All eyes have been on the five major UK broadcasters for the past few weeks as they worked out their plans and presented their new fall lineups to advertisers for Upfronts. For the second year in a row, they couldn’t host the big, lavish events in New York City, but they were still able to provide the necessary information and do their best. Broadcasters largely played it safe, taking on fewer new series, and choosing to stick with existing ones so that those viewers would watch their airwaves instead of playing with and not connecting with something newer.
First it was NBC. After NBC had already renewed most of its line-up and ordered series from the previous pilot season, NBC didn’t have to take many steps. The biggest surprise of the event was the announcement that This Is Us would not be on the fall schedule. This move was made in order to air so many uninterrupted episodes for the final season. This season, due to filming restrictions and delays, never more than three new episodes aired in a row.
One of the other biggest moves was reducing The Voice to one cycle per season and opening new properties for the mid-season while NBC continued to solidify the nights. Since no comedies are planned for the fall, all renewed and newly ordered comedy series will be broadcast in the off-season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the comedies returned at 8am on Tuesdays, where Young Rock and Kenan were broadcasting their freshman seasons and possibly opening a comedy block on Mondays. We’ll see to come in the middle of the season! It also airs holiday episodes of Mr. Mayor, Young Rock and Kenan, which air sometime during the holiday program blocks.
Wednesday’s One Chicago lineup has proven to be quite successful for them, and NBC continued that trend with another Dick Wolf franchise on Thursdays. Three Law & Order series will occupy the 8-11 slots in the fall, plus Law & Order: For The Defense. SVU spin-off Organized Crime has done well for NBC this season, so adding a full night makes perfect sense.
The new Ordinary Joe series will be led by The Voice on Mondays, while the new La Brea series will slide into This Is Us’s Tuesday slot. The recurring series New Amsterdam and The Blacklist will remain in their existing time frames. The final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine gets a late summer final run after the Olympics are over.
Some series of bladders are still waiting for news of their future. Debris just got canceled after one season, which is very disappointing like the two episodes “Do you know Icarus?” and “I Am Icarus” were among the best episodes of the season. Good Girls could possibly switch to Netflix as an original series there. Additionally, Zoey’s extraordinary playlist could switch to NBC’s own streaming service, Peacock. Eventually, the manifesto could return, although the six-season plan may be challenging.
NBC still has a few pilots competing as they move to an off-cycle pilot rollout. These include Hungry with Demi Lovato and a Night Court reboot with Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette back. These and the others could form the schedule for the mid-season or even the subsequent fall season.
NBC FALL 2021 SCHEDULE
8-10 p.m. – The voice
10-11 PM – ORDINARY JOE
8-9 p.m. – The voice
9-10 p.m. – LA BREA
10-23 p.m. – New Amsterdam
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Chicago Med
9-10 p.m. – Chicago Fire
10-11pm – Chicago P.D.
8-9 PM – LAW & ORDER: FOR THE DEFENSE
9-10 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU
10 p.m.-11 p.m. – Law & Order: Organized crime
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The blacklist
9-11pm – NBC date line
8-9 p.m. – Drama encores
9-10 p.m. – Dateline Weekend Mystery
10 p.m.-11 p.m. – SNL Vintage
7-8: 8pm – Football Night in America
8: 8 pm-11 pm – NBC Sunday Night Football
Midseason: This Is Us, Kenan, Mr. Mayor, Young Rock, Transplant, Weakest Link, Who Do You Think You Are ?, AMERICAN AUTO, GRAND CREW, THE THING ABOUT PAM, AGT: EXTREME, AMERICAN SONG CONTEST,, LA FIRE AND RESCUE, THE WHEEL, HOME SWEET HOME
Fox next showcased most of their recurring series that are moving into new series. 9-1-1 will be back on Mondays, this time paired with the new series The Big Leap looking for that glee feel of emotions mixed with music and dance. This could pay off when it connects. 9-1-1: Lone Star will return in mid-season after being paired with the original series last season. The Resident is paired with the new soap Our Kind of People by Lee Daniels. The new country music series Monarch starts on Tuesdays for the mid-season. A new reality series is paired with The Masked Singer and sports dominate the rest of the program.
