Do not be alarmed and do not adjust your set, either, but … you are about to be drowned by your television.
Over the next eight to 12 weeks, beginning Jan. 1, approximately 100 new shows, specials, reality series and megaevents (from the Super Bowl to the new “Tonight Show”) will launch. It’s TV’s own perfect storm — of opportunity, changing industry practices and simply more viewing.
Let’s go to the reasons:
1. More people watch TV from January to March than at any other time of year. The TV industry has known this for years, which has led networks to add more shows. Because there’s more to watch, more viewers watch — or so the thinking goes.
2. The broadcast networks now have the clever habit of giving their hits “half” seasons, or “fall seasons,” followed by “winter seasons.” Hits like “The Blacklist” and “Scandal” recently had their “fall finales”; now the series — and a few dozen others — will relaunch.
3. 2014 has an unusual number of major events — which means more opportunities to promote new shows. The first quarter of any year is crowded with special events — from the Grammys to the Super Bowl, which have always provided a promotional platform for newcomers.
4. Time to sweep out the flops. Here’s another reason for the influx of new programming in January — networks have broomed out the shows that haven’t worked, and need to add new ones.
5. Borrowing from the cable playbook, the broadcast networks have ordered more “short-run” series than in past seasons. Examples include CBS’ “Intelligence” and ABC’s “Killer Women,” both arriving Jan. 7, and Fox’s “Rake” (Jan. 23).