Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Networks Continue to Look for Winning Combination

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Networks Continue to Look for Winning Combination

Article excerpt

The combination of a better than average 2014-15 TV season, the continued strength of reality shows and an unwillingness by the networks to do much on Saturday nights has resulted in one of the smallest groups of new programming for the 2015-16 season. There will be only 22 new programs debuting on the five major networks.

Last year, the five networks launched 24 new shows, and in the 2013-14 season there were 29 new offerings.

These new programs will be mixed with returning series in an effort to attract viewers. Some will work. Others will fail. How the programming will play out will begin to unfold in September.

The changes are making for some interesting TV. Here are some trends:

Comedy continues to kill NBC: Once the home for some of the best TV comedies - "Seinfeld," "Cheers," "The Cosby Show" - NBC keeps struggling to find good shows to make viewers laugh.

For the 2013-14 season, NBC added three new comedies: "Welcome to the Family," "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show." All three died. Last year, the new fall comedies included "Marry Me," " Bad Judge" and "A to Z." They also died quick deaths.

Even the mid-season offering, "One Big Happy," didn't make it to the 2015-16 season.

There won't be three comedy deaths this fall since the network is only launching one new comedy, the Mark-Paul Gosselaar series "People Are Talking." It will join NBC's only other comedy, "Undateable."

NBC is so desperate to find a comedy that works that the '90s series "Coach" is being revived starring Craig T. Nelson. It will be a mid-season replacement.

To be fair, NBC isn't the only network having problems. The CW hasn't launched a new scripted comedy in years.

No shortage of comic book shows: One of the biggest hits from last year's fall season for Fox was the pre-Batman series "Gotham. …

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