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The 5 most baffling moves of the 2016 upfronts

The parties are over, but the head-scratching has just begun

From Campaign US: The parties, the presentations and the executive boasting we collectively call The Upfronts are officially behind us once again. As always, there were some smart broadcast decisions — like CBS scheduling new drama “Bull,” about the early life of Dr. Phil, after “NCIS,” the show from which it stole actor Michael Weatherly — and some real head-scratchers. As the deal-making gets underway, let’s take a look at the five most baffling programming moves from the 2016 announcements. Feel free to tell me what I missed or got wrong in the comments.

1. Not pairing “Empire” with “Star” (Fox)
Yes, I know. Sometimes you’re better off leaving a show where viewers are used to seeing it. But when you are the No. 4 network riddled with low-rated returning series, why not put your one big hit to better use? Specifically, if you’re Fox, why not move “Empire” into the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour as the lead-in to “Star,” the new drama from “Empire” creator Lee Daniels? Instead, “Star” will air during the dead zone between the two half-seasons of “Empire.” Fox should know by now that putting a series on a three-month hiatus is risky, and far from a guarantee that people will use the down time to check out a new series.

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Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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