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September 13, 2021 8:42 pm  #1

Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant?

With many new or returning shows debuting on the major over-the-air broadcast networks next week, it's a question I've often wondered about the past few years, especially with streaming getting bigger all the time. Variety took on the issue and concludes the networks think you still care. 

TV’s Fall Season: Why It Endures Despite Streaming’s Surge and the Content Explosion


September 14, 2021 11:06 pm  #2

Re: Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant?

Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant? Barely. 

If they want to keep their networks relevant, they need to focus on more relevant content. By this I mean either live shows (news, sports, live reality), or topical programming. If I were in network programming I'd say bye to scripted dramas on broadcast - it's never going to grow significantly again. Put more sports on the networks (which helps promote the sport overall and entices people to subscribe to your streaming/cable platforms), and strip the rest (move late night shows up and make them more live/topical). I can't see another way to make it sustainable if you don't use the immediacy advantage of broadcast. 


September 15, 2021 7:49 am  #3

Re: Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant?

My biggest challenge is searching for the non simsubbed versions of my favourite primetime series. The PVR generally gets a good workout recording the Seattle affilliates.


September 15, 2021 3:38 pm  #4

Re: Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant?

The new fall season on network TV is about as important now as the new car season in September/October for vehicles.  It used to be a big deal but now, the new season is all the time since new shows can debut any month. I agree with torontostan that new network TV dramas will become fewer and fewer.  Given the cost, general poor ratings, and limitations of US OTA networks compared to cable and streaming.  Live event or topical programming is the way to go, something you can't get anywhere else which in many cases will be sports, news or special events. .
On weekend afternoons, notice that NBC was often showing soccer, even European league games.  We will likely see more game shows too since they are cheap to produce.  


September 15, 2021 4:01 pm  #5

Re: Is The OTA Fall TV Season Still Relevant?

I will still watch some over-the-air free TV series, because old habits die hard and some of the shows I still like. But I have to say, having just looked at the U.S. TV Guide's Fall Preview list of what's new starting next week, this has to be the most disappointing year I can ever recall.

There isn't much there that appeals to me, and most of the newer programs are, to say the least, either derivative or sound completely uninteresting to me. 

Add to that, now that many of the networks have their own streaming services (CBS is now Paramount+ and NBC has Peacock) a number of network shows are suddenly migrating over to their pay-to-watch outlets. AP Bio was cancelled by NBC but has returned on Peacock. And while I don't watch CBS' "Seal Team," I'd be some kind of P.O.'d that it's getting a 4-week fall debut return on the network, before being permanently transplanted over to Paramount+. "Evil" was a big hit for the Eye Network, but now, it, too, is out of sight, behind a Paramount paywall.

Some were abandoned and picked up elsewhere. Fans of the cancelled "Manifest" will have to be Netflix subscribers to see how the series ends. "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" will have its swan song on the Roku Channel. 

And those are just a few examples of the once-free-now-pay that's irritating viewers down south. 

They'd better get used to it. This appears to be the new normal and I suspect we'll increasingly see some innovative series launched on the major networks, only to lose them to streaming services when they become big hits.

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