Your Virtual Fall TV Preview: Weekends

This is the time of year when all the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW) put out those cheap, cheesy “preview” specials. They often broadcast them at odd times, and mostly focus on what seems to be the worst of what they have to offer. Consider what’s broadcast here as an improved version of what you’ll get on the tube. Following are previews of the new shows that will be airing during the weekends, along with a little background information and some speculation on how long they might last.

Way back when, Saturday used to be a big night for watching television. Shows such as All In The Family, M*A*S*H, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and The Pretender gave people a reason to stay home on date night. Nowadays, though, Saturday is arguably the worst night of the week for sitting down in front of the tube. The major networks tell us that the bad ratings are due to people living it up on the weekends, but I have my suspicions. It’s more likely that at some point, the networks all decided to just give up on that one night of the week.

CBS is slightly changing this standard, by moving CSI: Miami to Sunday nights, though. Conspiracy theories aside, here’s what the various major networks are offering weekend viewers this fall.

Sports fans might be watching ABC’s coverage of college football, while The CW has syndicated their weekends, meaning that they will either be airing movies from the Warner Brothers catalogue or repeats of their regular series.

NBC plans to randomly air repeats of the various series that air on weeknights. There has been no word on what will air when, but likely candidates are hour-long shows like Chuck and Parenthood.

CBS labels their block of programming as “Crimetime Saturday”. If you missed any of the week’s previous CSI shows, this is when you can catch up. After randomly airing two hours of repeats at 7PM Central, 8PM Eastern, 48 Hours Mystery begins its 22nd season of true crime profiles.

Similar to that is FOX’s continuing tradition of airing back-to-back episodes of Cops before launching into the 22nd season of America’s Most Wanted.

FOX is perhaps the king of Sunday nights, with its “Animation Domination” line-up. This begins with The Simpsons at 7PM Central, 8PM Standard time, and is followed by The Cleveland Show at 7:30PM Central, 8:30PM Standard, Family Guy at 8PM Central, 9PM Standard, and American Dad at 9:30PM Central, 10:30PM Standard time. This is subject to change week by week, though.

NBC has also turned to sports, airing various games under the titles of Football Night In America and Sunday Night Football.

CBS turns to returning reality shows with The Amazing Race at 7PM Central, 8PM Eastern and Undercover Boss at 8PM Central, 9PM Eastern. Its real gamble is moving CSI: Miami to Sunday nights.

ABC hasn’t made any major changes to its line-up, airing Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at 7PM Central, 8PM Eastern, Desperate Housewives at 8PM Central, 9PM Eastern, and Brothers & Sisters at 9PM Central, 10PM Eastern time.

In a couple of months, we’ll be looking at the new midseason shows!