We all dream about it, right? What is “it”, you ask? The prime time TV schedule, of course. We all dream what it would look like if WE were in charge, right?
Okay, maybe not everyone dreams this dream, but I know I think about it A LOT. And, given that the upfront presentations are being made to the New York advertisers starting next week by all of the networks (with leaks of what FOX has planned already hitting Twitter and the web), I thought it would be fun to play TV executive for a day, wielding the power of scheduling weekly TV — my way.
Now, I should preface that statement with this: I am not a fan of reality TV – so NONE of that will exist in my world – and while I don’t watch comedies and am not a particularly big fan of that genre, I can see the value in having some good laughs in the weekly programming so I relented slightly on my dislike for that form of entertainment.
What follows are separate nightly grids for each of the top five networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and The CW – showing the current TV shows that I would bring back and which new pilots that are currently being considered for pick-up for which I would give a full season order.
First of all, since FOX and The CW already exist with only two hours of programming each night, I have decided – since I’m playing TV executive for the day – to change ABC, CBS and NBC to the same format. This will allow for more money to be allocated to the shows that are under production for each network and to simply make programming a bit easier.
Additionally, there will be NO commercial breaks during any of the prime-time programming; rather commercials will air before and after each hour, allowing for the shows to air uninterrupted, making the viewing experience better for the fans while still providing the necessary advertisements.
Lastly, I will explain the intended plans for each night’s programming next to each daily grid:
A whole new night of programming will take place on both ABC and FOX. Meanwhile, The CW will have its standard local programming and CBS and NBC will focus more on airing made-for-TV movies (or mini-series) and/or specials that night. NOTE: Please be aware that FOX did not pick up Locke & Key (see below for details on what that pilot was about), but in the world where this schedule would exist that did not happen.
The new ABC drama Good Christian Bitches is about a widowed mother of two who – to get a fresh start – moves back to the affluent Dallas neighborhood where she grew up. The series stars Annie Potts (Designing Women), David James Elliott (JAG), Jennifer Aspen (Glee), Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), Leslie Bibb (Popular), Marisol Nichols (The Gates), Mark Deklin (Lone Star) and Miriam Shor (Mildred Pierce).
The new ABC drama Revenge is a Count of Monte Cristo-esque story about a mysterious young woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people who destroyed her family. The cast includes Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters), Nick Wechsler (Roswell), Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans) and Henry Czerny (The Tudors).
The new FOX thriller Locke & Key is based on the graphic novel of the same name, following a the story of widow Nina Locke (Miranda Otto from the Lord of the Rings franchise) and her three kids (Jesse McCartney from Summerland, Sarah Bolger from The Tudors and newcomer Skylar Gaertner) who, still reeling from the brutal murder of their guidance-counselor father by a deranged student, move to a small island off the coast of Maine, where they discover a mystical doorway in their new home. Nick Stahl (Terminator 3), Mark Pellegrino (Being Human and Lost) and Ksenia Solo (Life Unexpected and Lost Girl) co-star.
The new Kiefer Sutherland-led FOX drama Touch is about a single father raising an autistic son who has never spoken; but he soon discovers that his son is actually communicating with him through a complex series of numbers, and may even be able to predict events before they happen. There are no other details on cast members at this time.
Monday will welcome brand new programming to the CW for the entire night. Meanwhile, ABC will add one new drama with the relocation of one comedy. The CBS comedies will now team up to lead into the return of Hawaii Five-0 while Parenthood would join Chuck on NBC and the current FOX line-up would stay intact. NOTE: Please be aware that FOX actually cancelled The Chicago Code, but in the world where this schedule would exist that did not happen.
While the Americanized version of the popular Canadian series Being Erica is not truly on the pilot consideration list over at ABC, it would make a great companion piece to Castle. The show is about a thirtysomething woman who has the ability to go back in time to sort out her past regrets. No cast has been announced to date.
The new CW drama Cooper & Stone is about two young female Chicago homicide detectives (Alex Breckenridge from Life Unexpected and Vanessa Ferlito from CSI: NY) who find a balance between catching criminals and everyday issues in their personal lives. Riley Smith (24 and Joan of Arcadia) co-stars.
The new CW drama Heavenly is about a young female attorney (Lauren Cohan from Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and Chuck) and a former angel-turned-human (relative newcomer Ben Aldridge) who take on cases at a legal-aid clinic. Ryan Eggold (90210) co-stars.
NBC will move Harry’s Law and its Thursday night comedies to Tuesdays while new dramas will debut on ABC and The CW. One comedy will move to a new night to air alongside Raising Hope on FOX. NOTE: Please be aware that FOX actually cancelled the comedy Breaking In, but in the world where this schedule would exist that did not happen.
The new ABC drama Georgetown is a sexy soap that follows four young people – Jimmy Wolk (Lone Star), Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place and Supernatural), Daisy Betts (Persons Unknown) and Joseph Mazzello (The Social Network and The Pacific) – who work for the power brokers of Washington, D.C. The cast also includes Tiya Sircar (The Vampire Diaries and 17 Again), Kevin Zegers (Gossip Girl and The Jane Austen Book Club) and Wendy Crewson (24 and Air Force One). Additionally, Boris Kodjoe (Undercovers) will appear as Sam’s boss, a White House senior adviser.
The new CW series Hart of Dixie stars Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) as a New York City doctor, who inherits a small medical practice in the South. The co-stars include Jaime King (My Generation), Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights), Cress Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) and Nancy Travis (The Bill Engvall Show).
The Good Wife moves over to its new night partnered with a new series on CBS while a new drama joins the two comedies on ABC. Then over on NBC, two new dramas will be introduced while a brand new initiative will be started by the CW. Rather than new programs being introduced, viewers will have the chance to select from the vast collection of TV shows from The WB, UPN and The CW warehouse to watch what they wish each Wednesday (just like how viewers can watch whatever they choose online via the Warner Bros. site and other sites such as Hulu). NOTE: Please be aware that FOX actually cancelled both Human Target and Lie To Me, but in the world where this schedule would exist that did not happen.
In the ABC pilot Partners, Scottie Thompson (NCIS and Mercy) and Annie Wersching (24) will play two female police detectives who are fiercely loyal to one another because they are also secretly sisters. Among the other cast members are Kenneth Mitchell (Jericho), Frances Fisher (Eureka), Michael Beach (Third Watch), Nestor Serrano (24) and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Beast).
The J.J. Abrams pilot called Person of Interest from CBS is about a presumed-dead CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) who is recruited by a billionaire (Michael Emerson from Lost) to catch violent criminals in New York City. Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) co-stars.
The new NBC drama Prime Suspect is an adaptation of the British miniseries that centers on a tough female detective (Maria Bello) who has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct dominated by men. The cast includes Aidan Quinn (Legend of the Fall, Kirk Acevedo (Fringe), Tim Griffin (Star Trek), Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) and Brian O’Bryne (FlashForward).
REM is the new NBC drama from Kyle Killen (the creator of the short-lived and much-maligned FOX drama Lone Star) about a police detective (Jason Isaacs from Brotherhood and the Harry Potter franchise) who is involved in a traumatic car accident, waking in two fractured realities. Among the cast are Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show), Cherry Jones (24), Steve Harris (The Practice and Friday Night Lights), B.D. Wong (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Laura Allen (Terriers), Michaela McManus (The Vampire Diaries) and Dylan Minnette (Lost).
This is the big night for change with two new dramas on ABC, a new drama debuting on CBS alongside one of the network’s perennial hits and two new drams on NBC as well as a great new companion piece alongside Bones on FOX.
Chris Egan (Kings) will star in the ABC drama Poe as the title character – Edgar Allan Poe – in this period crime drama about the sleuth who uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston. The cast includes Tabrett Bethell (Legend of the Seeker), Natalie Dormer (The Tudors), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (CSI: Miami).
From Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz – the men behind the 2009 Star Trek – comes the ABC fairy tale inspired drama pilot called Once Upon a Time about what happens when a young boy who purports to be a woman’s (Jennifer Morrison from House) son shows up on her doorstep, drawing her into a town where the magic and mystery of fairy tales may be real and could hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of her troubled past. The cast includes Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), Lana Parrilla (Miami Medical), Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe), Josh Dallas (who will be seen in the upcoming movie Thor) and Raphael Sbarge (Prison Break).
Ringer is the CBS drama about a troubled young woman (Sarah Michelle Gellar) on the run from the mob, who hides out by living the life of her wealthy twin sister. There is one big problem with this ruse: Her sibling has a bounty on her head as well. The cast includes Nestor Carbonell (Lost), Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected), Ioan Gruffudd (The Fantastic Four), Tara Summers (Damages) and Mike Colter (Taking Chance).
The Finder is the spin-off from the popular FOX series Bones that is based on The Locator books by Richard Greener, which follows a former military policeman (Geoff Stults from October Road) who has the ability to find anything. The series co-stars Saffron Burrows (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile).
17th Precinct is the new NBC drama that comes from Ron Moore (the man behind the reimagined Battlestar Galactica) and is a supernatural police drama set in the fictional town of Excelsior where magic and supernatural elements rule over science. The cast includes BSG alums Jamie Bamber, James Callis and Tricia Helfer as well as Eamonn Walker (Kings), Esai Morales (Caprica), Matt Long (Jack & Bobby) and Stockard Channing (The West Wing). Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) is set to guest star in the pilot.
Another new NBC drama – Grimm – is a dark, fantastical cop drama featuring characters inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The pilot stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights), Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica). Kate Burton (Grey’s Anatomy) will guest star in the pilot.
A new drama will debut on the CW while a new medical drama will air on CBS alongside returning Blue Bloods and a delayed new FOX series will debut. Plus, NBC will introduce a new option to viewers – called Crossover Fridays – where various shows from the NBC-Universal (like shows from A&E, Syfy and the USA Network) umbrella can be viewed at the viewers’ preference.
The as-yet untitled Susannah Grant (the writer of the box office movie Erin Brockovich) medical drama follows ultra-competitive surgeon (Patrick Wilson from Phantom of the Opera) whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle from Pride & Prejudice) dies and begins teaching him about life from the hereafter. The cast includes Julie Benz (No Ordinary Family).
The new FOX drama Terra Nova is an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, following an ordinary family as they embark on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as part of a daring experiment to save the human race in the year 2149. The cast includes Jason O’Mara, Stephen Lang, Christine Adams, Mido Hamada and Allison Miller.
The CW drama Secret Circle is based on the three-book series from L.J. Smith (the woman behind The Vampire Diaries books for which the show is modeled after). The story follows a young witch (Britt Robertson from Life Unexpected) who is the key to a battle between good and evil. The pilot co-stars Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Shelley Hennig (Days of our Lives), Jessica Parker Kennedy (Smallville), Natasha Henstridge (Eli Stone) and Phoebe Tonkin (the Australia series Home and Away).
Again, the above daily schedules were created simply for fun and are intended to create interesting discussions. On that note, I welcome your feedback. Please share what shows you would like to see on the prime-time schedule.
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