2016-2017 Fall Preview Specials

Here we go again. The 2016-2017 TV season kicks off on Monday, September 19th. That’s only a few weeks away so the networks are making every effort to educate viewers about their new and returning shows. In other words, it’s fall preview time.

Fall Preview Specials for 2016-2017

Last year, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX all either aired a network fall preview special or offered one to their affiliates. Only The CW opted not to air any sort of fall preview special whatsoever.

So far it looks like history is repeating itself. I’ve dug up information on specials for ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX but nothing for The CW. Here’s everything I know:

ABC – “The ABC Fall Preview Special”

A slew of ABC stars will co-host this half-hour network special airing on Sunday, September 4th from 7-7:30PM EDT. Anthony Anderson from black-ish, Randal Park from Fresh Off the Boat, Katy Mixon from American Housewife, John Ross Bowie from Speechless, and finally Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata from Notorious.

CBS – “CBS Fall Preview”

Kevin James, star of the new sitcom Kevin Can Wait, hosts this half-hour network special airing Monday, September 12th from 8:30-9PM EDT. It will be streaming live on CBS All Access as well. The special will also be made available on various on demand platforms plus CBS station websites.

[September 14th, 2016 Update: Watch the special at the CBS website.]

NBC – “2016 NBC Primetime Preview Show

The cast of Superstore are hosting this half-hour special, which will not be airing nationally NBC. Instead, from August 27th through October 2nd it will be available on NBC stations, NBCUniversal cable channels, the NBC website, plus various on demand platforms. Supposedly it is already available at NBC’s website but I haven’t been able to get it to load.

[September 6th, 2016 Update: NBC apparently decided to air the special from 1-1:30PM EDT yesterday (Monday, September 5th) prior to a PGA Tour Golf championship. It’s possible not all NBC affiliates aired the special; some may have aired it at a different time.]

[September 14th, 2016 Update: Watch the special at NBC’s website.]

FOX – “The FOX Fall Preview”

I’ve found listings in my area for a half-hour special airing on two different FOX stations on Sunday, September 4th outside of prime time. So it seems likely FOX isn’t airing a network special again this year. The description for the special doesn’t mention the host(s). The FOX publicity website isn’t any help.

[September 6th, 2016 Update: FOX will air the special from 7-7:30PM EDT on Sunday, September 18th. Be sure to check your local listings.]

[September 14th, 2016 Update: It appears FOX has decided not to air its preview special on Sunday, September 18th. Listings for that date now show an episode of Bob’s Burgers airing at 7PM ET.]

Hit the comments if you have any additional information about this year’s crop of fall preview specials. And as always, be sure to check your local listings. Personally, I’ll probably record all of the specials but may not watch them all. I used to burn every fall preview special to DVD for my collection but I don’t get great reception over-the-air these days. That’s one of the drawbacks of living in the DVR age: making a copy of a TV show isn’t as easy as throwing a tape in the VCR.


10 Comments

  • charles perry says:

    2 corrections need to be made: [1] the NBC preview will not run in prime time, but will run this Monday at 1 PM in the DOOL time slot. [2] The Fox preview will run on Sept. 18th at 7 PM. so it will be seen on the West Coast and most East Coast markets that do not take a 4:15 NFL game.

    • charles perry says:

      BTW. I definitely recommend you seek out the NBC special. Although it does preview the new shows, most of the jokes have nothing to do with them. It actually feels like a bonus episode of Superstore, and that’s a good thing. 2 segments do connect to the schedule, one where the assistant manager conducts a job interview with Ted Danson and Kristen Bell [BTW, I don’t ever remember Bell playing a prostitute and I’ve seen everything she’s done], The other is where the store manager announces the restocking schedule. Notice that he forgets Saturday, which has no regular programs. The writers should have thrown in a joke about doing inventory on Saturday!!

    • Robert says:

      Thanks for the information. I’ve updated my post. It’s bizarre that NBC would schedule its preview special during the daytime without, as far as I can tell, any promotion at all.

  • Bob says:

    [September 6th, 2016 Update: NBC apparently decided to air the special from 1-1:30PM EDT yesterday (Monday, September 5th) prior to a PGA Tour Golf championship. It’s possible not all NBC affiliates aired the special; some may have aired it at a different time.]

    I DVR it on Labor Day on the Connecticut NBC affiliate at noon.

  • Patrick McNamara says:

    I find with most of these specials you have to seek out your local listings to find them. Each station runs them at a different time. The ABC special should be online but the video doesn’t seem to be there.

    I don’t think CW bothered with one because they basically just renewed all their existing shows. They only have a couple new shows that start in October.

    I have managed to catch FOX, NBC and ABC although I missed the last few seconds of the ABC special. And even trying to record the one after the game failed because it was delayed an hour. It’s a bit frustrating knowing that this could be my only chance to get it. A quick count puts me at around 180 preview specials, including Saturday morning specials. But I tend to keep duplicates so I’d have to double check that. I can’t believe I have that many.

    I find the older they are often the more enjoyable they are. It’s fun to look back at the lineups decades ago. They not only capture the shows but the network’s whole approach to the season.

    And it seems that now since the networks have abandoned Saturday morning, those specials are finished with. But it was fun to watch them the night before the new shows started.

  • Robert says:

    I’ve now had a chance to watch the ABC and FOX specials. The ABC special was fun.

    The FOX special, though, was awful. Without any host segments, it’s just a bunch of promos and commercials. Plus, only half of it was about the new fall shows. The other half consisted of promos for returning shows, most of which I don’t watch or care about.

    Also, I thought the preview of PITCH gave away far too much of the premiere. I honestly feel like I could skip the first episode and pick up the show the following week and I wouldn’t miss much.

    • Patrick McNamara says:

      Pitch is likely to suffer from the same problem that A League of Their Own (the TV series) did. Women aren’t all that into baseball and guys will see it as a chick show. ALoTO only lasted 6 episodes. I know things have changed a bit since then, but I don’t know if it’s enough. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Pitch is the first cancellation of the season.

  • Patrick McNamara says:

    Checking the local schedule, I see the NBC special is being re-aired on Sunday (the 11th) at 12pm and the ABC one at 1pm. CBS is at 8:30pm Monday. FOX appears to be re-airing on Friday (really Thursday) at midnight.

    I’ll keep an eye out CW but I don’t expect one. It may have something to do with their shows not really getting going until October, and by then most have already decided what they want to watch.

  • Robert says:

    I’ve now seen all four of the preview specials produced this season. I liked the CBS and NBC ones the best. NBC’s was odd: the Superstore segments made no attempt to tie into the previews, with the exception of the very end.

    Also, it looks like FOX is no longer airing its special at 7PM ET on Sunday, September 18th.

  • Ken says:

    Thank you! Man, it’s a LOT harder than it should be to locate these things. I don’t get why networks won’t put them on Youtube etc., as if it’s still last century. Looks like I can catch 3 of them over the weekend, all but ABC’s — Zap2it shows NBC’s Sun 9/18 5:30AM on Syfy and Mon 9/19 9:00AM on E!, CBS’s Sat 9/17 2:07AM on NBC Baltimore and DC and 1:30PM on NBC Baltimore, and Fox’s Sat 9/17 6:30PM on Fox Baltimore.

    http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tv/the-nbc-primetime-preview-show/EP02466506?aid=tvschedule
    http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tv/cbs-fall-preview/EP02477590?aid=tvschedule
    http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tv/the-fox-fall-preview/EP02482046?aid=tvschedule
    http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tv/the-abc-fall-preview-special/episode-guide/EP02486368?aid=tvschedule

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