|TV AND DIGITAL UPDATES
Fall TV Preview 2019: What to Watch (and What’s Not Worth It)
Overall, the five broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW — will be introducing a roster of 17 new primetime television series this fall. The 2019-20 television season officially begins on Monday, September 23, and the breakdown by new series is nine scripted dramas, seven scripted sitcoms, and the non-scripted reboot of “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” hosted by Tiffany Haddish, on ABC.
There will be an additional 20 new series rolled out later in the season -— 12 dramas, seven sitcoms and one realty/competition. That brings the grand total to about 37 new series.
The inherent trends: more revivals, more spin-offs, and a continued emphasis on the hour-long drama format.
While these networks, of course, want you to believe everything new will be a success, attracting an audience in this era of “Peak TV” (where over 500 scripted series vie for eyeballs across all outlets) is more challenging than ever. Most seasons, three out of five new broadcast series do not make it into a second season. And, unfortunately, I do not see this upcoming season as an exception. For a look of each of the 17 new fall series, click here
Viacom Acquires Off-Net Rights to “Seinfeld”
Viacom has announced the acquisition of sitcom “Seinfeld” from Sony Pictures Television, in a deal that features the exclusive cable rights for all 180 episodes of the series. Beginning in October 2021, the full library of “Seinfeld” episodes will air amongst Viacom’s entertainment brands, including Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land. Additionally, catch-up episodes will be available through Viacom brands via authenticated video on demand, websites and apps.
The deal was closed by Barbara Zaneri, EVP, Viacom Global Program Acquisitions, and Flory Bramnick, EVP, US Distribution, for an undisclosed sum.
“Friends” at 25
On September 22, 1994, NBC debuted one of its new Thursday night sitcoms entitled “Friends” about six friends — portrayed by Courteney Cox (Monica), Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry (Chandler) and David Schwimmer (Ross) — living in New York City. It initially aired at 8:30 p.m. ET, sandwiched in between “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld.”
The show’s original title was “Insomnia Cafe,” which was then retitled “Friends Like Us” before it finalized as “Friends” upon its launch. It later took over the post-“Seinfeld” 9:30 p.m. slot in February 1995 once Dabney Coleman’s “Madman of the People” (NBC’s other Thursday sitcom introduced in the fall of ’94) faltered.
For a look at the notable promotional advertisements for the Thursday night sitcom, click here
2019 Emmy Awards: And the Winners Were… Click here
Best of the Worst: The History of Bad TV in 10 Shows – Click here
Predict the Outcomes of the “Big Brother 21” Finale – Click here
The Top 25 TV Shows of the 1970s, click here