With the 2017-18 TV season fast approaching, TV by the Numbers is breaking down each night of the broadcast networks’ schedule. We’ll look for competitive time periods and new shows with a chance to break out — or fall on their faces.

Tuesday is one of the more stable nights of the week, with every network returning at least two shows that aired there last season. As such, it’s likely that ratings will play out similar to how they did last year as well.

The schedule

All times ET/PT. New shows in italics.

8 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10 p.m. 10:30 p.m.
ABC The Middle Fresh Off the Boat (new time) Black-ish (new night) The Mayor Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
CBS NCIS Bull NCIS: New Orleans
The CW The Flash Legends of Tomorrow
FOX Lethal Weapon (new night) The Mick Brooklyn Nine-Nine
NBC The Voice This Is Us Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

 

The heavyweights

“This Is Us” was the breakout star of last year’s freshman class, ranking as the No. 2 drama on network TV in adults 18-49 in overnight ratings, and No. 1 when delayed viewing was factored in. It’s unlikely to face much of a challenge as Tuesday’s top show in the demographic.

CBS’ “NCIS,” “Bull” and “NCIS: New Orleans” weren’t as big in the 18-49 demo, but all three shows finished in the top 15 in viewers last season.

The newcomers

ABC two of the three freshman shows: Comedy “The Mayor” follows a young rapper (Brandon Micheal Hall) who runs for office in his hometown — and, to his and everyone else’s surprise, wins the election. “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” is about a guy (Jason Ritter) who learns he’s been chosen to help humanity survive, whether he likes it or not.

The other newcomer is “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” on NBC, a dramatization of the 1990s trials of Lyle and Erik Menendez that stars Edie Falco.

Two veteran shows, ABC’s “Black-ish” and FOX’s “Lethal Weapon,” also move to Tuesday nights after airing on Wednesday last season.

The battle

There may be some minor skirmishes here and there — will “Lethal Weapon” eat into either “NCIS” or ABC’s comedies at 8? How will ABC and FOX comedies do head-to-head at 9? — but last season showed there was room for multiple solidly rated shows in a time period.

The most interesting matchup is at 10, where “L&O True Crime” and “Kevin” join “NCIS: New Orleans.” The latter did fine there last season and typically won the hour in viewers but finished second to “Chicago Fire” in adults 18-49. If “True Crime” can successfully draft off of “This Is Us,” that scenario could repeat itself this season.

ABC is putting the quirky “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” in what has been the network’s worst timeslot for the past few seasons. If it shows any kind of pulse, ABC will probably be OK with that.

The forecast

Peaceful co-existence is the most likely outcome here. ABC is betting “Black-ish” and “The Mayor” will help improve the second hour of its comedy block, which they has a decent chance of doing. “Lethal Weapon” should give FOX a bump at 8, and “The Mick” may benefit a little from that at 9. NBC and CBS need not fear for their leadership of the night, however. “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow” are likely to give The CW its best night of the week.

More fall forecasts: Sunday | Monday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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