will not be axed by station executives. Meanwhile, station executives hope that the backlash isn’t too great. ABC is currently facing this issue with the cancellation of Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing”, but that is an entirely other blog post. Television audiences will also be getting their first glimpse into what pilots stations are picking up for the upcoming season. CBS is likewise being dealt blows for having six new shows all featuring a male protagonist; not a big difference from last year’s lineup that featured five shows, all with male leads; but again, that is an entirely different blog post. For those that don’t know, this process of renewal and cancellation is referred to as The Upfronts.

When deciding what shows will be picked up for another season and which ones will be doomed to their final resting place, there are many factors. In most circumstances, stations rely on two things: ratings and advertising dollars. However, in this digital age it may not be as black-and-white as one may expect. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu allow for network shows to gain an audience even after a season has finished airing. These streaming services have also developed their own original content that competes with the broadcast stations (i.e., “Orange Is the New Black”, “House of Cards”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, etc.). Networks have to balance the potential for shows to gain traction on these services that can later carry over to their upcoming season.

handmaidstale
Elisabeth Moss in Hulu's original series "The Handmaid's Tale".

The CW is one network that hopes to take advantage of streaming services, having struck a deal with Netflix allowing for shows to be uploaded to the platform only eight days following their season finale. I know I’ve been waiting for Riverdale’s first season to become available. This strategy is listed as the reason that “The 100” was saved from cancellation, having gained a cult following once episodes were available for viewing on Netflix.  They hope that freshman season slumps “Frequency” and “No Tomorrow” will have the same outcome.

Advertising gurus, especially those in the media buying and planning sector, should make a point to pay attention to upfronts, especially if they have national clients, because this information can help increase the reach of a client. At Miller, we pay attention to upfronts because it gives us information on shifting trends on TV and a preview of the upcoming schedules. Researching what each individual broadcast station exceeds at (i.e., comedy or drama) is crucial. For example: CBS has the most watched show on television with “The Big Bang Theory,” a show that they have renewed for two more seasons now that cast contracts have been finalized. ABC’s Thank God It’s Thursday line-up or as it is commonly referred to as #TGIT features its three Shonda Rhimes dramas; “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” are heavy-weight hitters in the ratings department. NBC found a winner with its freshman series “This Is Us.” The tear-jerking drama was a hit, and NBC has now ordered two more seasons.

Another considerations that advertisers need to take in this upcoming 2017-2018 season is NBC’s lockdown of the upcoming Winter Olympics. Fan favorite shows are also being revamped with “American Idol” and “Roseanne” (I am stoked!) coming to ABC and NBC bringing back “Will & Grace.” (Still stoked!) It will be interesting to see if these shows will be able to live up to the high bar their original runs set for themselves.

NBC is bringing back sitcom classic
NBC is bringing back sitcom classic "Will & Grace" after a 10-year hiatus.

For a complete list of what has been renewed, canceled, and upcoming shows, please see below:

 

CBS

Awaiting News

HuntedRansomTraining DayUndercover Boss

Renewed

48 Hours60 MinutesThe Amazing RaceThe Big Bang Theory (for two more seasons), Blue BloodsBullCode BlackCriminal MindsElementaryHawaii Five-0Kevin Can WaitLife in PiecesMacGyverMadam SecretaryMan With a PlanMomNCISNCIS: Los AngelesNCIS: New OrleansScorpionSuperior DonutsSurvivor

Renewed Off-Cycle

Big Brother (through Season 20), Zoo

Canceled

2 Broke GirlsAmerican GothicBrainDeadCriminal Minds: Beyond BordersDoubtThe Great IndoorsThe Odd CouplePure Genius

New Shows for 2017-2018

9JKLBy the BookInstinctMe, Myself & ISeal TeamS.W.A.T.Wisdom of the CrowdYoung Sheldon.

