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It’s not even summer yet and we’re already looking forward to fall. After all, that’s when the best TV shows come back on (and the oppressive heat subsides).
Much like you fans, we at TheWrap are dying to find out what happens next with our favorite small-screen characters. But we’ve also got an eye on another angle: What are the most intriguing new matchups?
Now that we knows the days and time slots for all new and returning broadcast primetime series, we’ve pinpointed seven battles worth watching.
The CW (The CW) vs. Everybody (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC)
Guess who’s coming to Sundays? For the first time in nine years, The CW is bringing back nationally programmed Sunday nights next season, when it will air “Supergirl” at 8 p.m. and the “Charmed” reboot at 9.
Welcome! For starters, you’ve got TV’s top show, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” to contend with. On Fox, it’ll be animation and freshman show “Rel”; on CBS, “God Friended Me” and “NCIS: Los Angeles”; and on ABC, “Dancing With the Stars: Juniors” and “Shark Tank.”
So good luck with all of that.
“Magnum P.I.” (CBS) vs. “9-1-1” (Fox)
No mustache (OK, so there’s a goatee) — but does this comma-less remake of the ’80s “Magnum, P.I.” have teeth? It had better to go up against Ryan Murphy’s “9-1-1,” which is already established in the 9 o’clock time slot on Mondays.
The Connie Britton, Angela Bassett, Peter Krause and now Jennifer Love Hewitt-led Fox drama averaged a big 3.0 rating in the core 18-49 demographic when counting a week’s worth of delayed viewing. The freshman first-responder series was Fox’s highest-rated entertainment show of the season, beating even “Empire.”
In other words, better keep that Ferrari perfectly waxed and buffed, Magnum.
“Manifest” (NBC) vs. “Bull” (CBS) vs. “The Good Doctor” (ABC)
Apparently, no one told these guys that three is a crowd.
Let’s start with the returning shows: “The Good Doctor” was this season’s top new drama, averaging a huge 15.6 million total viewers per episode. “Bull” was literally the next most-watched series on broadcast, hauling in 14.3 million viewers of its own. Though it stands to reason that the ABC medical show’s Nielsen numbers will decline in Year 2, “Bull” will be moving away from the huge lead-in “NCIS” currently provides — so say farewell to some built-in eyeballs.
So where does “Manifest” fit in here? Well, we’ll have to wait and find out. If done right, the Robert Zemeckis missing-airplane drama could add some turbulence to an already competitive hour.
“F.B.I.” (CBS) vs. “This Is Us” (NBC)
Welcome to the lion’s den, “F.B.I.”
Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, “This Is Us” is a powerhouse — and freshman “F.B.I.” is moving into Milo Ventimiglia’s dorm. Remember how we wished “Bull” lots of luck without “NCIS”? Well, “F.B.I.” is the one getting the CBS springboard — but it had better be a damn good show to have a prayer against the Pearsons.
Here’s the case one could make for “F.B.I.” beyond just its lead-in: Dick Wolf knows how to make a procedural. Unfortunately for the big fan of the Windy City, Dan Fogelman knows how to make you cry. Tears beat Miranda Rights every time.
“Murphy Brown” (CBS) vs. “Thursday Night Football” (Fox)
“Roseanne” has changed everything — but we don’t think that means Fox Sports should be shaking in its cleats. Football is still going to win this battle, but Fox’s fancy new primetime pro pigskin should see a pretty formidable opponent in “Murphy Brown” — especially over the revival’s first few weeks.
Still, any given Thursday, are we right?
To look at it another way, for $3.3 billion, Fox had better win every damn Thursday that 106 men put on pads.
“Last Man Standing” (Fox) vs. “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC)
This one isn’t so much about “Fresh Off the Boat” as it is about Tim Allen vs. ABC.
The comedian and Michigan Tourism spokesman really let ABC have it for canceling his reliable Friday sitcom a year ago. Now revived by Fox, you’d better believe that the “Home Improvement” alum wants to dominate the Disney-owned broadcast network in his time period. He will, let’s just home the comeback is funnier than Allen’s set at the Fox upfront.
Pure victory. (CUT TO: Shot of Lake Michigan)
“Roseanne” (ABC) vs. “The Neighborhood” (CBS)
At the CBS upfront, entertainment President Kelly Kahl talked about how “The Neighborhood” star Cedric the Entertainer comes complete with a built-in audience — he’d better.
“Roseanne” will win running away Tuesdays at 8 o’clock, though CBS comedies not named “9JKL” and “Living Biblically” still tend to draw solid viewership. As awkward as the post-pilot “Neighborhood” recasting in favor of Max Greenfield may be, it’s a very good decision and a role he’ll kill in.
That said, “The Neighborhood” is now on its third title, and that’s never a good sign. Hey, you probably could’ve hung with “Splitting Up Together”!