On the latest edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off, Joe and I are joined by the LA Times' Libby Hill to talk about the start of the fall season:
There's a noted lack of pizazz around this year's crop of freshman shows. Last year there were lots of fresh faces and ideas coming to the small screen, but this year seems to retread a lot of concepts from many years past. In some ways, this season is highlighting the slow collapse of linear television.
Even ABC's The Muppets, a show many people were excited about, so far seems to be...just OK.
Not all is lost though. Ratings show people are still watching some shows in real time, especially Fox's mega-hit Empire. The hip-hop soap opera kicked off Season 2 with massive numbers, both in terms of how many people were watching, and how many people were tweeting about it. Though that big push for social media engagement fell flat for another Fox show, Scream Queens. Despite a weak debut, the show did pick up some significant numbers in delayed viewing.
For viewers who stick around after primetime, they're seeing some new faces on late night. Stephen Colbert has a few week's worth of hosting under his belt at The Late Show, while Trevor Noah is just settling into his first week as host of The Daily Show.
In Noah's first night as host, the show stuck very much to the familiar structure of The Daily Show as it was hosted by Jon Stewart. Time will tell if Noah sticks to that routine or breaks out to make the show more of his own.