As autumn sets in and the anticipated fall TV season unfolds, viewers find themselves confronted with an unprecedented predicament: the absence of their beloved shows. Traditionally, this time of year is marked by the return of favorite series and the debut of new ones. However, the ongoing writer’s strike, which commenced on May 2, and the subsequent actor’s strike, which began on July 14, have brought Hollywood productions to a grinding halt.
The repercussions of these strikes are being felt across various platforms, affecting not just the movie calendar but also talk shows and the fall network TV schedule. Fans are left wondering when they will be able to enjoy new episodes of shows like “Abbott Elementary,” “Chicago Fire,” “Young Sheldon,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” The absence of fresh scripted content is a stark reality, threatening to turn this season into a complete washout.
The resolution of the strikes lies in the hands of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Many hope for a swift resolution by the speculated deadline of October 1, which could potentially save the second half of the TV season. However, if the strikes persist, viewers may have to brace themselves for a season devoid of their favorite shows entirely.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the current state of the fall TV lineup:
The Best Shows to Watch this Fall: A Glimpse into the Dual Strikes’ Impact
The hottest show on TV, “Abbott Elementary,” will not be gracing screens with any new episodes this fall. Similarly, popular shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Station 19,” “The Rookie,” “The Good Doctor,” and “Will Trent” will also remain absent from the schedule of ABC.
Meanwhile, NBC finds itself unable to air most of its scripted shows, including the beloved Dick Wolf dramas such as “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” and “Chicago P.D.” Additionally, shows like “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “Night Court” are put on hold. Even eagerly anticipated new shows like “Extended Family,” starring Jon Cryer from “Two and a Half Men,” are currently stalled.
Over at CBS, hit comedies such as “Ghosts,” “Young Sheldon,” and “The Neighborhood,” as well as dramas like “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS,” “CSI: Vegas,” “The Equalizer,” “FBI,” and “Fire Country,” are notably missing. The premieres of new shows like “Matlock” (featuring Kathy Bates) and “Elsbeth,” a spinoff of “The Good Wife,” are also delayed.
On Fox, returning shows like “Animal Control,” “Alert: Missing Persons Unit,” “Accused,” and “The Cleaning Lady” are being put on hold, along with new series such as “Doc” and “Rescue: Hi-Surf.”
What About Shows like ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘The Simpsons’?
Thankfully, a select few NBC dramas already filmed prior to the strike will still make their way to screens. “Quantum Leap,” making a return with new episodes on October 4, will air alongside the highly anticipated fifth and final season of “Magnum P.I.” NBC will also debut new dramas like “Found” (premiering on October 3) and “The Irrational” (starting on September 25), featuring Jesse L. Martin as a crime-solving behavioral scientist.
It’s worth noting that the work on animated series by writers and voice actors is often completed well in advance, rendering them less affected by the strikes. So, fans can rest assured that beloved shows like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “Bob’s Burgers” will continue to provide entertainment. Additionally, new animated series like “Krapopolis” (from Dan Harmon of “Rick and Morty” fame) will also join the lineup.
Streaming Shows and the Strikes: A Delayed Ride
Streaming platforms typically plan and schedule productions far in advance, which has allowed shows like the revival of “Frasier” on Paramount+ (set to premiere on October 12) to remain unaffected. Other highly anticipated shows such as Netflix’s “Sex Education” (debuting on September 21) and “The Fall of the House of Usher” (scheduled for October 12) are also proceeding as planned.
However, some networks, like FX, have opted to push back the release of certain series to avoid future gaps. For instance, the new season of “Fargo” has been moved to November 21, while “A Murder at the End of the World” was delayed from August to November 14.
On the other hand, some scripted streaming shows that were already in production had to be suspended due to the strikes. Viewers can expect a slower release of new content starting early next year, with fan-favorite shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” “Emily in Paris,” and “Cobra Kai” being affected.
Embracing Reality and Game Shows: What Remains on Fall TV?
To fill the void left by the absence of scripted shows, networks have turned to unscripted reality programs as a temporary solution. CBS, for example, will continue to air popular shows like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Dancing with the Stars.” NBC will keep “The Voice” in its lineup, and Fox plans to continue with shows like “The Masked Singer.”
Expect new entries such as Josh Duhamel’s CBS competition show “Buddy Games” and the game show “Lotería Loca,” hosted by Jaime Camil. In addition to these reality shows, special primetime editions of classics like “Let’s Make a Deal,” “The Price is Right,” “Wheel of Fortune,” and “Jeopardy!” will also entertain audiences in the coming months.
Revisiting Fan Favorites and Introducing New Gems
While the strikes have delayed the second half of the final season of “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network, CBS plans to fill the gap by airing a broadcast premiere of the show from the beginning. Viewers can look forward to Sunday-night marathons starting on September 17.
In addition to this, CBS has decided to bring back the Paramount+ drama “SEAL Team” to its Thursday night lineup, starting November 2. The network will also introduce the original U.K. version of “Ghosts” on November 16 and an Australian edition of “NCIS” on November 13.
As the fall TV season unfolds amidst strikes and setbacks, viewers are encouraged to explore the unexpected. The absence of beloved shows gives rise to an opportunity to discover new favorites or explore unscripted delights. While challenges persist in the entertainment industry, let’s embrace this unique landscape and celebrate the innovative offerings that continue to captivate our screens.
1. Will my favorite shows return to TV during the strike?
The return of your favorite shows largely depends on the resolution of the ongoing strikes by the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild. While there is hope for a timely resolution, the strikes have already caused significant disruptions to the fall TV schedule. Keep an eye on updates from the networks for the latest information.
2. Will streaming platforms be affected by the strikes?
Streaming platforms tend to plan their productions well in advance, which has allowed them to navigate the strikes with fewer interruptions. However, some scripted streaming shows that were already in production had to be halted. This may result in a delayed release of new content starting early next year.
3. What shows can I look forward to watching during the strikes?
In response to the absence of scripted shows, networks have turned to unscripted reality programs and game shows as an interim solution. Expect to see popular shows like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “The Voice,” “The Masked Singer,” and “Dancing with the Stars” continue to entertain audiences.
4. Are there any alternative options to explore during the strikes?
Absolutely! This unique TV landscape provides an opportunity to discover new gems and explore unscripted delights. Take this chance to delve into different genres, try out new shows, or revisit classics. Who knows, you might stumble upon your next favorite series!