Upcoming Drama 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 DRAMA network TV schedule. 

Network TV Premieres Dramas.png

Recent Trends For Dramas

We spoke about how the Writer's Strike - and lack of it happening - impacted Unscripted Network TV this year in this blog.

There is a trend of network distributors who are more and more so trying to air shows that are under their own production company umbrellas. This year, with the ever-increasing popularity and stronghold of streaming services, it was clear that the networks needed to regain power in some way. They are attempting this by take the focus away from independent productions and instead placing emphasis on commissioning home-studio produced shows. It's like having family members work for you... you have more control, and can possibly pay them a little less... and keep bigger profits.

TV Revivals have certainly been a popular trend in the past decade, with sitcoms being perhaps the most used source for revival and have also made for a particularly popular source for orders for the network’s this season.

And the other big change? Time shifts in scheduling content to try to make bigger audience impact. 

ABC New Dramas On TV  

ABC continues to place heavy emphasis on drama throughout its schedule. Thursday night continues to be the home to Shonda Rimes produced shows with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder sticking to their usual slots. Shondaland will also bring brand new dramas to the network with a firefighter’s Grey’s Anatomy spin-off and legal drama For The People.

Friday night will become ABC's new home to fantasy drama on Friday nights with Sunday veteran Once Upon a Time moving to Friday’s to make room for a greater focus on unscripted shows on Sundays and the new series Marvel Inhuman which looks to take the place of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will return in the midseason, airing its usual season of 22 episodes after the conclusion of Inhuman’s eight episodes.

Amongst other productions, ABC is also launching a live TV musical version of The Little Mermaid.

Monday nights will see the launch of The Good Doctor after Dancing with the Stars. The show stars Freddie Highmore as a doctor with Asperger syndrome and is based on a 2013 South Korean series Good Doctor. Tuesday night will then see the debut of new drama The Gospel of kevin which revolves around a man who is sent on a mission to save the world. Wednesday nights will see the return of Designated Survivor. Other new dramas coming to the network include The Crossing which follows a group of refugees who take asylum in a small American fishing town, Deception which sees a magician whose career is in jeopardy join forces with the FBI and Ten Days in the Valley which follows the life of an overworked television producer.

Renewed & New ABC Drama Series

  • The Crossing (new)
  • Deception (new)
  • Designated Survivor
  • For The People (new)
  • The Good Doctor (new)
  • The Gospel (new)
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • How to Get Away with Murder
  • The Little Mermaid (new)
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
  • Marvel Inhuman (new)
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Quantico
  • Scandal (Final Season!)
  • Ten Days (new)

CBS New Dramas On TV

CBS retains its key drama night on Tuesdays with the returns of NCIS, Bull and NCIS: New Orleans. Criminal Minds remains on the Wednesday night schedule at the new time of 10pm following brand new drama Seal Team. Friday nights will remain unchanged comprising of MacGuyver, Hawaii 5-0, and Blue Bloods. NCIS: Los Angeles, Elementary, and Madam Secretary all return on Sunday nights along with new drama Wisdom of the Crowd starring Jeremy Piven. New dramas Instinct and SWAT will air in the midseason.

Renewed & New CBS Drama Series

  • Big Brother
  • Blue Bloods
  • Bull
  • Code Black
  • Criminal Minds
  • Elementary
  • The Good Fight
  • Hawaii Five-0
  • Instinct (new)
  • Madam Secretary
  • MacGyver
  • Man with a Plan
  • NCIS
  • NCIS: Los Angeles
  • NCIS: New Orleans
  • Seal Team (new)
  • Scorpion
  • SWAT (new)
  • Wisdom of the Crowd (new)
  • Zoo

CW New Dramas On TV 

This year’s upfronts definitely revealed that the CW sees drama as one of its key genres with lots of investment in it for the ear. The network ordered 4 new drams and yet  no new comedies or reality programming. This year’s schedule sees the return of one of its most popular shows, particularly in the superhero genre with Riverdale, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, and Supergirl all returning. The network will also bring back favorite Supernatural. Four new drama series will land on the CW this fall, a revival of the classic primetime soap Dynasty, as well as, Valor, Life Sentence and Black Lightning.

