The New York Times’ opening salvo on Monday, May 15, declared that “Viewers’ Eyes May Drift, but Marketers Are Sticking With Broadcast Television.”
The next day, The Los Angeles Times seemed to reinforce the message with a front-cover article in the business page explaining that, “TV networks adapt to ad-skipping viewers,” but, at the same time, the paper’s headline pointed out that “TV Advertising [is] In ‘Upheaval.’”
Then, on Saturday, May 20, both The New York Times’ and The Los Angeles Times’ reports shifted to the quality and genres of the upcoming series. In its business section, The Los Angeles Times reported, “TV lineups playing it safe,” and gave half a page to the fact that “TV networks are bringing back sitcoms,” focusing on the ABC revival of Roseanne—a hit from 1988 to 1997—with its original cast.
The paper also pointed out that “NBC is bringing back Will & Grace, one of its top comedies from 1998 to 2006,” also with its original cast, along with other revivals, such as American Idol (now on ABC, but originally on FOX), Dynasty (on the CW) and S.W.A.T. (on CBS) all headed to the TV screens.
The New York Times too continued its new season coverage on the business page, but gave it a political twist with, “TV in the Age of Trump,” in the same vein of in VideoAge’s story in its April 2017 Issue announcing the “L.A. Screenings Under the Signs of Rooster [Chinese investments in Hollywood and] Trump.”
In its article, the Times singled out new series with military and religious themes (which tend to be favored by President Trump’s core constituents), such as SEAL Team (CBS), Valor (CW) and The Brave (NBC) focusing on the military, and The Gospel of Kevin (ABC) and By the Book (CBS) for the faithful.