 

NBC

Awaiting News

The Biggest LoserChicago JusticeLittle Big ShotsThe New Celebrity ApprenticeTrial & Error

Canceled

AquariusThe Blacklist: RedemptionEmerald CityPowerless

Renewed

The BlacklistBlindspotChicago FireChicago MedChicago P.D.The Good PlaceGreat NewsLaw & Order: SVUShades of BlueSuperstoreTakenThis Is Us (for two more seasons), TimelessThe Voice (through fall 2017), The Wall

Renewed Off-Cycle

America's Got TalentAmerican Ninja WarriorBetter Late Than Never, The Carmichael Show,The Night Shift

Returning Shows That Haven't Premiered Yet

Hollywood Game Night

New Shows That Haven't Premiered Yet

Little Big Shots: Forever YoungMarlonMidnight, TexasSaturday Night Live: Weekend UpdateSpartan: Ultimate Team ChallengeWorld of Dance

Ending

Grimm

New Shows for 2017-2018

AP BioThe BraveChampionsGood GirlsLaw & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,ReverieRiseWill & Grace.

 

Fox

Awaiting News

Hotel HellKicking & Screaming

Canceled

APBHome FreeHoudini & DoyleMaking HistoryPitchRosewoodScream QueensSleepy HollowSon of Zorn

Renewed

Bob's BurgersBrooklyn Nine-NineEmpireThe ExorcistFamily GuyGothamHell's Kitchen(through Season 18), The Last Man on EarthLethal WeaponLuciferThe MickNew GirlThe Simpsons (through 2018-19), Star

A Limited Series That Could Come Back, But There Are No Plans:

Prison Break

Returning Shows That Haven’t Premiered Yet

MasterchefSo You Think You Can DanceSuperhuman

New Shows That Haven’t Premiered Yet

Beat ShazamThe F WordHypnotize Me (formerly called You're Back in the Room), Love ConnectionYou the Jury

Ending

BonesShots Fired (a limited series)

It's Possible It Could Come Back Sometime

24: Legacy

Comin' Back for More

The X-Files

New Shows for 2017-2018

9-1-1The GiftedGhostedLA to VegasThe OrvilleThe Resident.

 

ABC

Awaiting News

Beyond the Tank

Canceled

American CrimeThe CatchConvictionDr. KenImaginary MaryMistressesNotoriousLast Man StandingThe Real O’NealsSecrets and LiesTime After TimeUncle Buck

Renewed

America’s Funniest Home VideosAmerican HousewifeThe Bachelor, The Bachelorette,Black-ishDancing With the StarsDesignated SurvivorFresh Off the BoatGrey's Anatomy,The Goldbergs (for two seasons), How to Get Away With MurderMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.The MiddleModern Family (for two seasons), Once Upon a TimeQuantico,ScandalShark TankSpeechless

Renewed Off-Cycle

Bachelor in ParadiseCelebrity Family FeudMatch GameThe $100,000 PyramidTo Tell the Truth

New Shows That Haven't Premiered Yet

Battle of the Network StarsBoy BandDownward DogThe Gong ShowSomewhere BetweenSteve Harvey's FunderdomeStill Star-CrossedTen Days in the Valley

New Shows for 2017-2018

Alex, Inc.The CrossingDeceptionFor the PeopleThe Good DoctorThe Gospel of Kevin,Marvel's InhumansThe MayorRoseanneSplitting Up TogetherTen Days in the Valley, Untitled Grey's Anatomy spinoff, Untitled Kimmel and Theroux project.

 

The CW

Canceled

FrequencyNo Tomorrow

Renewed

The 100ArrowCrazy Ex-GirlfriendDC's Legends of TomorrowThe FlashiZombieJane the VirginThe OriginalsRiverdaleSupergirlSupernatural

Renewed Off-Cycle

Masters of IllusionPenn & Teller: Fool UsWhose Line Is It Anyway?

Ending

ReignThe Vampire Diaries

New Shows for 2017-2018

Black LightningDynastyLife SentenceValor.

 

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