Upcoming Unscripted Shows 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 UNSCRIPTED network TV schedule. 

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Recent Trends For Unscripted

If the Writer's Strike had happened, the TV landscape this season would have looked extremely different than it currently does.  Unscripted series are in vogue when networks need to be able to create content that doesn't require the scripted word.

But alas, Hollywood came together literally at the last minute, and the strike was averted. Which now means a very un-exciting unscripted season by most networks, who still value higher advertising dollars that accompany scripted content. 

New Unscripted TV Series To Watch - ABC

Among the new ABC shows is the highly anticipated reboot of American Idol which they have taken from Fox who axed the show in 2016. It is unknown at this point if original host Ryan Seacrest will return - and doubtful with his newfound Live with Kelly and Ryan hosting gig out of NYC, but it has already been announced that Katy Perry will be on the judging panel.

The network will also be launching a junior version of Dancing with the Stars featuring young celebrities or kids of celebrities, which will air in early 2018.

ABC will also introduce a new series in The Bachelor franchise, The Bachelor Winter Games.

Following the move of Once Upon a Time to Friday nights, Sunday is now primarily an unscripted night with longtime Sunday staple America’s Funniest Home Videos stays at its 7pm slot, joined by Shark Tank at 9pm, and To Tell the Truth at 8pm.  News program 20/20 remains at 10pm on Fridays. Mondays see a return of Dancing with the Stars.

Renewed ABC Unscripted Series

  • $100,000 Pyramid
  • America's Funniest Home Videos
  • American Idol (new but not!)
  • The Bachelor
  • The Bachelor Winter Game (new)
  • The Bachelorette
  • Bachelor in Paradise
  • Celebrity Family Feud
  • Dancing With the Stars 
  • Dancing With The Stars Juniors (new)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live!
  • Shark Tank
  • To Tell The Truth 

New Unscripted TV Series To Watch - CBS, CW & FOX

There's nothing new here folks!  CBS, Fox and CW have no new reality/alternative programming for their upcoming schedules. Hell’s Kitchen will return to Fox this season and Big Brother, Survivor, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss are all expected to return to CBS.

Renewed CBS Unscripted Series

  • 48 Hours
  • 60 Minutes
  • The Amazing Race
  • Survivor
  • Undercover Boss


Renewed CW Unscripted Series

  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway


Renewed Fox Unscripted Series

  • American Grit
  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • MasterChef
  • MasterChef Junior
  • So You Think You Can Dance

New Unscripted TV Series To Watch - NBC

NBC is betting on tried and true TV daytime hosts, comedians and A-list musicians to frontline it's unscripted line up.

NBC’s hit reality singing competition The Voice returns to Mondays and Tuesdays.

After the Football season airs, Sunday nights on NBC will remain home to the Steve Harvey fronted Little Big Shots which will be joined by Ellen DeGeneres’ new show Ellen’s Game of Games.

Other new unscripted shows heading to NBC include The Awesome Show, hosted and executive produced by Chris Hardwick, Genius Junior hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and showcasing America’s smartest children, and The Handmade Project hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

NBC Renewed Unscripted Series

  • America’s Got Talent
  • American Ninja Warrior
  • The Awesome Show (new)
  • Ellen's Game of Games (new)
  • Genius Junior (new)
  • The Handmade Project (new)
  • Hollywood Game Night
  • Little Big Shots
  • Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge
  • The Voice

Cancelled Series

Overall, there hasn't been a lot of cancellations in the scripted space.  In general, reality programming is A LOT more affordable to produce than scripted content.  It's less camera work, there are no writers to pay, and typically you have a show host that is getting paid the bucks - but the everyday people appearing aren't costing the network all that much.

Here's a look at the canceled unscripted TV series for this upcoming fall:

ABC Canceled Unscripted Series

  • America’s Funniest Home Videos (in limbo)

  • Beyond the Tank (in limbo)

Fox Canceled Unscripted Series

  • Coupled


NBC Canceled Unscripted Series

  • The Biggest Loser (in limbo)

  • “The New Celebrity Apprentice (in limbo)

Get Your Brand On TV

With all the new shows debuting on TV this Fall, they are plenty of oppunities to showcase your brand. In fact, product placement in TV shows offers your brand the opportunity to really amplify your brand by repurposing your on screen exposure!

For more information on product placement check out our Product Placement and Promotions 101 guide below!Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide