The Huge Survivor/Amazing Race Mistake CBS Just Made — and How It Will Impact Chicago Fire, Med and P.D.
Not since Battle of the Network Stars have CBS and NBC waged the kind of battle which is set to unfold every Wednesday night come this fall. Because in announcing their plans for the upcoming TV season, CBS essentially declared war on the rival network’s most powerful franchise, known collectively as One Chicago.
In an unexpected move, CBS announced that come fall — and assuming the currently-unfolding writer’s strike doesn’t lead to changes — it will be expanding both Survivor and The Amazing Race to 90 minutes, thus putting the shows in direct competition with NBC’s three-hour block comprised of Chicago Met, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.
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Certainly, Survivor and Amazing Race have aired 90 minute episodes in the past, but those were specials as opposed to a weekly move. As with all reality shows (and most scripted ones as well), both film far more material than airs, giving them plenty to work with. The big question is whether either long-running series will take this opportunity to switch things up, format wise.
The real challenge, however, may be viewer burnout. Does the audience want three hours of adventure-style reality in a single sitting? And might it not make more sense for CBS to air Survivor and Amazing Race at different times of year as opposed to essentially burning through both at once. If absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, mightn’t it be a good idea to give fans of each reality offering a bit of a break between seasons? Despite having aired for “only” 20 years, Survivor has cycled through 43 seasons.
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The real winner and loser may ultimately be determined not by the number of viewers who tune in to the network airings of each network’s lineup, but rather those who watch on a streaming service or DVR in the days following each broadcast.
As of now, the current season of Survivor airs opposite Chicago Med, with FBI and the newly-cancelled True Lies competing against Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., respectively. Come fall, CBS will make Tuesday nights all about the Federal Bureau of Investigations with FBI kicking things off, followed by FBI: International and FBI: Most Wanted.
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CBS also announced that a rebooted Matlock — this time starring Kathy Bates, the trailer for which can be watched below — will air on Sunday nights.
Another kinda-sorta new series hitting CBS is Elsbeth, which is actually a spinoff of both The Good Wife and The Good Fight. The series stars Carrie Preston as a quirky former defense attorney who now “helps” the police solve crimes… whether or not they actually want said assistance.
As of this writing, CBS is the only network to have revealed their full plans for the fall season. And even CBS did so with the very large caveat that the writer’s strike could wind up having a huge impact on their plans. Because of this, no air actual start dates have been announced for the new fall season. We will, however, update this story as those dates become available.
Since its launch, Chicago Fire has dealt with more than a few casualties. Check out the gallery below in which we look at who’s died… and how.