2013 Fall Upfronts: Industry Trends and Best New Shows

Posted on June 19th, 2013 by True Media

Every year, the True Media team blocks off an afternoon and gets together to watch the fall upfronts, and all we can talk about for the next week is the new shows we are excited to see, the shows we are glad got picked up for another season and how the new lineups will affect ratings.  This year our reps from ABC, FOX and NBC joined us to share a little inside knowledge, industry trends and snacks.

The television industry is continuing to focus on social media integration with its programming, as well as online viewing.  All the major networks and most basic cable networks now offer the ability to stream their shows on their website, but offer a limited number of past shows that are available.  Also many of the major networks are now moving toward a 12-month TV cycle and including limited-run series that are roughly 12 weeks and airing fewer reruns.  Networks like FOX are bring us stories that are too long for the movie format but not able to sustain themselves as a series, like the re-imagining of the 1980’s mini-series Shogun and Wayward Pines directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Here are our picks for best new show on each network.
ABC’s Super Fun Night: A+
This situational comedy is written by and stars Rebel Wilson, who was fantastic as Fat Amy in the 2012 hit comedy Pitch Perfect.  The show has a great time slot following ABC’s show Modern Family at 9:30pm ET on Wednesdays.  This is the comedy we are most excited to see due to Wilson’s hilariously inappropriate and dry sense of humor.  The true test will be can she carry the show as the leading actress or is her style better suited to the role of supporting actress.
NBC’s The Blacklist: A
This new drama starts with America’s most wanted Raymond “Red” Reddington, played by James Spader, walking into FBI headquarters and surrendering.  Where can a drama about the FBI go when their most wanted surrenders in the pilot episode?  Red insists on using rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone, to track down and bring to justice his “Blacklist” of dangerous criminals and terrorists he’s been cultivating for the last 20 years.  But what’s his end game, and how long can the series sustain itself before it becomes formulaic?   With a time slot right after The Voice on Monday nights at 10pm ET, we’ll be tuning in to find out.
CBS’s The Crazy Ones: B+
Robin Williams makes his return to the small screen this fall with The Crazy Ones playing Simon Roberts, the head of the advertising agency Roberts & Roberts.  Sarah Michelle Gellar plays his daughter, Sydney Roberts – the level-headed one who makes sure her father’s antics don’t get them both fired by their clients.  The show’s format plays up Robin William’s ability to improvise his way to comedic gold.  With the time slot right before Two and a Half Men, Tuesdays at 9pm ET, we’ll see if Williams can be another big screen star that gets high ratings for CBS.
FOX’s Surviving Jack: B
This family drama takes place in the 90’s and stars one of televisions favorite no-nonsense tough guys, Christopher Meloni  as Jack Dunlevy.  Jack is the patriarch of his family who takes on the unfamiliar role of full-time parent while his wife goes back to law school.  Will this sitcom family be a break out in this popular primetime genre?