The Media Notepad: Fox (finally) releases fall schedule

Also: iCrime debuts this fall; another syndicated show calls it quits; TV/radio stations shifting to the burbs? 

Catching up on some news: 

After deciding to delay for a few weeks, Fox released their 2022-23 schedule on June 6 without much fanfare. As expected, much of the lineup remained intact, including The Masked Singer on Wednesdays, Smackdown on Fridays, and the Sunday night animation block. No one was expecting any earth-shattering moves, so you wonder why Fox delayed the schedule in the first place. The move was completely puzzling, but then again this is Fox we’re dealing with, and they’ve had a history of bizarre decision-making.

But there is some new fare, including the anticipated (using the term loosely) Monarch, which premieres September 11 after the season premiere of Fox NFL football. The following week, Monarch will move to its regular time slot on Tuesdays, following The Resident as the show is basically Empire set in the country music world.

Replacing Amazon-bound Thursday Night Football is Hell’s Kitchen and the only two live action sitcoms this fall, Welcome to Flatch and Call Me Kat.

To see the schedule, click here.

With numerous first-run series departing in September, here’s another show looking to fill those open slots with iCrime With Elizabeth Vargas premiering in daily syndication September 12 in 95 percent of the country. Vargas, a veteran of 20/20 and ABC News, will host and co-executive produce the show with Hank Cohen and Scott Sternberg, whose production company produces the series and distributed by Trifecta Entertainment, whose CEO is Cohen. The new series is basically crimes caught on camera, namely from smartphones and other small devices.

“Cell-phone videos have completely changed the social landscape,” said Vargas in a statement. “Anyone, anywhere, with a cell phone can record crimes as they happen, and those videos can have a huge impact. iCrime will cull the most powerful of these videos, while providing important insight on the law and how to keep safe. I could not be more excited to host this new show.”

Vargas also plans to interview victims, law enforcement, and amateur photographers who caught these crimes on videos.

iCrime is looking to take advantage of filling time slots abandoned by several first-run syndicated shows this past season. Nexstar is planning to fill the slots left behind by the now-canceled Daily Mail TV with iCrime, including its New York station as an afternoon news lead-in. Crime has been a hot button topic as of late with voters citing it as their number one concern and often leads most local newscasts.

No station list was made available, so it is unknown what Chicago station would air the series as we’ll have that information once it becomes available. iCrime has been purchased by the Nexstar, Sinclair, Gray, Weigel, CBS, Fox, and Tegna station groups.

And speaking of first-run series departing, it’s over and out for the long-running daily show Right This Minute, a roundup of the viral videos found online. During its eleven seasons, the series went through numerous changes in just about everything, from hosts to its station lineup to even who syndicates the show.

“Sorry to tell you that RTM has not been renewed for another season. The show will be in reruns until September and then off the air for good. It was a wonderful 11 year run and I’m super proud of our show and so thankful for all our fans. Thanks for watching,” said Nick Calderone on the show’s Facebook page, one of the show’s five hosts. 

Originally, the show was distributed by Sony and then by MGM.

In recent years, the show was handled by Disney Media Distribution with clearances on the ABC-owned station group, including WLS-TV here where the show wound up in overnight time slots. But in 2019, the ABC-owned stations dropped the show and moved to lesser-watched stations including Weigel’s The U, who airs it at 5:30 a.m. Due to the pandemic, the series had been produced remotely for the last two years. The series’ last first-run episode aired April 29.

Right This Minute is the ninth syndicated strip to end this year, including The Doctors, Nick Cannon, Daily Mail TV, and The Real.

Even though Right This Minute ended, Disney announced Tuesday it’s adding three off-network series into syndication – former ABC sitcom American Housewife as a daily show and two dramas for weekends: 9-1-1 and The Rookie, both are likely to replace Castle and Wipeout on some stations’ schedules including the ABC-owned stations, including WLS-TV with all three beginning their runs the week of September 12. Of note, 9-1-1 is the first off-Fox show to be picked up by the ABC O&Os. 

KMOV’s future home in Maryland Heights, Mo. (Newscast Studio)

There’s been a lot of talk about businesses leaving downtown areas around the country because of the pandemic and increasing crime. Now television stations are making the move out to the ‘burbs: St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV announced they’re exiting their downtown riverfront property near the Arch after 50+ years and heading to Maryland Heights, a suburb 21 miles west of the city. The decision comes after Gray Television – who purchased KMOV owner Meredith last year, bought a former three-story medical building for $8.7 million. They’ll be neighbors to Nexstar’s KTVI/KPLR duopoly, who are also located in Maryland Heights. KPLR was once located at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in the Central West End neighborhood. 

Local TV and radio situating themselves in the suburbs isn’t new – most of Detroit’s broadcast stations are located in suburban Southfield, with only NBC affiliate WDIV in the city. Fox-owned WTTG and WDCA recently relocated outside of Washington D.C. to suburban Bethesda, Md. Here in Chicago, almost all local TV and radio stations are located in the city’s downtown center, or at least close to it, with the exception of Nexstar’s WGN-TV, located in the North Side’s North Center neighborhood. On Friday, CBS 2 (CBS-owned WBBM-TV) announced they were bringing back their outside Jumbotron later this summer, affirming their commitment to stay in downtown Chicago. 

KMOV has been in downtown St. Louis since 1968, when it was known as CBS-owned KMOX-TV and moved in with its radio sibling, KMOX-AM. Fifteen years after it was spun off from CBS, Viacom bought KMOX-TV in 1986 and changed the call letters to KMOV (Viacom would later reunite with CBS, split, and reunite again.) KMOV has been sold three times since. 

Following a nationwide trend, some businesses are leaving downtown St. Louis area due to high taxes and an increase in crime – a dilemma many metro areas are dealing with, Chicago included with the recent departure of several big companies.  In a way, it mirrors a similar trend in the 1960s and 1970s, when residents were moving out of cities and into the suburbs. The trend reversed in the 1990s and 2000s when residents grew tired of the blandness of suburban life and returned to the city. But the pandemic upended the way of life, as home sales boomed in outlying areas as more and more residents left their high-rise condos behind. 

Despite KMOV’s departure, St. Louis still has three stations in the city proper: NBC affiliate KSDK, ABC affiliate KDNL, and PBS’ KETC.


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