Unscripted Shows Are Order Of The Day As Fall Season Starts Monday

Thanks to the writers’ and actors’ strikes, network TV will start a new fall season this week with lineups that seem more like midseason and summer slates than fall schedules.

The lineups being introduced starting today, Monday, September 25 -- the official start date of the new fall season -- are not snake oil, but that happens to be the title of one of the few new shows premiering this week. 

The show, Fox’s “Snake Oil,” seems like a cross between a competition show like “Shark Tank” and a game show like “To Tell The Truth.” It premieres on Wednesday (September 27) at 10 p.m. Eastern on Fox.

In the show, “contestants choose a pair of entrepreneurs and learn about their extremely unique (and often bizarre) products through visuals, a custom-made infomercial exclusively produced for’ Snake Oil,’ and by quizzing the business representative themselves,” Fox says.



“With the help of their celebrity advisors [such as Adam DeVine, pictured above], the contestants must then decide who is selling an authentic product and who is hawking a sham.”

The rest of the Fox lineup this week is similarly unscripted. Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” returns on Monday night after nine years away, followed by “The Masked Singer,” and on Tuesday, it’s the return of “Name That Tune” followed by a repeat episode from last season of “9-1-1: Lone Star.”

Wednesday’s two hours of prime time this week on Fox will consist of another episode of “The Masked Singer” followed by the premiere of “Snake Oil.”

Thursday will start with another returning Gordon Ramsay show, “Hell’s Kitchen,” followed by “Lego Masters.” 

Friday will continue to feature two hours of WWE entertainment with “WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown” (although next year the Friday-night staple will go to USA Network under a deal with NBCUniversal last week).

Next Sunday will feature the only new, scripted shows Fox has on hand this fall -- its animated shows, which were already produced and in the can before the writers’ and actors’ strikes.

As reported here several times, NBC has a few brand-new shows to air this week and next because they were produced before the strikes -- the new dramas “The Irrational” (premiering Monday night) and “Found,” premiering next week.

Also returning next week on NBC with new episodes are “Quantum Leap” and “Magnum, P.I.”

But these scripted shows are outliers. In addition to “The Irrational,” NBC’s premiere-week Monday slate will have two hours of “The Voice.”

“The Voice” gets another hour Tuesday night, followed by two hours of “America’s Got Talent.” Wednesday will feature three more hours of “America’s Got Talent” for a grand total of five hours of “AGT” this week. 

The following Wednesday, however, will have the season premieres of “Quantum Leap” and “Magnum.”

On Thursday this week, it’s the “People’s Choice Country Awards” followed by a repeat of “The Irrational.” Friday’s NBC lineup will have “The Voice” again followed by the NBC workhorse “Dateline NBC.”

CBS’s fall slate to be unveiled on Monday is heavy on scripted dramas, but they are all repeats from previous seasons.

The shows are three repeat episodes of “NCIS” on Monday, two repeat episodes of “FBI” and one repeat of “FBI: International” on Tuesday, and repeats of “Fire Country” and “Blue Bloods” on Friday.

CBS unscripted shows this week are: “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” starting new seasons on Wednesday, “Buddy Games” and “Big Brother” on Thursday, and “Secret Celebrity Renovation” on Friday.

ABC now has football on Monday nights, which should be dominant for them. On Tuesday this week, ABC starts a new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” followed by “Celebrity Family Feud.”

Wednesday night on ABC this week is a night of quiz shows -- “Celebrity Jeopardy!,” “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” and “The 100,000 Pyramid,” each an hour long.

Thursdays on ABC are mating and dating --  “The Golden Bachelor” and Bachelor In Paradise.” Friday nights are “Shark Tank” and as usual, two hours of ABC’s own news-magazine workhorse, “20/20.”

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