Upcoming Comedy Series For The 2017/2018 TV Season


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The 5 main TV networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CW - held their annual upfronts recently announcing their brand new shows as well as those which will be renewed or cancelled. As often occurs, there were a few cancellation shockers - with this year having some of the most popular shows cancelled.  Why?  Well money of course!  And the other big change? Time shifts in scheduling.

In this 3-part blog series Hollywood Branded discusses just what changes are being made to the network's schedule in the coming year, and what this means for the industry.

In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares what brands need to know about the 2017-2018 COMEDY network TV schedule. 

Network TV Premieres Comedies.png

Recent Trends For Comedies

We spoke about how the Writer's Strike - and lack of it happening - impacted Unscripted Network TV this year in this blog.  And then we shared the layout for the upcoming season for Drama TV series in this blog.

We also shared the trend of network distributors who are more likely to produce AND air new series content on their network than buying from third party production houses - all of course due to wanting to increase both control and income potential.  Which is why some shows have been on the chopping block this year as productions cleared house.  After all, the primetime Networks are at a make-it-or-break-it point with all of the high quality content now being streamed on Amazon and Netflix, and a major exodus of people willing to watch sometimes subpar content on broadcast TV that is filled with commercials.


ABC New Comedies On TV  

Comedy has done particularly well for ABC in the past few years with both Tuesday and Wednesday nights heavily featuring the genre. The core lineup for both nights is keeping its main anchors with slight restructuring. The main Tuesday lineup retains The Middle at 8pm, which is joined by Fresh Off the Boat, Blackish which has moved from Wednesday and new comedy The Mayor, which stars Brandon Michael Hall and Lea Michelle. The Wednesday night comedy lineup has remained relatively unchanged with the exception of American Housewife which moved from Tuesday.

ABC has also revived the 1980s/1990s hit Roseanne which is expected to air sometime in 2018. The main cast of Roseanne is returning with the return of John Goodman particularly interesting as his character was killed off in the original series finale. How this will be dealt with on the revival, or even acknowledged is unknown at this point.

Renewed & New ABC Comedy Series

  • American Housewife
  • Black-ish
  • Fresh Off the Boat
  • The Goldbergs
  • The Mayor (new)
  • The Middle
  • Modern Family
  • Roseanne (newish... back from the past)
  • Speechless

CBS New Comedies On TV

CBS is also using Thursday nights for some of its key sitcoms, with The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon, a spin off based on the series’ character of the same name as the main lead ins for the night after the conclusion of Thursday night football in late Fall. Until then The Big Bang Theory will air on Monday nights. Thursday nights will also feature the return of hit sitcoms Mom and Life in Pieces. The main lineup for Mondays night comedy will feature new comedies 9JKL and Me, Myself and I as well as the second seasons of both Kevin Can Wait and Superior Donuts. A new comedy which is set to premiere in the midseason is By the Book about a modern day man who tries to live his life strictly by the teachings of the bible.

Renewed & New CBS Comedy Series

  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Kevin Can Wait
  • Life in Pieces
  • Mom
  • Superior Donuts

CW New Dramas On TV 

The CW’s comedy lineup is fairly unchanged with Jane the Virgin moving to Fridays to join Crazy Ex Girlfriend.

Renewed & New CW Comedy Series

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Jane The Virgin - it's a comedy, it's a drama... we've included it as both!

FOX New Dramas On TV 

Fox is pulling back its Tuesday night comedy line up to 9pm with The Mick and Brooklyn Nine Nine and The Mick. New Girl, which had been a staple for Tuesday nights will return to the night in the post-January schedule for its final season. Fox’s prime comedy night, Sunday Funday remains relatively unchanged with the Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and The Last Man on Earth returning and being joined by new sitcom Ghosted.  Another new comedy joining FOX is the workplace comedy LA to Vegas executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Renewed & New FOX Comedy Series

  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Family Guy
  • Ghosted (new)
  • LA To Vegas (new)
  • The Mick
  • The Last Man on Earth
  • New Girl (final season!!)
  • The Simpsons

NBC New Dramas On TV

NBC is attempting to regain its comedy stronghold after a few relatively unsuccessful years for its comedy lineup. 2017 aims to be strong for the genre on NBC with the return of hit show Will and Grace headlining the networks return to it’s classic “Must See TV” slogan on Thursday night, which in the past featured hits like Seinfeld and Friends. The show will be joined by season 2 of Great News. Superstore and The Good Place were initially to be moved to Tuesday with This is Us to take the 9pm slot. However it was later announced that Superstore and The Good Place would remain at their original slots with Will and Grace pushed to 9pm and Great News to air at 9:30. which had aired on Thursday nights will air on Tuesdays before The Voice during Will and Grace’s 12 week run, after which Superstore will move back to Thursday night with another sitcom. Other new comedies ordered by NBC include Broadway Video’s A. P. Bio and Champions which is executive produced by Mindy Kailing.

So are you confused yet?  It's like a game of chess...where to move the TV show for the biggest number of viewers. And ad dollars.

Renewed & New NBC Comedy Series

  • A.P. Bio (new)
  • The Carmichael Show
  • Champions (new)
  • The Good Place
  • Great News
  • Superstore...like Jane, a comedy and a drama all rolled in one and listed twice!
  • Will & Grace (Well… renewed in that it’s been off the air for a decade!)

Cancellations - Less Than Dramas This Year

Network TV this year saw MASSIVE cancellations of dramas.  And the number of comedies is far less - primarily because there just are not that many comedies on air anymore.  Dramas far outweigh comedies for a few reasons.  For one, it can cost less.  You have actors who are paid by show - and comedies typically see a higher income by starring role.  It's also easier to just go with one show for an hour, than having to plan two entirely different shows for the same time block.  And dramas are safer.  You see so many spin offs of dramas once a network finds a hit - and that same spinoff is fairly rare in the world of comedy.  For one - there are less characters typically to have storylines evolve into.  And let's face it. Comedies are hard to write. You have to have an incredible team of writers to be able to carry off the laughs, and then a cast who can pull the punches and laughs too.  Serious dramas may just be a bit easier to carry off.    

One of the big cancellations for ABC was Last Man Standing which starred Tim Allen. The show was produced by 20 Century Fox which makes sense for its cancellation due to the trend of networks keeping shows within the company. Some people took to Twitter to say it was canceled because Hollywood folks are liberals and Tim Allen and the show was too politcally right winged... but face it. If the show was making major money from advertisers, it would have kept on ticking.  It comes down to money.

Friday night has also been freed of sitcoms with the cancellation of the Sony produced Dr. Ken which aired after Last Man Standing, and The Real O’Neals and the short-lived Imaginary Mary which we really wanted to love...but didn't.

The main victim of CBS’s chopping board was the extremely high ratings winner and internationally popular Warner Bros. produced 2 Broke Girls.  Funny fact - a lot of countries use 2 Broke Girls to learn English... because they speak so slowly and the dialogue is easy to follow!

Other series not returning to the network this fall include The Odd Couple and The Great Indoors

Canceled ABC Comedy Series

  • Ken
  • Imaginary Mary
  • Last Man Standing
  • The Real O’Neals


Canceled CBS Comedy Series

 2 Broke Girls

  • The Great Indoors
  • The Odd Couple


Fox Canceled Comedy Series

  • Party Over Here 

 Get Your Brand On TV

With all the new shows debuting on TV this Fall, they are plenty of oppunities to showcase your brand. For more information on product placement check out our Product Placement and Promotions 101 guide.Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide