2011 Network upfronts: geek good-byes
This week, we are going to get the network upfronts.
That’s where they tell advertisers what is coming for the Fall season (2011-2012 in this case), so they can buy advertising in advance.
You might run a different type of ad on NCIS than on Dancing with the Stars, so you need some advance time to plan development and budgets.
When I worked in a store that sold (nice) Halloween masks, we’d have people come into the store in March to tell us what would be hot in October. There is a lot of lead time in the manufacturer of those latex masks. That’s why stores always ran out of popular things…they just can’t crank out more masks in a week.
They weren’t always right…I remember we were happy that Howard the Duck masks could pretty much be any old duck, because that was not the hit they predicted (but who wouldn’t have thought it would be big?). There were years we were out of Darth Vader, Miss Piggy, and the Coneheads.
So, networks give advertisers lead time.
Here’s the schedule:
Monday, May 16: NBC and Fox
Tuesday, May 17: ABC
Wednesday, May 18: CBS
Thursday, May 19: the CW
It’s not really a geek friendly Fall. We’ve been coasting on the success of Lost for a few years, but that momentum has petered out.
What can we expect?
They’ve already dropped The Cape and The Event.
They have Awake, which has a detective living in alternate realities. Grimm jumps on the recent movie fairy tale bandwagon…it’s Men in Black with the cast of Shrek. 😉
Network executives do what the (other?) ;) bad guys couldn’t, and put an end to the Human Target. Breaking In, which had a prominent geek character, and a Comic Con/Goonies 2 episode, wasn’t the break out Fox wanted.
They also have the high-profile Terra Nova series…powered by Steven Spielberg, and featuring time travel and dinosaurs.
J.J. Abrams and Jorge Garcia from Lost are involved with Alcatraz…this one seems like it’s not easy to sum up, but that could be a good thing.
Allan Gregory brings us Jonah Hill in a cartoon…and no, that’s not redundant. :) Speaking of cartoons, Fox brings back The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy, and more.
They also renewed Fringe.
The visit is over, as ABC ends V. Superhero show No Ordinary Family didn’t have the power(s) for a renewal.
Good morning, Angels…Charlie’s Angels are back in a new version.
What would you expect from a show the press release describes as “…a fitting follow up to Lost from two master storytellers.” Would you believe Rumplestiltskin? Do you think the TV networks were out there rooting for Beastly, since they’d decided that fairy tales were going to be hot? “Mirror, mirror on the wall…who’s first canceled in the Fall?” ;) Just kidding…fantasy/sci fi shows are expensive, so canceling them right away isn’t always the right move…there is a lot invested.
We already knew Medium had crossed over (and not to the Fall season).
Person of Interest appears to be a sort of a non-super superhero series (like Batman). This is another one from J.J. Abrams, and has another Lost veteran, Michael Emerson.
They are bringing back The Big Bang Theory, one of the geek-friendliest shows on TV…but let’s just say that Sheldon might not be watching any shows on CBS this season.
They kept Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries, and Smallville arguably ran its course and left at a good time. The CW seems to respect science fiction and fantasy.
It’s unknown at this point if Nikita will be renewed.
We’ll know about these networks by the end of the week.
Once you get off these four, there are a lot more possibilities, and there will be summer and midseason shows.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.