Searching for TV Shows: A Viewer’s Guide to the Strike-Impacted, Reality-Packed Fall Season

As the traditionally vibrant fall TV season unfolds, viewers, increasingly frustrated, find themselves grappling with a pivotal question: Where have their beloved shows gone?

For decades, the arrival of a fresh fall season has marked a cherished American tradition. It’s the moment when broadcast networks unveil a new slate of shows and bring back beloved favorites after a summer of reruns. Unfortunately, the ongoing writers’ strike, which began on May 2, and the subsequent actors’ strike, which started on July 14, have collectively brought the bustling machinery of Hollywood production to a grinding halt.

These disruptions are being felt across the entertainment landscape, leaving a noticeable impact on the movie release calendar, talk shows, and the fall network TV schedule. This year’s fall lineup is conspicuously devoid of new scripted shows, with no prospects of new episodes from network favorites like “Abbott Elementary,” “Chicago Fire,” “Young Sheldon,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The hope for restoring the second half of the TV season hinges on the resolution of strikes led by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) against Hollywood studios. Many are watching closely, with an eye on the approaching October 1 deadline. Should these disputes conclude promptly, there’s a chance that the latter part of the TV season could be salvaged. However, if they persist, the entire season, officially commencing on September 25, may be irrevocably compromised, leaving viewers with a complete dearth of new scripted shows, including the absence of favorites like ‘Abbott Elementary,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and ‘Young Sheldon.’

Numerous major networks are grappling with the absence of fresh episodes from their most beloved series. ABC, for instance, is missing new episodes from “Abbott Elementary,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Station 19,” “The Rookie,” “The Good Doctor,” and “Will Trent.” Meanwhile, NBC has been compelled to withhold most of its scripted offerings, including Dick Wolf’s acclaimed dramas “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” as well as “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “Night Court.” Additionally, the debut of new shows like “Extended Family,” featuring Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”), remains indefinitely postponed. CBS is also affected, with the absence of hit comedies like “Ghosts,” “Young Sheldon,” and “The Neighborhood,” along with the dearth of dramas including “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS,” “CSI: Vegas,” “The Equalizer,” “FBI,” “Fire Country,” and the anticipated premieres of new shows “Matlock” (featuring Kathy Bates) and “Elsbeth,” a “Good Wife” spinoff.

Even on Fox, returning favorites such as “Animal Control,” “Alert: Missing Persons Unit,” “Accused,” and “The Cleaning Lady,” as well as new series like “Doc” and “Rescue: Hi-Surf,” have been placed on indefinite hold.

Amidst the turmoil, some may wonder how certain shows like ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘The Simpsons’ continue to air. A select number of NBC dramas have managed to resurface due to their production predating the strike and subsequent shelving. For example, “Quantum Leap” returns with new episodes on October 4, coinciding with the premiere of the fifth and final season of “Magnum P.I.” Moreover, NBC is set to introduce new dramas such as “Found” (on October 3) and “The Irrational” (on September 25), featuring Jesse L. Martin as a crime-solving behavioral scientist.

Animated series, reliant on writers and voice actors who work on material well in advance, have largely remained unaffected by the strike. On Fox, fan-favorites like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “Bob’s Burgers” will continue alongside new additions like “Krapopolis” (premiering on September 23), a creation from Dan Harmon (“Rick and Morty”).

In the realm of streaming platforms, where production schedules are meticulously planned well in advance, there’s minimal disruption. Paramount+ is set to release the revival of “Frasier” on October 12, and highly anticipated shows like Netflix’s “Sex Education” (premiering on September 21) and “The Fall of the House of Usher” (on October 12) remain firmly on track. Nevertheless, some networks, including FX, have opted to delay certain series to preempt potential future gaps; for instance, a new season of “Fargo” has been pushed to November 21, and the debut of the mystery series “A Murder at the End of the World” has been rescheduled from August to November 14.

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