Upfronts 2016: Rogers Media unveils City’s fall schedule

The media company's new slate of dramas and comedies includes three new Canadian originals.
24 Legacy - City 2016

Rogers Media has released its fall/winter lineup ahead of its upfront presentation, revealing how it put together the diverse puzzle of programming it acquired at the L.A. Screenings this year.

The company is marking a return to the more balanced schedule of programming, which it was more focused on in 2011, when it splashed out on Terra Nova, The Playboy Club and Person of Interest. The next season, 2012, saw it move further into comedy territory – although it continued to invest in select dramas, such as J.J. Abrams’ Revolution – where it largely remained entrenched until the upcoming fall season.

At a pre-upfront breakfast on Monday, Hayden Mindell, VP television programming and content, Rogers Media, said it was a “big year, strategically” for the company. Admitting the broadcaster had started to lean “too heavily” on comedies, he emphasized its significant bet on “big dramas, three of the best that were available,” with its pickup of Lethal Weapon, 24: Legacy (pictured) and Prison Break. “We’re balancing the schedule with big dramas that add to the big comedies. With all three, which are all substantial dramas, we’re well tuned for a very successful year on City.”

Monday evenings will start with The Middle in the 8 p.m. slot, followed by The Real O’Neals at 8:30 p.m. Following those shows will be 2 Broke Girls at 9 p.m., leading into newly acquired comedy, The Odd Couple (a slob and a neat freak become roommates after their marriages fall apart) at 9:30 p.m., and Scorpion at 10 p.m. All will air in simulcast.

On Tuesday Scream Queens will return, airing at 9 p.m., lead-in by Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8 p.m. and New Girl at 8:30 p.m.

New on Wednesday night is Lethal Weapon at 8 p.m., followed by Modern Family at 9 p.m. and Black-ish at 9:30 p.m.

Until Oct. 27, Thursday nights will begin with NFL programming at 8 p.m., which will be replaced after by the Mindy Project. Newly commissioned original series Second Jen follows in the 8:30 p.m. slot, with Mom and Life in Pieces following in the 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. slots respectively.

Friday night’s schedule currently includes Hell’s Kitchen at 8 p.m., while Saturday night sees Hockey Night in Canada. 

City’s Sunday comedy-heavy slate is back this season with the return of Bob’s Burgers in the 7:30 p.m. slot, followed by new original series Nirvanna the Band The Show at 8 p.m., which is a 10-part Vice original comedy series that revolves around two best friends determined to create the world’s most sensational music act. Newly acquired comedy series Son of Zorn, about a warrior from a Pacific Island battling the reality of adjusting to life in suburban Orange county, debuts at 8:30 p.m., followed by returning comedy Family Guy at 9 p.m. and The Last Man on Earth at 9:30 p.m.

Of the remaining new shows picked up during the L.A. screenings, action series 24: Legacy will start airing in winter 2017, while the 60-minute long drama Prison Break will air on Tuesdays in the 9 p.m. slot (currently occupied by Scream Queens) starting spring 2017. Also new is comedy series Making History, a time-traveling story that revolves around the experiences of three friends bound together through their journeys through time. That show will air on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. starting in the spring. Also The Mick, a half-hour comedy series, about the derelict Mickey who is forced to assume a role of responsibility when her sister flees the country leaving her in charge of her three children, will air in the 8:30 p.m. slot on Tuesday mid-season.

As yet unscheduled in the programming lineup are The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which will air in the fall, Hairspray Live! and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love. 

The channel will also air the 59th Grammy Awards in its mid-season schedule, as well as a live production of A Few Good Men.

With files from Katie Bailey