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Online Casino Usage Remains on the Rise as Original TV Show Options Continue to Thin Out

What Will the U.S. Broadcast Networks Offer in Original Programming This Fall?

Given the surge of online casino usage during the worldwide pandemic, the growing virtual experience offers the thrill of a live casino, and the potential to win big cash earnings, in the comfort and safety of your own home. This is one of the few business, in fact, to actually improve during COVID-19.

The online gambling market, of course, includes gaming types, such as betting, bingo, lottery, and casino; all of which are on the rise. And the temporary closing of land-based gaming establishments and live sports due to COVID-19 has sparked a 100 percent rise in internet searches for “online casino” across North America.

Had the pandemic not happened, however, the global online gambling market size would still be on the hefty rise, with estimates pointing to $127.3 U.S. dollars by 2027. The adoption of smartphones and easy access to casino gaming platforms continue to drive the market. So, to remain competitive you must offer game entries like Blackjack Surrender, where players have the option not to play their hand (resulting in have the bet being forfeited and the other half returned to the player).

More people are also consuming television (and digital content offerings) because of the quarantine, which like online gambling offers another safe option. But ongoing production shutdowns (which are now only slowly beginning to open) means the individual TV series options are thinning out and not ready in time. So, let’s take a look at the “Big 3” U.S. broadcast networks to see how they are filling their 22-hour weekly Monday to Sunday primetime schedules:

On ABC, the network this fall will feature an array of game shows that are traditionally featured mainly in the summer. This includes “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Press Your Luck,” “Match Game,” “Card Sharks,” the recent revival of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and a new version of old favorite “Supermarket Sweep.” Also visible with be non-scripted entries “American Ninja Warrior,” “The Bachelorette” (another traditional summer entry), “Shark Tank” and veteran “Dancing With the Stars.”

While the network is assuming (or at least hoping) new host Tyra Banks will infuse new interest in the fading competition, former host Tom Bergeron was a safer option. There is no word, meanwhile, on when a scripted favorite like veteran medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” (or any of ABC’s scripted offerings, both comedy and drama) will be ready. At this point, the hope is for a return in early 2021.

CBS, which will offer multiple hours of “Big Brother” and “Love Island” this fall, has a “Band-Aid” primetime line-up as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The upcoming broadcasts from CBS News include “60 Minutes; a new edition of “48 Hours,” subtitled Suspicion;” the return of “48 Hours;” and the launch of the new six-part series “The FBI Declassified.” Narrated by Alana De La Garza from CBS drama “FBI,” “The FBI Declassified” viewers access to some of the cases handled by real-life FBI agents and analysts.

Also featured on CBS will be “The Greatest AtHome Videos,” hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, “Undercover Boss,” the next edition of “The Amazing Race,” Pop TV comedy “One Day at a Time,” the premiere of “Manhunt: Deadly Games” from Spectrum Originals, and the broadcast premiere of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery.”

NBC, like any of the five broadcast networks, has populated its fall primetime line-up with what is currently available as we continue to battle coronavirus. This fall on the Peacock network (all beginning in November) we will see new seasons of dramas “This Is Us,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “The Blacklist” and the “Chicago” franchise – “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD.” And NBC previously announced the arrival of medical drama “Transplant” and the return of athletic competition series “American Ninja Warrior.”

While NBC does have more original scripted options than ABC and CBS, at least in late fall, no original scripted series will have the luxury of a full season episode order (traditionally 22 episodes). Nothing is a given until production does officially open again (which will be slowed down with all the new restrictions). And the big option on NBC, like any live sporting event, is Sunday Night Football. But will the NBA be able to keep its schedule if coronavirus cases suddenly increase?

Stay tuned.