Schedule Wars: Fall 2014's 5 Most Competitive Time Slots
Schedule Wars: Fall 2014's 5 Most Competitive Time Slots
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Every year, the TV networks do battle. Now that all of the Fall 2014 schedules have been released, fans can look forward to figuring out what shows they'll watch and what tough decisions they will have to make.

The Voice is available on Amazon Prime.


ABC's Fall 2014 Schedule>>
CBS's Fall 2014 Schedule>>
The CW's Fall 2014 Schedule>>
FOX's Fall 2014 Schedule>>
NBC's Fall 2014 Schedule>>


With 24 new shows and 14 returning shows moving to new time slots, which nights will be the most difficult for fans to decide? Here's a look at five particularly competitive time slots this fall.

Mondays at 8pm: The Voice vs. Dancing with the Stars vs. The Big Bang Theory vs. Gotham

What happens when three shows that all topped 15 million viewers this season go head-to-head-to-head? For three years The Voice has taken a chunk out of DWTS (ABC's ballroom competition gets more total viewers, though NBC's singing show wins in the 18-49 demo). What will happen when CBS adds in the most-watched sitcom on TV, a show that tops both of them? Just as important, what happens to FOX's big new drama, the Batman prequel Gotham, going up against these heavy hitters? And how dramatic will the collapse on CBS be when Thursday Night Football ends and The Big Bang Theory is replaced by 2 Broke Girls?

Mondays at 10pm: Castle vs. The Blacklist vs. NCIS: Los Angeles

This is easily one of the weakest time slots for CBS. Hawaii Five-0 lost traction against ABC's quirky procedural and in the last year, both Hostages and Intelligence tanked. So CBS is bringing in the big guns with its second most-watched drama, NCIS: Los Angeles. Can the show take on these big hits? And will Katherine Heigl's State of Affairs be able to holds its own when it takes over for The Blacklist in November?

Tuesdays at 8pm: New ABC Comedies vs. Utopia vs. The Flash

The two giants at this time slot remain NCIS on CBS and The Voice on NBC. But at the start of the fall, this is the only time when three networks are airing new shows, and interestingly, they're all trying something different. FOX is gambling with a big reality series, Utopia, ABC is going with two new comedies (Selfie and Manhattan Love Story) while the CW is putting its fate in the anticipated Arrow spin-off The Flash. Which, if any, of these new shows will survive or thrive against some of the stiffest competition on TV?

Tuesdays at 9pm: Agents of SHIELD vs. NCIS: New Orleans vs. NBC and FOX Comedies vs. Supernatural

This time slot feels wide open. The newest NCIS spin-off should have no problem winning, though will it be as successful as NCIS: Los Angeles? More importantly, can Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. build some momentum being pushed back an hour and try to overcome a somewhat anemic first year? Then there's Supernatural on the CW, which could get a boost in season 10 if The Flash does better at 8pm than The Originals did. Finally, FOX's low-rated comedies (New Girl and The Mindy Project)will go up against NBC's comedy block (the new Marry Me and returning About a Boy), which gets the advantage of having The Voice as a lead-in. Will that be enough?

Thursdays at 8pm: Grey's Anatomy vs. Bones vs. The Biggest Loser

Though Thursday Night Football on CBS will undoubtedly dominate for the first half of the fall, the lack of The Big Bang Theory gives an opening to the others to counter-program for non-football fans. The other three major networks are all taking the opportunity to try out long-running favorites in the time slot, with NBC's reality series entering its 16th season while Grey's moves up an hour for season 11 and Bones enters season 10 returning to its old night from seasons 5, 6 and 7. Will the gamble be successful and will these networks finally get a toe-hold in this time slot?


(Image courtesy of ABC, CBS and NBC)

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