Updates on Canadian availability of "American Horror Stories", "Anne Boleyn", and more.
Welcome to What's Next in WCIW, the subscribers-only analysis newsletter from Where Can I Watch. (For more about subscriptions, please see our memberships page.)
This week we'll be taking a look at the newly-announced 2021–22 schedules for the five main commercial broadcast networks in the U.S. – ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC – and how their programming decisions for the fall will affect what will air on Canadian networks in the coming season.
Over the past few years, it's become clear that there are certain types of programs that work well on North American broadcast TV, and others that work better on cable or streaming. This isn't necessarily a matter of drama vs. comedy vs. reality, though the genre plays a bit of a role. It arguably comes down more to tone and familiarity. Broadcast sees fewer and fewer big swings – though there are still occasionally some – and more broad-appeal series, including reboots and franchises.
Thus, CBS now has a full night of FBI series, three flavours of NCIS, and a reboot of CSI. NBC, already the home of One Chicago on Wednesdays, has replaced its Thursday lineup with three different Law & Order spinoffs. ABC is arguably less in that franchise mould, but the one of its two new shows this fall is a reboot, namely of The Wonder Years.
The CW remains home to numerous DC "Arrowverse" series, several others from Greg Berlanti, and a few others in a similar vein, including, for the first time, a reboot from Nickelodeon. Fox has fewer connected franchises, but there are still two versions of 9-1-1 (the second returning mid-season), and has franchises in different veins like its Sunday night animation block.
So how will these schedules translate to the Canadian networks that depend on this programming – CTV/CTV2, Global, and Citytv?