Monday, September 20, 2010

The Replacements, Fall 2010

One underused way of predicting early cancellations is to look at what the network would have to put in their place. Without an obvious replacement or terribly disastrous ratings, shows can linger longer than ratings warrant. (See several new shows kept around during the 2007-08 WGA strike, along with NBC's Mercy and Trauma sticking around post-Leno.) So with my apologies for being a Gloomy Gus, here's one more piece of perspective: what I see happening in each show's nightmare scenario.

No Ordinary Family (Tuesday 8/7c) - Aside from just helping out the net in general, the success of this and Detroit 1-8-7 would give the net some Tuesday stuff for the often troubling between-Dancing period. But if its ratings are so bad it warrants an early axe, look for ABC to bring back its old faithful Dancing with the Stars recaps. This timeslot would also seem a likely candidate for midseason comedies like Mr. Sunshine and Happy Endings twixt Dancings.

Detroit 1-8-7 (Tuesday 10/9c) - If the summer and even recent regular seasons are any indication, this timeslot could easily be filled by any number of Primetime specials, including the highest-rated of the bunch, What Would You Do? The net probably is hoping to plug sophomore V into the 9:00 hour between Dancings and keep airing these other two, but if it doesn't work out that way, it could end up here regularly.

Better With You (Wednesday 8:30/7:30c) - Hank got axed in this hour very early on last year and was replaced for the vast majority of the season by comedy repeats that did much better. That would seem a likely candidate in this case, although one of the midseason comedies could also ultimately plug in.

The Whole Truth (Wednesday 10/9c) - EDIT: forgot this one, sorry. I see it in pretty much the same way I see the Tuesday 10:00 hour. Primetime: What Would You Do? did pretty decent work here last year and it could end up here again. It's also a likely destination for Body of Proof if they like it well enough to move it out of the Friday wasteland; after all, Ugly Betty and Men in Trees have both moved to this hour from Friday in the past.

My Generation (Thursday 8/7c) - I really doubt My Generation will do much in the ratings, and I've predicted a very early axe for the show, but what gives me pause is the fact that it does not have an obvious replacement, and it doesn't take much to do better than likely candidate Grey's Anatomy repeats. The net may consider another Shonda Rhimes medical show in Off the Map, but I'm just not sure they're going to line three of those up on one night.

Secret Millionaire / Body of Proof (Friday 8/7c and 9/8c) - I lump these together because the replacement candidates are pretty much the same, some combination of the reality carousel of Supernanny, Shark Tank, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and maybe other stuff.

Mike & Molly (Monday 9:30/8:30c) - It seems hard to imagine a Chuck Lorre comedy lasting less than a full season, and without midseason tentpole Rules of Engagement waiting in the wings this year (it's on the fall sked instead) I just have to shrug and say their only midseason comedy Mad Love is the most likely replacement.

Hawaii Five-0 (Monday 10/9c) - There aren't many predicting this remake will last less than a full year, but should it happen, I think the net is going to have to at least give some thought to bringing CSI: Miami back to its historic home. Of course, they're nowhere near as desperate as NBC in the scripted arena, the net that had to return Law & Order to the Wednesday 10:00 hour on a couple occasions, and perhaps CBS would feel strongly that they need to "move on" in the hour. But combined with CSI: Miami's projected big drops on Sunday, I think it'd appear an appealing option.

The Defenders (Wednesday 10/9c) - The obvious choice here is Criminal Minds spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and while once upon a time it seemed the purpose of spinoffs was to expand the brand to other nights, the recent skedding of Private Practice, NCIS: LA, and Law & Order: LA would seem to suggest these pairings are now the norm.

$#!* My Dad Says (Thursday 8:30/7:30c) - I'll go with midseason newbie Mad Love again, although this show is not going to have to dip very low before it'll face the same problem that many Friends lead-outs had to face leading out of a monster comedy on this night: simply plugging in a repeat of lead-in The Big Bang Theory would do better.

Blue Bloods (Friday 10/9c) - Since I haven't named it anywhere else I'll go with midseason drama Chaos here, but it could end up in either of the other two drama spots as well.

The Event (Monday 9/8c) - Will NBC try to re-construct a genre night even if The Event fails? I don't know, but I'm going with midseason superhero show The Cape here anyway.

Chase (Monday 10/9c) - I'll also say The Cape for this timeslot, as it seems like something that might lead out of The Event in "the event" that show succeeds while Chase doesn't.

Undercovers (Wednesday 8/7c) - If this JJ Abrams drama doesn't make it, I'd look for this as a pretty likely spot for the net's midseason comedies Perfect Couples and Friends with Benefits. They don't seem like natural fits for the Thursday comedy lineup and NBC will probably make an effort to keep them away.

Law & Order: LA (Wednesday 10/9c) - This is another show that it's tough to see getting yanked early, even though I don't think it'll be much of a ratings success. But I'll say the Kathy Bates legal drama Harry's Law ends up here, meaning yet one more legal drama in this hour. But one of the other two may have vacated by this point, and it seems a pretty natural fit with heavily female-skewing Law & Order: SVU.

Outsourced (Thursday 9:30/8:30c) - This is one of those no-brainer replacements. Not that it was a hit last season, but Parks & Recreation seems to be licking its chops for this timeslot, and since it's got a full 22 eps ordered, that will probably mean a struggling Outsourced leaves the hour sooner rather than later.

Outlaw (Friday 10/9c) - Another no-brainer, as a second hour of newsmagazine Dateline can step in, and Outlaw doesn't have to drop too far before Dateline hour 2 looks like a better Nielsen option.

Lone Star (Monday 9/8c) - Even though Fox midseason skeds never pan out the way they look at the upfront, it's tough to go against the show currently slated for midseason, Ride Along. Even if Lone Star is a success, Ride Along may step in to spell the heavily serialized drama (read: bad repeater) during the dog days.

Raising Hope / Running Wilde (Tuesday 9/8c and 9:30/8:30c) - American Idol's arrival in winter will make these shows tough to schedule even if they do succeed. Even if they're both flops, I think they'd keep one of them around and perhaps have a repeat lead out of it. If the hour is successful enough to warrant keeping around a live-action comedy hour even at midseason, we could see Mixed Signals replace one of the shows.

The Good Guys (Friday 9/8c) - Everyone's unsure as to whether to call this a "new" show or not, since it's aired a few episodes but not in the regular season. I'll say it is just because I have a good idea for a replacement - Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

The CW
Hellcats (Wednesday 9/8c) - This show doesn't appear to be headed for an early yanking, but just in case, the net has a history of putting its new reality options after Top Model. This year, that'd be Shedding for the Wedding.

Nikita (Thursday 9/8c) - Also doesn't appear to be headed for an early yanking, and let's hope it doesn't happen, because if so I'm stumped. I'd lean toward a return of Supernatural to the evening, but I doubt they'd want to separate that from the final season of Smallville.

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