Animation Domination: A Look Back At FOX's Animated Comedies

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, May 31, 2015
Animation Domination: A Look Back At FOX's Animated Comedies
In advance of the prime time premiere of Golon the Insatiable, I took the opportunity to create a little history lesson about FOX's Animation Domination, starting with the origins of The Simpsons and going through the highlights of all of their animated hits.

Click on the image below to begin, and enjoy! For a better reading experience, the text is easily readable and is broken up by many images. Please note that although it is made in Adobe Slate, it is presented in a different manner than the recent ratings and schedule posts.

Animation Domination

The TV Ratings Guide's Ratings Database

The Ratings Junkie Friday, May 29, 2015
The TV Ratings Guide's Ratings Database
This is your database for all TV ratings starting Thursday, May 28, 2015. To start the presentation, click on the image and scroll down. Enjoy!

TV Ratings Friday

Photos courtesy of IMDB and RapidMoviez (yes, that's spelled correctly). Ratings courtesy of ShowBuzzDaily and Spotted Ratings.

The Fall 2015 TV Schedules Glideshow

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, May 28, 2015
The Fall 2015 TV Schedules Glideshow
The TV Ratings Guide is hereby continuing its efforts to provide a layout which will be seen as revolutionary to all readers. Please enjoy this list of schedules for all 5 of the broadcast TV networks by clicking on the image below.
  Network Schedules

SNL Season 40 Review...In Adobe Slate

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, May 28, 2015
SNL Season 40 Review...In Adobe Slate
I have spent much time trying to figure out how to use Adobe Slate to its optimal ability. I have decided to re-post the Saturday Night Live post from a few days ago here. If all goes well, then I will gradually make the transition of most, if not all, of my articles to use this tool.

In order to view the article, please click on the picture below. It is best viewed in landscape mode. Please let me know of any feedback in the comments below.

Saturday Night Live

The TV Ratings Guide: Visitor Survey

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The TV Ratings Guide: Visitor Survey
Embedded below is a very brief survey for how we are doing as a site. It would be greatly appreciated if you could take just a quick minute to complete it!

How Will 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?' Rate?

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, May 26, 2015
How Will 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?' Rate?
Several months ago, FOX announced that it was bringing back reality quiz show 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?'. It premiered to a whopping 11.2 rating and 26 share in the prized Adults 18-49 demographic back in 2006, a huge number even considering that its lead-in was American Idol.  However, it quickly faded, with only about 25% of that initial audience watching the season finale. The second season saw a similar collapse, with its in-season average being a 2.5. After falling even more for its second-season summer run, the show was moved to Fridays, where ratings were consistently in the low 1s. Considering the natural decrease in live ratings, low 1s in 2009 would be the approximate equivalent to a 0.6 or a 0.7 today.

So, was FOX being smart when ordering this to series again, or are they risking some serious sub-1 ratings?

TVNERD129 Presents...Fall Choices: How the New Shows Will Do

The Ratings Junkie Monday, May 25, 2015
TVNERD129 Presents...Fall Choices: How the New Shows Will Do
Welcome to the one-time-only segment Fall Choices, brought to you by TVNERD129 for the networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC.


I'm confused why ABC chose to air Oil and Of Kings and Prophets as their new fall dramas...they are taking a big risk...
I personally think The Family and Secrets and Lies with new famous cast and mystery would have been better additions to the Sunday lineup about mystery/families
I do think Quantico and The Muppets will be strong and not sure about Dr. Ken, looks like a flop but it might do OK?


CBS is not taking too many risks except for Supergirl and ending their comedy presence on Mondays after decades I believe? I think Supergirl will do OK but not as well as people think since shows that premiere in late October/November lose the new TV season buzz? Regardless, it should still do pretty well...

I personally find Jane Lynch annoying and I don't think Angel from Hell meshes well after Mom and before Elementary...I see this as being a flop and cancelled by spring. Too bad CBS didn't buy any other comedies as back-up.