Aside from the animated comedies returning on Sundays, there won’t be any live action comedy on Fox this fall, as will NBC. This isn’t new to Fox as last season was the same schedule with the launch of Call Me Kat and the last season of Last Man Standing in the mid-season. They also animated Duncanville and Dan Harmon’s new series Krapopolis, which could join the animated Sunday lineup or, if the Monday animation block is successful this summer, could end up there again.
As soon as Thursday Night Football hits Amazon Prime Video at the end of the coming season, Fox will have plenty of new series to potentially fill the Thursday time slot. The new series Pivoting and Welcome to Flatch could be combined with the returning Call Me Kat for an ongoing Thursday comedy block. The new drama The Cleaning Lady could also make a debut there.
All Fox pilots were either ordered to series or passed over. With the two straight-to-series orders in the coming season, we could see Fox proceed with a hybrid pilot / straight-to-series combo. The Moody’s hasn’t been officially canceled yet, but now that it’s taken off the schedule it’s inevitable when it returns for its final 3 episodes in June. Prodigal Son, which has been canceled, is also being shuffled around despite it has already been passed down from the most likely home, HBO Max. The odds are bad.
FOX FALL 2021 SCHEDULE
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
9-10 PM – THE BIG STEP
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The resident
9-10 PM – OUR PEOPLE
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The Masked Singer
9-10 p.m. – ALTER EGO
THURSDAY from October 7th
8:00 p.m.-CC ET / – Thursday night football on Fox
8-10 p.m. – WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown
7-10.30 p.m. – FOX Sports Saturday
7-7.30pm – NFL on Fox
7.30pm-8pm – The OT / FOX encores
8: 30 pm – The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – The great north
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Bob’s Burgers
9:30 pm-10pm – Family Guy
Mid season: 9-1-1: Lone Star, Call Me Kat, Duncanville, I Can See Your Voice, MONARCH, BEDROCK, PIVOTING, WELCOME TO FLATCH, KRAPOPOLIS THE CLEANING LADY, NEXT LEVEL CHEF, DON’T FORGET THE TEXTS, DOMINO MASTER
At the upfronts, ABC still had most of the moves to make. The network renewed many of their existing series and also kept their fall schedule largely intact. The biggest question mark was Grey’s Anatomy. It was extended, but it wasn’t announced if it would be a final season. The show stays at Station 19 on Thursdays but is now paired with Big Sky as it will be postponed to a new day starting Tuesday.
The Monday pairing of Dancing With The Stars and The Good Doctor stays together, and The Bachelorette is set to do another fall season that leads to a new lively drama Queens. The series follows a group of former singers who are trying to restart their careers. Do you think Girls5eva but a drama.
Wednesday comedies return, leading back to A Million Little Things. Housekeeping is postponed to 9:30 a.m. so the Wonder Years restart series can take the 8:30 a.m. time slot. Black-ish will return for a final season sometime in the middle of the season. In addition, the network will have new Abbott Elementary and Maggie comedies back in a comedy block either on Wednesday or the Tuesday after The Bachelorette. The Sunday reality block will return and lead into The Rookie, with American Idol joining the midseason.
The network’s midseason schedule also includes a limited series called Women of the Movement. The remaining pilots competing could make it onto the midseason schedule once they are filming and screened. They could also end up on the next fall plan if they also don’t have space. The pilot season at ABC is also going very smoothly this year. The Bachelor and a few other reality / competitive series remain in the bubble, but we’ll likely see The Bachelor return in the middle of the season. The canceled drama For Life is also considering a possible move to Hulu, although nothing has been confirmed yet.
Unfortunately, American Housewife won’t be returning to complete the exciting cliffhanger at the end of what is now the final episode. It was also surprising that ABC canceled the rookie drama Rebel from their MVP showrunner Krista Vernoff. It could have grown with a streaming summer, but they ultimately pulled the plug.
