2022 New Fall Season – Thursdays

Thursday night may once again be the busiest night of the week for my television viewing habits, due more to the drop-off across the board than the night’s offerings.  Here’s what’s on the slate for this season.

7:30

Ghosts – I never ended up watching any of the first season of this adaptation of a BBC show, but I remain interested.

8:00

Grey’s Anatomy – With Ellen Pompeo slated to appear in only eight episodes this season and a whole new crew of interns, it will be quite the shakeup for the medical drama’s 19th season.

9:00

Big Sky – I still haven’t watched the second story of season one, let alone any of season two, but I still do have a vague interest.

2022 New Fall Season – Wednesdays

We have reached the halfway point of our look at the offerings for the new fall season and have finally found something that I might actually watch.  Here’s what Wednesdays have on tap for the fall.

7:00

The Conners – Another go-around with this reboot, which has somehow made it to five seasons.

8:30

Home Economics – Topher Grace and company return for their third season.

Why Make A Choice?

After a tumultuous 38th season of Jeopardy! that saw the initial choice to replace Alex Trebek removed after a week due to a scandal related to inappropriate comments he had made on an earlier podcast, the producers decided to keep their current jury-rigged hosting situation as is.  Sony Pictures Television has signed both Mayaim Bialik and Ken Jennings to long-term deals that will see the two continuing to split duties on the syndicated game show, while Bialik will continue to host primetime editions of the show as well as the new Celebrity Jeopardy! slated for ABC this fall.

With more versions of Jeopardy! on the air than ever before, and with Bialik continuing to star on Call Me Kat, which has been picked up for a third season, producers felt that multiple hosts would be needed to handle the load.  The search for a new host has been a laborious one, with a parade of celebrity guest hosts completing the show’s 2020-2021 season following Trebek’s death to the naming of Mike Richards as the permanent host before that imploded.

The Big 16

Ten years after their last expansion that left the Big Ten Conference with fourteen teams, the league grew again this week when news broke that USC and UCLA, formerly of the PAC-12, would join the conference on August 1, 2024.  The move extends the reach of the Big Ten from the Atlantic to the Pacific and follows the expansion of the SEC last year by adding Texas and Oklahoma.

For the Big Ten, the benefits are obvious.  First, in keeping up with the SEC, they show they are serious about competing for championships in a future of super-conferences.  Adding traditional powerhouses in high revenue sports, USC for football and UCLA for basketball, also gives the conference an added boost in media rights, with their next deal expected to surpass $1 billion.  Another bonus, and huge revenue generator, is the opportunity to expand the reach of the Big Ten Network into southern California and the nation’s second-largest market.

For USC and UCLA, the benefit is mostly money.  In 2019, the last pre-pandemic season, the PAC-12 dispersed approximately $33.58 million to its member schools.  The Big Ten schools, however, took in $54.29 million.  By the end of this decade, that number is expected to be $100 million.  In that regard, the PAC-12 just could not keep up.

The downsides for both sides include increased travel times and costs, though that is expected to hit the two Los Angeles-based schools harder as they will have more frequent travel to the far reaches of the conference.  With the additional time comes increased time missed in the classroom, which will impact the non-revenue generating sports harder.  The biggest loser in this agreement may end up being the Rose Bowl, the traditional New Year’s Day meeting ground between the Big Ten and the PAC-12.

Logistically, this means Purdue will most likely move to the East division in football, helping to maintain their yearly battles against Indiana but also ensuring more games against Michigan and Ohio State, making their road to a bowl game more difficult.  Sixteen teams may also force the introduction of divisions into the basketball ranks as well.

Is this the end?  It seems unlikely, as this move will cause ripples throughout the NCAA.  With more consolidation into fewer elite conferences, good schools in the remaining conferences, like the rest of the PAC-12 and the ACC, for example, may start looking for new landing spots.  Notre Dame may see that, with many of their traditional rivals now located in one conference, their desire to stay independent will start to wane.  Only time will tell where this eventually ends up.

Post Mortem – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

For the second time, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has reached its end of shift.  In 2018, FOX cancelled the show after five seasons, but it was saved by NBC.  Last fall, the squad of the Nine-Nine wrapped up their eighth and final season.  After the turmoil of 2020, with police forces around the country being called to task for their mistreatment, the cast and crew found it difficult to continue telling funny stories about the police without addressing the controversies.

Airing from September of 2013 through September of 2021, the show ended up putting together an impressive run of eight seasons and 153 episodes.  It leaves a pretty big hole in the comedy landscape.

Post Mortem – Ozark

After four seasons spread out across five years, Ozark wrapped up its run on Netflix earlier this year following the April release of the second half of season four.  The series has received a total of 32 Emmy nominations, including two Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series wins for Julia Garner in 2019 and 2020.

The ending was ambiguous enough that, in this world we live in now where no show is ever truly over, it could pick up again down the line in any number of ways.  The one disappointing thing about the ending was how the story of Ruth was wrapped up.  I wanted better for her.