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.
Sunday is, per usual, a race for second place. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has been the No. 1 show on network TV for six years running, and that’s very unlikely to change this year. The night does, however, feature a handful of new shows, and others moving nights or time periods, so there’s a chance the undercard will serve up some interesting competition.
All times ET/PT (except for live sports). New shows in italics.
|7 p.m.||7:30 p.m.||8 p.m.||8:30 p.m.||9 p.m.||9:30 p.m.||10 p.m.||10:30 p.m.|
|ABC||The Toy Box (new night)||America’s Funniest Home Videos (new time)||Shark Tank (new night)||Ten Days in the Valley|
|CBS||60 Minutes||Wisdom of the Crowd||NCIS: Los Angeles (new time)||Madam Secretary (new time)|
|FOX||NFL overruns||The OT/Bob’s Burgers||The Simpsons||Ghosted||Family Guy||The Last Man on Earth|
|NBC||Football Night in America||Sunday Night Football|
As noted above, “Sunday Night Football” is going to win the night here. Its only real competition is likely to come from “The Walking Dead” on AMC.
Three new shows will set up shop on the night. “Wisdom of the Crowd” comes from the CBS Procedural Factory and is the latest in the “tech geniuses can do X better” subgenre. In this case, the genius is Jeremy Piven and X = crime-solving via crowdsourcing and Big Data. FOX’s “Ghosted” stars Adam Scott and Craig Robinson as reluctantly partnered paranormal investigators, and ABC’s limited-run “Ten Days in the Valley” features Kyra Sedgwick as a TV producer whose daughter goes missing.
Additionally, ABC has moved “Shark Tank” to 9 p.m. Sundays from its long-time Friday home, where the network hopes it will shore up what was a badly underperforming spot last season.
Three long-running shows will go head-to-head at 9 p.m. in an attempt to win the greatest share of non-NFL and “Walking Dead” viewers. “NCIS: Los Angeles” (which is entering its ninth season) benefited from a move to Sunday last season but gives up the post-“60 Minutes” spot and the NFL halo that sometimes comes with it. “Shark Tank” (Season 9) moves from Friday, where it was usually first or second in adults 18-49 on a lower-traffic night. “Family Guy” (Season 15) tends to get decent NFL assists even at 9 p.m.
All three shows averaged in the 1.2-1.3 range in adults 18-49 last season. “Family Guy” has a young-ish core audience that shows up week in and week out; the other two may have some more overlap in their audience, but none of them is likely to go down in flames.
The tech-saves-the-world subgenre had a rough go last season, with neither CBS’ own “Pure Genius” nor FOX’s “APB” making it to a second season. CBS is giving “Wisdom of the Crowd” a pretty good timeslot, and the NFL halo will help it a few times in the fall. But it could be a heavy lift nonetheless.
“Ghosted” probably needs only to get numbers at or above “Son of Zorn” last season to survive. “Shark Tank” will probably give ABC an upgrade at 9, but the rest of the network’s lineup — limited series “Ten Days in the Valley” and utility player “To Tell the Truth” — feels designed to mark time until, as is rumored, “American Idol” takes over the night later in the season.