Renewed & New CW Drama Series

  • The 100
  • Arrow
  • Black Lightning
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
  • Dynasty (new)
  • The Flash
  • iZombie
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Life Sentence (new)
  • The Originals
  • Riverdale
  • Supernatural
  • Supergirl
  • Valor (new)


FOX New Dramas On TV 

Both of Lee Daniel’s primetime series Empire and Star are returning to Fox airing on Wednesday nights. Part of the new lineup to Fox’s drama schedule include Marvel’s The Gifted and Seth McFarlane’s space series, The Orville. Dramas for the  midseason include 9-1-1 from Ryan Murphy and medical drama The Resident. The  X Files will also return at midseason. Lucifer airs on Monday nights, Gotham returns on Thursdays, The Exorcist is on Friday.

Renewed & New FOX Drama Series

  • 9-1-1 (new)
  • Empire
  • The Exorcist
  • The Gifted (new)
  • Gotham
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Lucifer
  • The Orville (new)
  • The Resident (new)
  • Star
  • X Files

NBC New Dramas On TV

NBC had initially announced at its Upfront that it would move its hit show This is Us to Thursday nights in a bid to re-create the classic Must See TV brand. However, it was later announced that the show would say in its Tuesday night slot joined by new limited series Law and Order True Crime: The Mendelez Murders. The Blacklist which had held the Thursday night 10pm position will now head to Wednesday nights at 8pm, and will be followed by Wednesday night regulars Law and Order SVU and Chicago PD. The Brave a new drama about military heroes will take the 10pm slot after The Voice on Mondays. Chicago Fire will also return to Tuesday nights. Friday nights will remain the home to Blindspot and Taken. Other new series set to debut in the midseason include Reverie, Good Girls, and Rise. Sundays nights will see the return of Shades of Blue starring Jennifer Lopez.

Renewed & New NBC Drama Series

  • Blacklist
  • Blindspot
  • The Brave (new)
  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago Med
  • Chicago PD
  • Good Girls (new)
  • Law & Order: SVU
  • Law & Order True Crime: The Mendez Murders (new)
  • The Night Shift
  • Reverie (new)
  • Rise (new)
  • Shades Of Blue
  • Taken
  • Timeless  
  • This Is Us
  • Trial & Error
  • The Wall

Cancellations - It Is A TON Of Series

Every year the networks cancel what some consider their best shows in order to keep their schedule fresh. Or for monetary reasons... which really is the truth at the heart of the matter.

And this year saw some big shows get the chop.  

ABC axed American Crime, The Catch and Mistresses.  Additional series not returning to the CBS network this fall include Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and NBC's cancellations of The Blacklist: Redemption, Grimm, Powerless and Chicago Justice. Cancelled shows from Fox include Scream Queens, Bones and Son of Zorn.

Perhaps the biggest cancellation for The CW is its hit drama The Vampire Diaries, with Frequency, Reign and No Tomorrow also being cancelled.  Unlike the other networks, The CW has limited programming as it only owns certain prime time spots - with syndicated or local programming running at other times.

ABC Canceled Drama Series

  • American Crime
  • The Catch
  • Conviction
  • Mistresses
  • Notorious
  • Secrets and Lies
  • Time After Time


CBS Canceled Drama Series

  • American Gothic
  • BrainDead
  • Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders
  • Doubt
  • Pure Genius
  • Ransom
  • Rush Hour
  • Training Day


CW Cancelled Drama Series

  • Frequency
  • No Tomorrow
  • Reign
  • The Vampire Diaries


Fox Canceled Drama Series
  • Bones
  • Houdini & Doyle
  • Rosewood
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Pitch
  • APB
  • Scream Queens
  • Son of Zorn
  • Making History 
  • 24: Legacy
  • Prison Break


NBC Canceled Drama Series

  • Aquarius
  • The Blacklist: Redemption
  • Chicago Justice
  • Emerald City
  • Grimm
  • Hearbeat
  • Powerless

 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