Indoor Cat’s Guide to… Upfronts!
Just like in nature, there are basically four seasons TV addicts live for:
1) Season premiere season, so we can judge the newest entries and reconnect with our favorite shows
2) The January TCA tour where we get the scoop on the mid-season shows and start getting hints at summer programming
3) Season finale season, again so we can judge- this time not just new shows, but all shows- on how well they wrap up the current story lines while setting up stories for the next season, or how they wrap things up for good in the case of series finales
4) The May upfronts. (Now, technically the May upfronts happen at the same time as the season finale season, but for giggles, I still count it as its own season.) This is when we get the dish on what to expect come fall and start pre-judging, so we can be ready for the real judging come September.
The May upfronts actually start well before May with the cablers, but there Big 4 is when things get really exciting, and usually happens early/mid-May. This year, they start next week on Monday. That’s when perennial last place network NBC will give their presentation with their new and returning shows, followed in the afternoon by Fox. (These presentations are meant to wow advertisers so that the networks can get the big bucks.) On Tuesday, ABC will make their presentation, followed by CBS on Wednesday, and The CW will cap things off on Thursday.
In honor of the upfronts, this week I’ll be posting about pilots I’ve heard about that I think sound promising or interesting. Then, next week, we’ll see what the network suits have in mind!
I should also warn you, if you’re not familiar with this process, that just because something gets picked up during the upfronts doesn’t mean we’re actually going to see it or that it’s going to be seen in the fall. Shows that were picked up can fall to the wayside when the network realizes there’s just no room for them on the schedule, or when they change their minds about the direction they want the network to go in, and the shows are either dropped or shelved until mid-season. Recent mid-season shows that were picked up back in May of 2011 include Best Friends Forever, Bent, Are You There, Chelsea, Awake, The River, Man Up, NYC 2-2, The Finder, Alcatraz, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and, as a treat, the few that don’t look like they’re going to be cancelled, Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23, Scandal, and the one with the (somewhat surprising given its ratings decline) season 2 pick up, Smash. The basic point of this is: don’t count on seeing every show you hear about in May, and don’t get too attached to the ones they hold until the Spring season!!
So, later today, expect to see posts on both NBC and Fox’s pilots with potential.