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Will viewers even notice that the pandemic wiped out network TV's fall schedule?

  • Scripted shows won't return until later this fall due to the pandemic, but will it really matter? "In an era when flipping on the TV set to tune into network prime time is just one of many ways to consume shows — many of which will wind up on a streaming service operated by a parent company — audiences may not know, or particularly care, that what they’re watching was originally broadcast elsewhere," says Meredith Blake. "For at least the last 20 years — since Survivor became a summer blockbuster for CBS in 2000 — networks have moved toward year-round programming to compete with cable channels and, more recently, streaming services, that offer audiences seemingly inexhaustible content 12 months a year. Once a dead zone of reruns, summer is now stuffed with reality competitions and event series....Yet despite the dramatic shifts in viewer habits, the industry still operates according to a calendar that dates back to the Eisenhower administration and has as much to do with advertising as entertainment. Much like election day — held on a Tuesday in November to accommodate rural voters who had to travel days to the polls — the fall TV season is an antiquated tradition established in a different era, the rationale for which doesn’t apply to modern life."

    TOPICS: Coronavirus, ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC