Fall TV: 'Glee,' 'Community,' 'Voice' vs. 'X Factor' and the Season's 5 Biggest Question Marks
Creative risks, a DVR comedy dilemma on Tuesdays and ABC's investment in country music highlight the 2012-13 television season's biggest uncertainties.
Creative risks and schedule moves -- the fall season wouldn't be complete without them, and the 2012-13 season is no different.
Glee essentially has become two shows in one, and Tuesdays have become a comedy lover's dream and DVR's nightmare as Fox, ABC and NBC pair their biggest and most anticipated laughers all on the same night.
Ahead of the official start to the fall TV season, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the five biggest question marks facing shows including Community, The Voice, The X Factor and Nashville.
Glee: Fox officially axed the buzzed-about spinoff following Rachel, Kurt and Finn after nearly a year of speculation. Instead, the musical dramedy's upcoming fourth season will split story lines between the established (and beloved) Ohio high school setting and the New York location with Rachel (Lea Michele) enrolled at an arts school, Kurt (Chris Colfer) working alongside Sarah Jessica Parker, with Finn (Cory Monteith) likely joining the chorus running concurrently with the McKinley-set group. Will the split-story format prove as successful as New Directions at Nationals? And what about all the seniors who graduated and left for locations including Los Angeles (Mercedes, Puck), Chicago (Mike) and New York (Quinn)? Also a big question mark -- how will it fare in its new Thursday time slot against fellow female-skewing drama Grey's Anatomy? Plus, will the move back an hour to 9 p.m. bring more adult story lines? (Premieres Sept. 13)
Tuesday's Comedy Cluster: ABC, NBC and Fox are all expanding their comedy lineups this fall, and no other night is feeling the heat like Tuesday. It's the night NBC launches Matthew Perry comeback vehicle Go On and Ryan Murphy's The New Normal. Right up against them, starting at 9 p.m., are Fox's darling New Girl and freshman hopeful The Mindy Project, respectively. And making matters even more complicated, ABC has decided to join in the funny by moving Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 to the same hour block. It's enough to make a DVR cry. (New Normal premieres Sept. 10, Go On on Sept. 11, Mindy and New Girl on Sept. 25, Happy Endings and Apt. 23 on Oct. 23)
The Voice vs. The X Factor: More than a decade after the singing competition phenomenon kicked off with American Idol, there's finally a high-profile race between two heavily hyped reality series airing concurrently. Doubling up on its golden child, NBC is launching a fall iteration of The Voice. Its new season even gets a three-night premiere, which puts it directly against The X Factor. That show has gotten an expensive transfusion of talent with the addition of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, and Fox clearly is planning on trouncing its new neighbor. (The Voice premieres Sept. 10, The X Factor on Sept. 12)
Community: With creator Dan Harmon no longer tied to the show and new bosses Moses Port and David Guarascio stepping in at the helm, the NBC comedy faces several big questions when it returns for season four. Will the DNA of Community remain the same? How will the move from Thursdays to Fridays affect the show's longevity? Comic-Con proved to be an important event for the comedy, as well as Port and Guarascio, as it served as their official entry into the cultish world surrounding Community. Guarascio reassured fans that they will work to keep the "weird, wonderful gem, and that's not going to change." (Premieres Oct. 19)
Nashville: Among the riskier bets of fall, the Connie Britton-Hayden Panettiere starrer is a big swing for ABC as the pricey drama stands to be a cash cow for the network and studio Lionsgate TV should the show's original country music catch on with viewers the way Glee's covers have. However, many already have discounted the series based on its country music premise about two stars with vastly different career (and romantic) trajectories. (Premieres Oct. 10)