I do see Life in Pieces doing well comedies usually do well and it has a strong cast and can be the next Modern Family possibly. Although not perfectly compatible with Big Bang Theory, it will do pretty well I think.

Limitless looks like CBS's next big drama hit like this past season's Scorpion. Also, with buzzed about cameos by Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper...I think it will become their next big procedural hit.

Code Black is not going to do well I don't think...It reminded me too much of Grey's Anatomy and ER and I think medical shows need to reinvent themselves and not be too similar to old shows. Although, Marcia Gay Harden is a strong lead, I see this show only getting 1 season just because it has weak competition from Nashville and Chicago PD doing OK. At least Code Black looks better than Heartbreaker on NBC.


I think NBC made a mistake introducing Heartbreakers, a definite flop for fall, when they could have chosen Chicago Med, their stronger medical drama with a built in Chicago fan base...yes PD premiered in January but that doesn't make it a necessity for Med to premiere mid-season too?

Also, I don't think NPH will do that well especially at that hour...I predict 1.5-2.5 at best and it will be tough against Limitless and Quantico.

Blindspot will start strong and should do well following the Voice on Mondays. This is most likely their next Blacklist type hit drama.

Having Mysteries of Laura and Undateable/People are Talking on Fridays seem like bad ideas to me...Laura will decrease in audience more unless they get a stronger cast and many people do not like People are new comedies on Friday when people go out these days is like a death sentence...poor NBC and their comedy woes.

Thursday should markedly improve next fall though with Heroes Reborn and the Player...Heroes Reborn should do pretty well I think but the Player is a toss-up to be a hit or flop but at least it's compatible with the Blacklist audience...Going against Murder won't help but it could do better than a weak Elementary.

Questions of the Week: May 25, 2015

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, May 24, 2015
Questions of the Week: May 25, 2015
1) What do you think the future of network summers will be?

2) Do you think it is a wise decision for NBC to use America's Got Talent to promote their upcoming shows, or should they use it in the regular season?

3) Should ABC be worried for Modern Family and Blackish, or was it just a fluke?

4) NBC hasn't had comedies working for them for years now—how do you think Welcome to Sweden and the other upcoming summer comedies will fare?

5) Since adult animated comedies have been working for FOX, do you think another network may experiment with the idea in the near future?

A Look Back at the Networks

A Look Back at the Networks
On Wednesday May 20, the 2014-2015 season has come to a close. And boy was this season an interesting one! We had huge hits, we had bombs, we had a lot of pity renewals, and we had everything in between. So looking at all originals excluding sports and newsmagzines, our list goes as such:

