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The U.S. Broadcast Networks Look for Alternative Ways to Program for Next Season

Traditionally, the second week in May is when the U.S. broadcasters announce what new and returning primetime series will be competing the following fall. But with production at a current standstill due to COVID-19 and no end in the immediate site, the outlets — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW — are scrambling to craft somewhat competitive line-ups by acquiring much of its product from other sources (such as digital and international).

As always, TV viewers love the thrill of handicapping the new TV series. They enjoy predicting the potential new hits and misses. And they do so by looking at the show itself – the genre, the concept, the stars, the production — and the entire competitive landscape. Of course, this does not come with the actual excitement of an online casino gaming experience on sites shown on

Unlike online gaming, which is on the rise during this time of quarantine, the TV season across the globe could be a very different experience next season, both on linear and digital platforms.

NBC has a virtual meeting with advertisers, marketers and members of the media community on Monday, May 11, but no specific programming schedule was announced for next season. We saw a clip of upcoming Tina Fey comedy featuring Ted Danson. But the uncertainty of live sports means the network may be without Sunday Night Football this fall.

Fox, which was the first broadcast network to announce an actual schedule is optimistically planning on the return of both Thursday Night Football and wrestling’s Friday Night Smackdown! Fox will introduce new dramas “Next” and “Filthy Rich,” and the network premiere of Spectrum Original drama “L.A.’s Finest.” Additionally, we will see new seasons of “The Masked Singer,” Gordon Ramsay’s “MasterChef Junior,” and animated “The Simpsons,” “Bless the Harts,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy;” and the third installment of “Cosmos,” entitled “Cosmos: Possible Worlds.”

CBS has greenlit three new primetime series for 2020-21: Dramas “Clarice,” “The Equalizer;” and sitcom “B Positive.” Based on the character Clarice Starling from theatrical “Silence of the Lambs,” “Clarice” stars Rebecca Breeds (“Pretty Little Liars”) in the title role as she returns to the field in 1993, six months after the events of “The Silence of the Lambs.” “The Equalizer” is a reimagining of the 1980s crime solver starring Queen Latifah (“Chicago,” “Bessie”) as an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn. And “B Positive” stars Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”) as a therapist and newly divorced dad who is faced with finding a kidney donor when he runs into a rough-around-the-edges woman (Annaleigh Ashford) from his past who volunteers her own.

The CW, meanwhile, has acquired the broadcast rights to former DC Universe series “Swamp Thing” based on the DC character, along with Canadian drama “Coroner” and British comedy “Dead Pixels” from BBC Studios. They join the acquisition of two season CW All Access drama “Tell Me A Story.” And ABC is expected to utilize the programming resources from its digital arm, Disney+.

While the start of the new TV season is always the third week of every September, chances of a delayed start seem certain. Stay tuned!