Monday through Thursday is “upfronts” week, when the major broadcast networks (plus some party-crashers like the Turner cable networks) present their schedules for next year to advertisers. (Cable has been holding its own upfronts piecemeal for the past couple of months.)
From the business end of TV, it’s the beginning of a ritual designed to bring in the next season’s ad dollars (which networks hope will be going up as the economy shows signs of stirring). From the creative end, my point of interest, it’s a quick sneak peek at what and who we’ll be seeing on TV next fall and beyond. Much of the best programming may now be on cable, but the broadcasters still make the biggest investments in original shows, so this week remains big news. I’ll be attending the upfronts, either in person or by webcast, and will share my impressions as the week goes on.
This year, a lot of big announcements have broken well before the upfronts: Fox announced a pile of pickups and cancellations; word of most of NBC’s news shows came out officially or otherwise; ABC made a ton of scheduling news, including pickups of a Charlie’s Angels remake and a Tim Allen sitcom; even CBS, traditionally the most leak-proof of networks, had advance news of Ashton Kutcher joining Two and a Half Men. (I haven’t forgotten The CW, but that network, which has fewer hours to program, usually makes the least news at upfronts.)
The schedule announcements mean a big crush of news—a lot of new shows coming, a lot of cancelled shows going—so I may not manage to cover all the news in every post; ask in the comments and I may be able to fill in the gaps. In the meantime, what are you most interested to hear about for next year?