1. Empire: 5.09

2. The Big Bang Theory: 4.32

3. Modern Family: 3.19

4. The Voice-Fall Edition: 3.21

5. The Voice-Spring Edition: 3.06

6. How to Get Away with Murder: 2.96

7. Scandal: 2.87

8. NCIS: 2.43

9. Grey's Anatomy: 2.38

10. The Bachelor: 2.33

11. Survivor-Fall Edition: 2.32

12. Scorpion: 2.30

13. Survivor-Spring Edition: 2.29

14. Mom: 2.28

14. Blackish: 2.28

16. Two and a Half Men: 2.26

17. The Odd Couple: 2.22

18. Gotham: 2.18

18. The Goldbergs: 2.18

18. Once Upon A Time: 2.18

21. The Simpsons: 2.15

22. Criminal Minds: 2.14

23. Family Guy: 2.13

24. Dancing with the Stars-Fall Edition: 2.11

25. Dancing with the Stars-Spring Edition: 2.08

25. NCIS: New Orleans: 2.08

27. The Blacklist: 2.07

28. American Idol: 2.05

29. 2 Broke Girls: 2.02

30. The Middle: 2.00

31. Mike and Molly: 1.95

32. The Celebrity Apprentice: 1.91

33. Chicago Fire: 1.82

33. Shark Tank: 1.82

35. Fresh Off the Boat: 1.72

36. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 1.70

37. Masterchef Junior-Winter Edition: 1.68

37. The Millers: 1.68

39. Masterchef Junior-Fall Edition: 1.66

40. Law and Order: SVU: 1.64

40. The Last Man on Earth: 1.64

42. NCIS: Los Angeles: 1.60

43. Chicago PD: 1.59

44. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.58

45. Person of Interest: 1.54

45. Sleepy Hollow: 1.54

47. Castle: 1.53

48. Stalker: 1.5

48. Agent Carter: 1.5

48. Beyond the Tank: 1.5

48. The McCarthys: 1.5

52. Secrets and Lies: 1.49

53. The Great Christmas Light Fight: 1.47

54. Madam Secretary: 1.44

54. The Flash: 1.44

55. Undateable: 1.41

56. Undercover Boss: 1.39

57. CSI: Cyber: 1.38

58. Hell's Kitchen-Fall Edition: 1.34

58. Nashville: 1.34

58. The Mentalist: 1.34

61. Parks and Recreation: 1.33

61. Galavant: 1.33

61.America's Funniest Home Videos: 1.33

64. New Girl: 1.32

65. CSI: 1.3

65. A.D.: The Bible Continues: 1.3

67. Blue Bloods: 1.29

67. The Night Shift: 1.29

69. Elementary: 1.28

70. Last Man Standing: 1.27

71. Parenthood: 1.26

71. Bones: 1.26

73. State of Affairs: 1.25

73. Resurrection: 1.25

73. Hell's Kitchen-Spring Edition: 1.25

76. Hawaii Five-0: 1.24

77.Bob's Burgers: 1.23

77. The Biggest Loser: 1.23

79. The Good Wife: 1.22

79. The Mysteries of Laura: 1.22

81. The Amazing Race-Spring Edition: 1.19

81. Marry Me: 1.19

83. One Big Happy: 1.17

83. The Amazing Race-Fall Edition: 1.17

85. American Crime: 1.16

86. Grimm: 1.15

87. Repeat After Me: 1.13

88. The Following: 1.12

88. Forever: 1.12

90. Revenge: 1.11

91. The Mindy Project: 1.07

92. About A Boy: 1.04

92. Selfie: 1.04

94. Arrow: 1.02

95. Backstrom: 1.01

96. Cristela: 1.00

97. Manhattan Love Story: 0.95

98. Bad Judge: 0.94

99. Constantine: 0.92

100. World's Funniest Fails: 0.88

101. Allegaince: 0.86

101. Red Band Society: 0.86

103. Gracepoint: 0.84

104. The Taste: 0.83

105. Supernatural: 0.80

106. The Slap: 0.76

106. Battle Creek: 0.76

108. A to Z: 0.75

109. The Vampire Diaries: 0.73

110. Mulaney: 0.72

111. iZombie: 0.69

112. Glee: 0.67

113. Weird Loners: 0.62

114. American Odyssey: 0.61

115. The Originals: 0.58

116. Whose Line is it Anyways?: 0.54

117. The 100: 0.51

118. Jane the Virgin: 0.48

119. Hart of Dixie: 0.41

120. Reign: 0.38

121. Cedric's Barber Battle: 0.23

122. The Messengers: 0.22

Saturday Night Live—An Overview of Season 40

The Ratings Junkie Friday, May 22, 2015
Saturday Night Live—An Overview of Season 40
Splitsider has recently released data for the cast members on SNL with the most to least airtime. Here are the rankings for the 40th season, spare Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che:

1) Taran Killam
2) Cecily Strong
3) Kate McKinnon
4) Kenan Thompson
5) Bobby Moynihan
6) Beck Bennett (featured)
7) Vanessa Bayer
8) Kyle Mooney (featured)
9) Aidy Bryant
10) Jay Pharoah
11) Sasheer Zamata (featured)
12) Pete Davidson (featured)
13) Leslie Jones (featured)

