It’s show­time for U.S. tele­vi­sion net­works

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - BRAD OSWALD

AF­TER a soul-crush­ingly cold win­ter and a re­luc­tant-to-ar­rive spring, and with lin­ger­ing sub-nor­mal tem­per­a­tures sug­gest­ing sum­mer might never ac­tu­ally ar­rive, it seems both pre­ma­ture and un­kind to be talk­ing about au­tumn. But for the TV busi­ness, spring’s ar­rival means that fall is here, too, be­cause it’s time for the U.S. net­works to un­veil the ros­ters of shows that will fill their sched­ules when Septem­ber brings the launch of a new tele­vi­sion sea­son. All this week in New York City, Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion’s ma­jor broad­cast­ers — ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW — will re­veal their fall line­ups to ad­ver­tis­ers dur­ing the an­nual commercial-sales mar­ket­place known as net­work up­fronts.

Bil­lions of dol­lars will change hands as net­work ex­ec­u­tives try to con­vince the mar­keters rep­re­sent­ing deep-pock­eted cor­po­ra­tions that their net­works, and their shows, are the best bets for get­ting ad­ver­tis­ing mes­sages seen by the max­i­mum num­ber of eye­balls. The line­ups of new U.S.-net­work TV se­ries — dra­mas, come­dies and re­al­ity-TV shows — will be un­veiled at a se­ries of lav­ish sales pre­sen­ta­tions — Fox and NBC on Mon­day, ABC on Tues­day, CBS on Wed­nes­day and the CW on Thurs­day. And as those new ros­ters are re­vealed, the fate of the shows that cur­rently pop­u­late prime time will also be made clear. Some have al­ready been re­newed, and oth­ers have al­ready been given the axe, so it’s the pro­duc­ers and stars (and fans) of those shows “on the bub­ble” who will be most ner­vous as this week of fall-sched­ule an­nounce­ments un­folds. (Based on what’s an­nounced in New York this week, Canada’s commercial net­works — CTV, Global and Ci­tytv — will im­me­di­ately shift their pro­gram-ac­qui­si­tion de­part­ments into high gear so they can fill out their ros­ters and un­veil their fall line­ups early in June). Re­newals and can­cel­la­tions will con­tinue to be is­sued right up un­til each net­work’s up­front pre­sen­ta­tion; here, at press time, is the most cur­rent run­down of who’s in, who’s out and who’s on pins and nee­dles in the TV world’s class of 2013-14: Can­celled: How I Met Your Mother (se­ries ended), We Are Men. Likely to sur­vive: Most re­newals have al­ready been is­sued. On the bub­ble: The Crazy Ones, In­tel­li­gence, The Men­tal­ist, Hostages, Friends With Bet­ter Lives, Bad Teacher.

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