As upfronts wrap today, I wrote this Quartz piece about one big change to this year’s proceedings: the networks are finally serious about programming year-round, and they’re actually putting their money where their mouths are.
But as broadcast ratings continue to erode, those networks can no longer assume that their viewers will stay loyal and return in the fall. So when CBS took a chance on adapting Stephen King’s Under the Dome as a “limited series” last summer, and it became the highest-rated scripted summer series in 21 years, the network kept it in the same spot this year (it returns June 30). With the addition of Extant and other summer shows, CBS will have 90 hours of original programming this summer.
It’s a big change from the broadcasters’ traditional hands-off approach to summer, allowing the cable networks (and more recently, Netflix) to swoop in and take all the audiences for themselves.