First off, what does everyone think about these screen-time rankings? I think what is most notable is Beck Bennett having more airtime than three regular players. Despite still having the "featured player" tag, it is evident that Beck and Kyle are simply underpaid regulars. Also interesting to me is how close in percentage Cecily (10.52%), Kate (10.22%) and Kenan (10.02%) were—all could have easily switched places with one another depending on how the formula was calculated. Now, let's take a look into what's working and what isn't:

Weekend Update:

Weekend Update is the segment of SNL which I simply find painful to watch. Head writer Colin Jost and writer Michael Che both seem very uncomfortable in their roles, resulting in deliveries that come off as very stiff and well, not too funny. Weekend Update has now become a segment where cast members display themselves just as much as Jost and Che display the fake news. In fact, Weekend Update is the place where freshmen cast members Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones thrive as themselves—both have had much background in standup coming into SNL, but little to no sketch work experience, and it shows. However, when Bobby Moynihan's Riblet reads the fake news better than the two real anchors (which is not the joke SNL intended but the one people interpreted), you know it's time for a change.

Bennett/Mooney v. The Lonely Island

Do I find the Bennett/Mooney sketches humorous? Sure I do. Throughout their tenure on SNL they have used these videos to satirize reality shows, 90s sitcoms, YouTube documentaries, and much more. Unfortunately the SNL producers and I seemingly have different tastes, as their sketches have been cut more often than not this season. Kyle Mooney's Bruce Chandling, who had a couple stints on Weekend Update last season, has been the subject of not one, but two cut-for-time sketches this season. Many have noted that Lorne Michaels probably hired them to be the next Lonely Island—as in, make weird digital shorts that go viral the next day. Of course, The Lonely Island is another case where myself and the producers simply don't agree upon what's funny and what isn't, as their sketches seemingly always made the show. Many said that Kyle Mooney was supposed to be the next Andy Samberg, so is SNL fine that he isn't but rather a utility sketch man? 

Then there is Beck Bennett. The two of them clearly came as a package, being from the same Good Neighbor comedy group background (the third member is now also a writer). My best guess is that their fates will always be the same for such a reason. Bennett is arguably SNL's #1 utility man this season, with his only recurring character, Mr. Patterson (a.k.a. "Baby Boss") being MIA since the fall. SNL will be in a very tough situation if they decide theye have had enough of Mooney, as it would all but require them needing to find a replacement for Bennett as well (who in my opinion is very underrated compared to who are considered to be the "top" players.

The Diversity Crisis 

Oh, diversity issues, you never cease to amaze me what you may bring. The television network ABC picked up not one, but FOUR shows last season with at least a good portion of the cast and crew being non-whites. This has brought us two very successful shows, a third one which shows potential, and a fourth which, well, had no chance on Fridays. Of course, this was nothing compared to SNL's crisis. In fall 2013, when asked about the lack of diversity in the cast, eldest member Kenan Thompson was misquoted as saying that "black women aren't funny". What he meant, of course, was that the producers simply had yet to find a talented comedienne who would put an end to the Whoopi impressions he so wanted to retire. As a result, their efforts to even out the cast a little have been full-throttle.

They started with the high-profile hiring of Sasheer Zamata, who is yet to find her strengths. Her stand-up routine behind the Weekend Update desk failed by the measures of many, and she is nearly invisible in some episodes. It is safe to say that they continued this effort in the off-season, with Michael Che and Leslie Jones joining the cast in place of Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells, Mike O'Brien, and John Milhiser (if you remember two of them, good for you! Their time on the screen was negligible last season). 

Despite the numbers of how many minorities are on the cast, you have to face the numbers: Jay Pharoah, Leslie Jones, and Sasheer Zamata are three of the bottom four cast members in air time. Pharoah is well-known for his spot-on impressions, Jones is well-known for her loudness, and Zamata is well-known for being the one hired out of panic. My guess is the first two stay for another season, but the latter is given a ticket back home.

