Tomorrow Will Be Televised

And by tomorrow, writer Simon Applebaum means, literally, tomorrow. His thesis: TV is at a crossroads, and everything that happens in the next 6 months is going to affect the future of the medium, for better or for worse.

We think it’ll be for better:

by Simon Applebaum

simonapplebaumshowTake an extended breath, then brace yourself for an explosive second half of 2013. Quite a ride is in store for anyone involved in the television world, starting and ending with viewers. Here’s a roundup of what you can expect:

***Every broadcast network entering this season at a pivot point. CBS, number one in total viewership for years, could easily swerve into second place, depending on how viewers react to its Monday night shakeup (three new series, two of them sitcoms) and new Thursday night 9-10 p.m. comedy hour. Fox’s goal: reverse the fortunes of The X Factor and launch at least one new series. At NBC, the job is to show there’s more to this channel than Sunday Night Football and The Voice in the fall. ABC could go either up or down, depending on making Dancing With The Stars Monday night-only, an all-new Tuesday lineup and rebounds for returnees like Revengeor Nashville. Can newbies The Tomorrow People and Reign carry The CW over its audience flatline?

***More new or remodeled networks launching than at any time in recent years. Chalk up one already with One America News, which at press time was all set to debut July 4. Up to three more networks are coming next month, with the Millennial-targeted Pivot, Fox Sports 1 and Al Jazeera America. Another pair – FXX and Esquire Network – debut in September. Yet to pop launch dates: El Rey Network, Fusion from ABC News/Univision, Sean Combs’s Revolt channel, multicast entry Soul of the South and a few other multicast/Spanish-language services.

***More channels entering the scripted TV world. Hallmark Channel begins the second half action with Cedar Cove, starring Andie MacDowell, later this month. Bravo chimes in with a series this fall, most likely Rita. Scripted work will be part of FXX and El Rey’s debut lineups, with Pivot close to launching Will, its mod young Shakespeare take from Moulin Rouge/The Great Gatsby writer Craig Pearce.

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