Fall 2021 Time Slot Battles: Dramas, Comedies & Competitions Face Off
For example, will dancing or singing win Monday nights with Dancing With the Stars and The Voice both at 8/7c? Which procedural will be victorious Wednesdays at 10/9c: Chicago P.D. or the return of CSI with Vegas? Will Shondaland’s Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy beat one of Dick Wolf‘s takeovers (Law & Orders on Thursdays)? What will a night and time change mean for the long-running NCIS?
Below, we break down some of the biggest time slot battles TV viewers could be facing when it comes to what to watch live in the 2021-2022 season.
Dancing With the Stars vs. The Voice
At 8/7c, it’s a face-off of two-hour musical competitions: Dancing With the Stars on ABC and The Voice on NBC. But will people choose to tune in to comedy (CBS’ The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola) or drama (9-1-1) in the first hour? That might depend on what people thought of the changes to DWTS last season.
NCIS vs. The Big Leap vs. 4400
How will NCIS do now that it’s moved from its usual Tuesday nights at 8/7c to Mondays at 9/8c? It’s had no problem airing opposite The Voice (or one of the Bachelor Nation series) in the past, but this momentous move could shake things up. Plus, Fox will be debuting its new drama The Big Leap in the slot and CW is airing its reimagining of 4400. There is some competition.
The Good Doctor vs. NCIS: Hawai’i vs. Ordinary Joe
The winner of the 10/9c slot may very well depend on what kind of drama you prefer: medical (The Good Doctor on ABC), procedural (the new NCIS spinoff on CBS), or character (Ordinary Joe on NBC). Hawai’i‘s ratings may very well depend on how NCIS does in its new home.
The Bachelorette vs. FBI vs. The Voice
How will FBI do kicking off a night of the franchise and taking over NCIS‘ slot at 8/7c? Will it be able to beat The Bachelorette and/or The Voice? Chances are it will — it’s been a steady performer at 9/8c — but it could very well depend on just how much FBI fans want to tune in to in one night.
Survivor vs. The Masked Singer vs. Chicago Med
Survivor is (finally) back after a pandemic-related hiatus, and it could very well hold its own just because of that against The Masked Singer (now entering its sixth season and not bringing in quite the same ratings as in the past) and Chicago Med. Or maybe the new version of The Wonder Years on ABC could draw away some viewers, at least at the beginning of the season, at 8/7c.
CSI: Vegas vs. Chicago P.D.
How do you prefer your procedural drama at 10/9c: forensic-focused (CSI: Vegas) or feet-on-the-ground (P.D.)? That may determine which series wins the night. The One Chicago franchise has been a steady performer for NBC since taking over Wednesdays, but the return of CSI (especially with original cast members) could very well have people tuning in live, at least for the first few episodes.
Station 19 vs. Young Sheldon vs. Law & Order: For the Defense vs. Walker
Dick Wolf’s franchise is expanding once again, with For the Defense kicking off an all Law & Order night at 8/7c, staging the first of two battles with a Shondaland series. Will more people tune in to the new series or stick with the now-established Station 19? And how will the always popular Young Sheldon and the CW’s Walker do in the middle of that?
Grey’s Anatomy vs. Law & Order: SVU
Grey’s Anatomy and Law & Order: SVU once again face off at 9/8c, and the former was the victor in the same battle this season. With Station 19 and Grey’s crossing over more than ever, might that keep people tuning in to ABC?
Big Sky vs. Bull vs. Law & Order: Organized Crime
Shark Tank vs. S.W.A.T. vs. The Blacklist
It’ll be particularly interesting to see what S.W.A.T.‘s ratings are with its move to Fridays at 8/7c since it’ll then be moving to Sundays at 10/9c. CBS usually does well on Friday nights (Magnum P.I. and Blue Bloods are staying put). This is another one where we don’t expect any of the shows to win the slot with a landslide.
The Rookie vs. SEAL Team/S.W.A.T.
The Rookie remains in its 10/9c slot, with CBS airing the first four episodes of SEAL Team opposite it before it moves over to Paramount+. What will that mean for its — and S.W.A.T.‘s when it takes over the slot — ratings? (And don’t forget to take into account any sports overrun-related delays on CBS that could influence viewers’ decisions about what to watch live.) But CBS may have the edge on lead-ins: The Equalizer and NCIS: LA vs. Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and Supermarket Sweep.