How Long Will They Stay?

There are so many cast members where quite frankly, I have no clue how long SNL will end up keeping them. But few are a few broad notes:

-Had SNL intended to keep Vanessa Bayer that much longer, they would have let her keep her Hillary Clinton impression gig.

-With the gig given to the breakout star Kate McKinnon, who was nominated for an Emmy last year, it is safe to say that want her for the long run. I don't expect her to stay for ten years if Hillary ends up with two terms, but I think it's safe to say that McKinnon will be there even after Bayer leaves.

-With Jay Pharoah failing to bring an actual character to the live show, all he has are his impressions. He is by far the best impressionist SNL has seen in a long time (if not ever), and it amazes me how they let Fred Armisen continue his sub-par impression of Obama even after Pharoah joined the cast. My guess is that he has one season left for the purposes of playing Obama. If they want to save money, they will have him come back solely for Obama in fall 2016 a la Tina Fey's Sarah Palin and now Darrell Hammond's Bill Clinton, because without Obama, Jay Pharoah would have a tremendously hard time finding screen time in 2017, and with declining ratings SNL just may not be inclined to pay him as much as a regular player in those circumstances.

-As mentioned earlier, Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett will leave together. Don't ask me when that is. Despite this, I will indeed give them slightly different statuses, just because I'm always wrong.

-Mike O'Brien deserved better. His sense of humor made it hard for him to get assimilated into last year's oversized cast, but perfect for the Weekend Update desk. He should have been known this year as "that guy from Weekend Update who sometimes makes weird videos". If SNL goes radical for Season 41, they will do just that, as his shorts have become some of the most famous sketches of the season. It is very ironic how he has been more successful this season than last season, considering he isn't even part of the cast anymore.

-Kenan Thompson just. won't. leave. And I'm completely fine with that.

Placing the Odds

Certain to Return

Vanessa Bayer
Beck Bennett
Aidy Bryant
Taran Killam
Kate McKinnon
Bobby Moynihan
Cecily Strong
Kenan Thompson

Likely to Return

Pete Davidson
Leslie Jones
Colin Jost (the guy's head writer, they won't move him from the desk)
Kyle Mooney
Jay Pharoah

Likely to Leave

Michael Che
Sasheer Zamata

Who do you think will leave? How do you think this season of SNL was? Comment away!

Renewals, Cancellations, and Pilot Decisions Round-Up 2015

The Ratings Junkie Saturday, May 16, 2015
Renewals, Cancellations, and Pilot Decisions Round-Up 2015
Please welcome Mr. Edmodo to the site, who has provided us with a colorful table highlighting all the recent. renewals, cancellations, and series orders. Please remember that due to the size of the table, you have the opportunity to use the side-scroll bar. Enjoy!

RENEWALS / NETWORK REVIVALS Agent Carter 2 Broke Girls The 100 Bob's Burgers The Blacklist
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Big Bang Theory Arrow Bones Chicago Fire
American Crime Blue Bloods Beauty & the Beast Brooklyn Nine-Nine Chicago P.D.
Black-ish Criminal Minds The Flash Empire Grimm
Castle CSI: Cyber iZombie Family Guy Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Dancing with the Stars Elementary Jane the Virgin Gotham The Mysteries of Laura
Fresh Off the Boat The Good Wife The Originals The Last Man on Earth The Night Shift
Galavant Hawaii Five-0 Reign MasterChef Junior Undateable
The Goldbergs Madam Secretary Supernatural New Girl  
Grey's Anatomy Mike & Molly The Vampire Diaries The Simpsons  
How to Get Away with Murder Mom   Sleepy Hollow  
The Middle NCIS   The X-Files  
Modern Family NCIS: Los Angeles      
Nashville NCIS: New Orleans      
Once Upon a Time The Odd Couple      
Scandal Person of Interest      
Secrets and Lies Scorpion      
CANCELLATIONS / ENDINGS Cristela Battle Creek Hart of Dixie Backstrom A to Z
Forever CSI: Crime Scene Investigation The Messengers The Following About a Boy
Manhattan Love Story The McCarthys   Glee Allegiance
Resurrection The Mentalist   The Mindy Project Bad Judge
Revenge The Millers   Mulaney Constantine
Selfie Stalker   Red Band Society Marry Me
  Two and a Half Men     One Big Happy
        Parks and Recreation
        State of Affairs
PILOT PICK-UPS / SERIES ORDERS The Catch Angel from Hell Cordon The Frankenstein Code Apocalypse
Dr. Ken Code Black Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Grandfathered Blindspot
The Family Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Legends of Tomorrow The Grinder Chicago Med
The Muppets Life in Pieces   The Guide to Surviving Life Crowded
Of Kings And Prophets Limitless   Lucifer Emerald City
Oil Rush Hour   Minority Report Game of Silence
Quantico Supergirl   Rosewood Heartbreaker
The Real O'Neals     Scream Queens People are Talking
Uncle Buck       The Player
Wicked City       Shades of Blue