ABC AUTUMN 2021 SCHEDULE
8-10 p.m. – Dancing with the stars
10-23 p.m. – The good doctor
8-10 p.m. – The Bachelorette
10-11 PM – QUEEN
8 pm-8.30pm – The Goldbergs
8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – THE WONDERFUL YEARS
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – The Conners
9:30 pm-10pm – housekeeping (new time)
10-11 p.m. – A million little things
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – station 19
9-10 p.m. – Grey’s Anatomy
10-23 p.m. – Big Sky (new night)
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – shark tank
9-11 p.m. – 20/20
8 p.m. – Saturday night football
7-8pm – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (new night and time)
9-10 p.m. – supermarket sweep (new time)
10-11 p.m. – The rookie
Mid season: Schwarz, American Idol, The Great Christmas Light Fight, Holey Moley, WOMEN OF THE BEWEGUNG, ABBOTT ELEMENTARY, MAGGIE
Like NBC, CBS does its own night of franchise programming. On Mondays, NCIS will participate in the night at 9 am, which leads into the new spin-off series NCIS: Hawai’i. This move will allow Tuesdays to become a full night of the FBI series. The night will start with the original FBI, followed by the new FBI: International series. FBI: Most Wanted will end at 10 o’clock. This also means that Dick Wolf will spend three consecutive nights with programs on two networks. FBI Tuesdays, Chicago Wednesdays, and Law & Order Thursdays.
On Wednesdays, CSI will return at 10 a.m. with CSI: Vegas, a sequel series. Survivor is also set to return after missing a year due to the pandemic. Tough as Nails lasts at 9:00 a.m. Former Wednesday Dramas S.W.A.T. and the SEAL team will be on the way. The SEAL team will be moving for four episodes on Sundays at 10 a.m. before officially moving to their new home on the Paramount + streaming service. CLAP. will take the time slot at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, and then, after the SEAL team ends on Sundays, the time slot at 10:00 a.m.
The move to Paramount + is also the second season of Evil, which was left out on CBS last season. Clarice will also switch to the new streaming service (unofficially) after a season.
Comedies stay on Mondays and Thursdays, with Chuck Lorre having four comedies on the fall schedule. With Mom’s end last spring, he’ll set off a streak of his record. Young Sheldon will continue to lead to the United States from Al. The new comedy, Ghosts, based on the UK series (which is great and streamed in the US on HBO Max) is moving into the second series, B Positive. Bob Hearts Abishola and The Neighborhood stay in their Monday time slots.
The standout series All Rise has been cut on CBS this season, while shows with similar shocks like Bull and The Neighborhood remain due to “higher ratings”. All Rise is looking for a new home, but the chance of finding one is slim.
The new medical drama Good Sam with Sophia Bush is the only new drama series that is not a spin-off for the midseason. CBS surprisingly passed down Patrick Dempsey’s series Ways and Means, but the current political climate has caused them to pass it on. They also have the new midseason comedy Smallwood which looks like it should go perfectly with their usual comedies.
CBS FALL 2021 SCHEDULE
8-8.30 p.m. – The neighborhood
8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Bob ♥ Abishola
9-10 p.m. – NCIS (new time and time)
10 p.m.-11 p.m. – NCIS: HAWAI’I
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – FBI (New Time)
9-10 p.m. – FBI: INTERNATIONAL
10-11 p.m. – FBI: Most Wanted
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – survivor
9-10 p.m. – as hard as nails (new era)
10 p.m. – 11 p.m. – CSI: VEGAS
8-8: 30pm – Young Sheldon
8:30 pm-9:00pm – United States by Al
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – SPIRITS
9:30 pm-10pm – B positive
10-23 p.m. – Bull
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – S.W.A.T. (new night and time) / Unscripted
9-10 p.m. – Magnum P.I.
10-23 p.m. – blue blood
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Saturday encores
9-10 p.m. – Saturday encores
10 p.m. – 11 p.m. – 48 hours
7-8pm – 60 minutes
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The equalizer
9-10 p.m. – NCIS: Los Angeles
10 p.m. – 11 p.m. – SEAL team (new night and time) /S.W.A.T. (new night and time)
Mid season: Undercover Boss, The Amazing Race, Blood & Treasure, GOOD SAM, SMALLWOOD, COME DANCE WITH ME
Last but not least, the schedule was revealed by CW. The network had already picked up a large part of its recurring series for the new season and only canceled a handful. Supergirl and Black Lightning are the two Arrowverse series that are coming to an end. Black Lightning spin-off pilot Painkiller received word that they passed him on shortly before the show’s final episode aired.
