Crossover This: TV Pushes Fall Season Launches, Streamers Gain Ground

Thinking about new broadcast TV shows coming soon --- or perhaps that more focused what Netflix, Prime Video, or HBO Max’s new TV series and movies are coming?

The fall linear TV season is coming -- whatever that means these days.

Surveying broadcast TV on-air promo activity might offer a clue.

Over the last 30 days, total TV network promo and paid advertising spend was at $426.5 million, according to

A year ago, during that same period, it totaled $365.6 million. In 2019, during a pre-pandemic month-long period it came in at $318.3 million.

Sinking overall linear TV impressions mean TV networks need to keep their foot on the pedal -- and then some, because competition keeps growing.



Over the last 30 days, 85.5 billion impressions were produced for TV networks’ programming promo/paid advertising. There were 83.3 billion impressions, in 2021; and 73.1 billion impressions (2019).

All this comes as new streaming shows arrive almost daily on many services.

Two of the high-profile TV series starts are HBO Max/HBO “House of The Dragon” and Amazon Prime Video's “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” both spinoffs of highly regarded fantasy/adventure dramas “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings” respectively.

To complicate matters, more linear TV networks are already making prime-time TV shows available the next day on their respective streaming platforms.

Worse still, NBC is considering the idea of trimming back prime time one hour to just scheduling 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

With all the emphasis on streaming, linear TV networks’ future may just reside themselves to being a pure promotion vehicle for scripted or unscripted TV shows -- that will appear on their streaming services. News and/sports live content will continue to take up more key time periods.

In the meantime, prime-time brand program names like “NCIS” or “Law & Order”, “Chicago” or “ 911” will continue to seek built-in promotional/ name awareness value through perhaps more spinoffs.

The longest-running individual shows currently include: Fox’s “The Simpsons” is going into its 34th season; NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (going for 24 seasons); CBS’ “NCIS” (20 seasons); ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (19 seasons).

Now ask yourself, if in fact, we need a TV fall season of spanking new TV shows starting in the third week in September -- the traditional starting point that runs through the end of May the following year.

Advertising executives would say yes; it can continue to drive business. Not only do automotive makers traditionally ramp up sales for next year’s model cars at that time,, but more marketers, including growing digital-first categories are looking to expand reach at all times of year.

One growing interesting promo move to note -- special events for scripted programming continues to come earlier.

For example, CBS has a major “NCIS” crossover event between the original “NCIS” and more recent “NCIS: Hawai’i” on September 19 -- something networks might usually offer up to viewers mid-season to spur interest for the rest of the year.

That’s not all. NBC is going one better. It is doing a “Law & Order” franchise crossover event on September 22 for three of its shows: “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

Linear TV networks need to hit the ground running -- promotionally and advertising-wise -- f nothing more than to remind traditionalists (and viewers) they may have a few tricks up their sleeve.

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