What's Trending: Upfronts 2015

What's Trending: Upfronts 2015
What's Trending is a series looking at what is popular or will become popular, and spitballing ideas of what this means for the present and the future.

The upfronts have finally passed. While a few pilots have their fates to be determined, we currently have the massive chunk of shows picked up. Some are looking good, some are looking bad, but there definitely some interesting things emerging from this:

The Doctor is In!
For a while, the medical drama craze had started to go on the downturn. Shows like ER, House, and Private Practice were leaving, and the only two medical dramas still around were ABC's Grey's Anatomy and NBC's The Night Shift. But for some bizarre reason, the medical drama's pulse has been much more active, most notably over at the Peacock NBC not only has renewed Night Shift for a season 3, but has added another show in the Chicago umbrella with Chicago Med, in addition to this fall's Heartbreaker. Meanwhile, CBS has added in Code Black in their new show lineup, Fox's Rosewood focuses on a pathologist, and even ABC is having a medical comedy with Dr. Ken. Whether these shows succeed or fail, it's definitely telling us that the medical drama is trying to make a comeback after a slight fading away, and NBC will try the hardest to make it happen.

Berlanti, Berlanti, Berlanti
Greg Berlanti has slowly become one of the most sought-after producers. Not only does he have renewals for The Flash, Arrow, and The Mysteries of Laura, he also has NBC's Blindspot and CBS's Supergirl coming this fall, with CW's Legends of Tomorrow arriving in midseason. In just a few years he went from that guy who made soaps (Everwood, Brothers and Sisters) to some one-hit blunders (Eli Stone, No Ordinary Family) to destroying DC (Green Lantern) and then resurrecting it. Some other new producers rising up are Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. While they've had some experience with shows like Alias and Fringe, they are now all over TV with Hawaii Five-0, Sleepy Hollow, Scorpion, and the upcoming Limitless. Dan Fogelman also earned a miraculous season two of Galavant and a pickup for Grandfathered. Aaron Kaplan, despite 7 of his shows being developed, only one has survived, being Life in Pieces. But he also still has Mysteries of Laura and Secrets and Lies.

Heartthrobs Return
While veteran actors always attempt to make a return, this is even more so. Rob Lowe has not one, but two shows (The Grinder, You, Me and the End of the World), and John Stamos will be starring in Grandfathered. In midseason, Patrick Warburton returns in the Suzanne Martin comedy Crowded opposite Carrie Preston. And if you really want to go old, Craig T. Nelson reprises his role as Hayden Fox in the upcoming sequel series to Coach, and James Brolin stars in Life in Pieces. Now like many attempts of old actors trying to be relevant, it might not always work out that well. It didn't work for Michael J. Fox nor Robin Williams, and it may not work out well for these guys. But hey, they still have a decent shot.

