Look out: A fall harvest of new broadcast TV shows
This image released by NBC shows Jack Gore as Graham Henry, left, and Michael J. Fox as Mike Henry in "The Michael J. Fox Show," premiering Sept. 26. (AP Photo/NBC, Eric Liebowitz)
NEW YORK (AP) — There's something antiquated about the custom long known as the Fall TV Season.
It was born of a bygone era (and still harkens back to it) when fall signaled all things important in America: the much-anticipated return to school, the resumption of football and the grand unveiling of next year's car models.
It was an era of the Big Three. And not just General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but also ABC, CBS and NBC, which each autumn launched their new shows with the stated intention of airing these dramas and comedies through much of the season to come.
This publicity image released by CBS shows Robin Williams, left, and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a scene from the pilot episode of "The Crazy Ones," a new CBS comedy premiering Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/CBS, Richard Cartwright)
This was an orderly, narrowly consigned TV world. So the Fall Season represented for viewers most of what they could expect to see in prime time for months ahead, at least until the "summer replacement" shows arrived the following June.
"Midseason" (a term even Fox boss Kevin Reilly said recently he'd love to ban) wasn't part of the lingo back then.
Nor, of course, were terms like "cable networks," HBO, Hulu or Netflix.
This publicity image released by NBC shows Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Alexander Grayson in "Dracula," premiering Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/NBC, Jonathon Hession)
A half-century later, the Fall Season persists — a festival of premieres by not three, but the five self-designated broadcast "majors" (which somehow includes the little-watched CW), with, some years, no discernible dividing line between the fall crop and the winter harvest.