The CW also announced that they would get into Saturday night programming for the first time in the network’s history, giving them a full 7-day week of nightly programming. You Chose Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the funniest animals in the world here as they’re likely to be inexpensive programs for the least-watched night of the week.
There was also an upheaval on Sundays with the switch to all non-written programming after two seasons of dramas filled the night. The adult revival of Legends of the Hidden Temple begins the night that leads to the US remake of the British reality series Killer Camp. The UK version aired online last summer.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman stay together and switch from Sunday to Wednesday. That means both Nancy Drew and Riverdale will be on the way. Nancy Drew is paired with Penn & Teller: Fool Us on Fridays, while Riverdale follows The Flash on Tuesdays. Since both seasons of The Flash and Riverdale will be filming at the end of this season, the shows won’t air their new seasons until November. They announced that they will be doing event programming for these 5 weeks to make up for the delay.
Mondays will be showing the new 4400 Series, a reboot of The 4400 that aired on USA Network. This is paired with the recurring series All American, which is their top performer (and ironically, probably their least sponsored series outside of Black Lightning this season). The CW also recorded the All American spin-off series All American: Homecoming, which airs mid-season. Walkers and Legacies stay on Thursdays.
Superman & Lois was surprisingly held together with Kung Fu for the midseason. Charmed, Stargirl, Dynasty, In The Dark and Roswell, New Mexico will also appear in the mid-season alongside Ava Duvernay’s new DC drama series Naomi. Naomi will apparently not be part of the Arrowverse. Nancy Drew spin-off pilot Tom Swift and the live-action series Powerpuff Girls are still under consideration for the midseason. Powerpuff came to be too silly for the taste of the network and will be re-rolling a new pilot who will then be considered.
THE CW AUTUMN 2021 SCHEDULE
8-10 p.m. – All Americans All
9-10 p.m. – 4400
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – The lightning bolt
9-10 p.m. – Riverdale (new night and time)
8-9pm – DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (new night)
9-10 p.m. – Batwoman (New Night)
8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Walker
9-10 p.m. – Legacies
8 pm-9pm – Penn & Teller: Fool us
9-10pm – Nancy Drew (New Night)
8-8.30 p.m. – whose line is it anyway (new night)
8: 30-9: 00 p.m. – Whose line is it anyway?
9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – The funniest animals in the world (New Night)
9:30 pm-10pm – The funniest animals in the world
8-10 PM – LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE
9-10 PM – KILLER CAMP
Midseason: Superman & Lois, Kung Fu, Charmed, Stargirl, Dynasty, In The Dark, Roswell, New Mexico, ALL AMERICANS: HOMECOMING, NAOMI
Overall, the networks were pretty sure about their fall plans and sticking to what works for them.
Franchise series will only continue to grow on each of the networks as each network now has at least one. CBS has FBI, CSI, NCIS. NBC has Law & Order and the Chicago series. ABC has the two Grey’s Anatomy series. Fox has the 9-1-1 streak. The CW has the Arrowverse and All American (and Legacies) series.
Stability in planning so people see the same nights and times will help stop bleeding rates throughout each season. New series will mostly replace canceled series and solid performers slip into weaker slots as they try to reinforce weaknesses in their schedules. ABC on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10th CBS on Thursdays at 10th NBC on Mondays at 10am and Thursdays at 8th Fox on Tuesdays at 9th CW on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Fall comedies are becoming increasingly rare. Only ABC on Wednesday and CBS on Monday and Thursday have comedies in their programs. NBC only offers late summer and holiday specials. In the middle of the season, Fox and NBC will be scheduling them on a regular basis.
Streaming services can keep some series alive longer and slide seamlessly into their new home. Evil and the SEAL team will help bolster Paramount +’s growing library of original series. Bringing Clarice to Paramount + will also match it with Alex Kurtzman’s Star Trek series, which is already on the streaming network. NBC and Netflix already have a deal so moving there would be seamless too. Should Zoey’s extraordinary playlist move to Peacock, she will also help her grow along with For Life at hulu should she move too.
We’ll see if any of the channels change any schedules over the course of the summer, but for the most part, these will be the autumn 2021 schedules for all major English channels! To another fun pilot and upfront season!