The Drama Resurgence
Earlier in the decade, a combination of new hit shows, a meltdown, and a writer's strike all led to a huge resurgence in the comedy genre. In 2011, the third seasons of Modern Family and The Middle led to huge spikes after already growing from season two, Suburgatory and Happy Endings benefited greatly from their lead-ins, Last Man Standing was a solid player, The Big Bang Theory was building up great momentum, New Girl became a rare comedy hit for Fox, whose last live-action comedy hit was Malcolm in the Middle years ago, Two and a Half Men spiked after Sheen's departure, and 2 Broke Girls became the biggest freshman comedy hit in years.

But in 2012, all of that changed. Happy Endings bombed after its Tuesday move, Suburgatory went down despite a better lead-in, New Girl was hit hard in an attempt to anchor a two-hour comedy block, CBS had only one single new comedy that nobody watched, and NBC had to cancel almost all of its comedies outside of the marginal Community and Parks and Recreation, with the only newbie renewals being The Neighbors and The Mindy Project, both doing passable at best.

In 2013, again, now new comedy emerged out of the cracks that was a hit, outside of Mom and arguably The Millers, and About A Boy, but the two only managed to get good ratings via a good lead-in.

But in 2014, things were looking up...somewhat. The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Mom had grown from their previous year, ABC's comedy strength continued with both Blackish and Fresh Off the Boat, and Fox's Last Man on Earth became a sleeper success on a network with comedy woes. But the comedy carnage was extreme. NBC once again had to start from scratch with only one returning comedy, Selfie and Manhattan Love Story croaked before November even rolled around, Mulaney was a megabomb, Weird Loners was even worse, and The McCarthys was pretty much forgotten about.  For those other second seasoners, The Millers was canceled after 4 episodes of season two, and About A Boy was essentially in a burnoff. So in response, comedy hours in the fall have gone way down. Currently, if one includes Best Time Ever, and Simpson repeats at 7, there are currently 10 hours of comedy among the big four. For dramas, beginning in September, there are a total of 35 hours, while in November there's an addition of three more drama hours. Though looking at the new comedies, one can easily see why. In the opinion of this blogger, outside of The Muppets, not a single new comedy trailer has impressed me. So in some cases this could very well be a good thing, but the lack of any real breakouts is very disconcerting for comedy fans and while the pendulum will swing again, it's likely not to happen any time soon, unless the 2016 development is absolutely incredible.

Diversity Strikes Again
In less depressing news, actors of color are now getting more love than ever before! The success of Blackish, Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, and Fresh Off the Boat was a huge wakeup call to the executives, as a good chunk of new shows have people of color as main or very prominent characters.

At ABC, the kings of the diversity boom, there's the all Afro-American remake of Uncle Buck, the Ken Jeong starring Dr. Ken, and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra in Quantico.

But FOX isn't a slouch either, with Morris Chestnut's Rosewood airing before the megahit series Empire, along with Scream Queens featuring Keke Palmer and the only thing good thing that came out of Mulaney, Nasim Pedrad. Fox also has Bordertown that kinda sorta has Hispanic representation, but in the worst possible way.

NBC meanwhile is focusing on more diversity with People Are Talking's Tone Bell and Bresha Webb, The Player's Wesley Snipes, and Chicago Med's Yaya Dacosta. NBC also is attempting to tap into the latino audience with Eva Longoria's Hot and Bothered, America Ferrera's Superstore, and Jennifer Lopez' Shades of Blue.

Even CBS is using Code Black (Luis Guzman) and Rush Hour to give more love to the often forgotten. Things are looking up for the networks if this trend is continuing to work for them, both for actors and for the ratings.

The common idea is to have new shows be behind greatly performing shows, but this season, there are a lot of shows starting off the night or being hurt by a weaker lead-in. ABC's The Muppets is kicking off Tuesday, Quantico is with a compatible but comparatively weaker Agents of SHIELD, and Oil and Of Kings and Prophets are expected to bring their own power into the ring with Once Upon A Time being far too weak to give a good lead-in to two shows. Fox has an all-new Tuesday, with three newbies back-to-back-to-back. Whether its faith or stupidity, it seems unlikely all three will be able to survive. While Scream Queens looks to be one of the bigger hits of the fall, Grandfathered and The Grinder better have some real strength. Elsewhere, Rosewood surprisingly starts out the night on Wednesday as Empire will be leading into local programming. CBS and NBC are slightly more lenient, but the former's Supergirl will kick off Monday in November in fierce competition against Gotham, while NBC has Heroes Reborn, a semi-reboot of the original series. Now most of these shows have some sort of brand or pre-existing popularity to them that makes them much easier to have good faith in, including The Muppets, Supergirl, Heroes, and arguably Scream Queens. But the rest are very much up in the air until we get a far better understanding of the future ahead.

Tuesday Freshman Fight
It's truly a rare case of three newbies fighting each other for attention, and this rarity will occur Tuesdays at 10. CBS' Limitless, with Bradley Cooper recurring and Scorpion producers at the helm, looks to be the early favorite of the three. ABC's Quantico has been getting rave responses early on, but will that translate to good ratings? And of course, NBC's magic wild card of Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Being the first primetime variety show since The Wayne Brady Show in 2001, the show could go either way. On one hand, primetime variety shows have been gone for years, and no one knows if Heartbreaker will be a hit or not. But on the other hand, NBC's bread and butter in the comedy genre currently are The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, so maybe there will be potential interest in that type of audience. But of course, we won't know until it happens.

Owning Shows
Probably the biggest thing that went unnoticed was the rise of shows being owned by the network. For ABC, all of the shows that were picked up were owned by ABC Studios in some way, shape or form. In fact, the only shows that aren't owned by ABC are Fresh Off the Boat, The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Last Man Standing. Meanwhile at Fox, the only pickup from an outside studio 100% is the DC series Lucifer, and the only veteran being Gotham. NBC is slightly more forgiving, as shows like Blindspot and The Player are being given a prime position, but not a single new comedy is from an outside studio. There are of course many veterans from outside studios: The Blacklist, The Mysteries of Laura, The Night Shift, and Undateable, but that is still much less than owned shows. CBS however has bucked the trend, with newbies from WBTV (Supergirl, Rush Hour) and 20th TV (Life in Pieces). And many of their comedy veterans like Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Mike and Molly, and Mom come from WBTV. But sadly, the only drama not owned by CBS is Person of Interest which is only getting a 13-episode season, that likely will be its last. Not only that, but Girls, Molly, and Interest are all being held until midseason.

Now why is this being done? Well for one thing, first-run ads aren't nearly as important now. Syndication deals and international sales have kept many shows alive, and with the rise of streaming services, it has become a far greater incentive to networks. So to get the most money possible, many shows that are not owned in some way by the network usually don't get picked up unless they are a surefire smash. Even ratings losers like Extant, Under the Dome, The Good Wife, The Night Shift, and more are still able to survive via lucrative deals off network. So while Hawaii Five-0 gets millions in syndication, that money goes directly to CBS Studios, while Person of Interest's money goes to WBTV. So in the future, as live TV continues to go down, get ready to see a lot of shows owned by the parent studio. Whether this is a good idea or not is debatable, but only time will tell.

General Thoughts
Looking at the new fall shows, there doesn't seem to be a show that really stands out from the crowd. While last year had shows like How to Get Away with Murder and Gotham, and the year before that had The Blacklist and Agents of SHIELD, there doesn't seem to be any other show with nearly as much huge hype or buzz. There are some that come close like Scream Queens, Supergirl and The Muppets, but the rest feel more like Scorpions: shows that could be successful and strong, but not huge powerhouses to the likes of Empire. Of course, this is all pure snap judgment, and time will tell if there will truly be a breakout in the mix. So in short, anything can happen in showbiz.

-Eric McInnis