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‘Midnight, Texas’ ‘Salvation’: Current State of 2017 Summer Broadcast Dramas

The summer TV season is in full swing, with this year’s broadcast drama slate looking to rebuild after last year.

This year will see a larger number of new broadcast dramas premiere with five, compared to just two last year. Most of the summer drama series that aired in 2016 will not return this summer. In fact, of the eight summer dramas that aired in 2016, only two returned for new seasons in 2017. Five were canceled, with “Wayward Pines” on Fox remaining in limbo.

Compared to last year, the number of new and returning broadcast summer dramas also dipped slightly to seven from last year’s eight. This is due in part to the fact that Fox has not officially canceled “Wayward Pines,” but did not air a third season of the series this year. Instead, Fox opted to focus solely on unscripted programming this summer with shows such as “Love Connection,” “Beat Shazam,” and “The F Word.” The other Big 4 networks also debuted unscripted shows this year along with their scripted offerings, such as “World of Dance” on NBC, “The Gong Show” and “Battle of the Network Stars” on ABC, and the upcoming “Candy Crush” game show on CBS.

Of the seven dramas this year, three have premiered thus far, all of which have suffered from lackluster overnight ratings. ABC’s “Still Star-Crossed” aired three low-rated episodes before being moved to Saturday nights, an almost sure sign it will be canceled. “The Night Shift” Season 4 premiere on June 22 on NBC was down over 40% in the key demo compared to Season 3’s premiere, as well as being down over 30% in total viewers. Likewise for “Zoo” on CBS, which shed approximately 40% of its audience in both key measures in its Season 3 premiere.

See a list of all the new and returning summer broadcast dramas broken down by network below.

ABC

“Still Star-Crossed” (debuted May 29)– This new period drama series from Shondaland and ABC Studios picks up where the famous story of “Romeo and Juliet” ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.

“Somewhere Between” (debuts July 24)– The series stars Paula Patton as Laura Price, a local news producer in San Francisco helping the police to hunt down a serial killer. After the killer strikes close to home, a twist of fate allows a “Groundhog Day”-type reset, and Laura relives the week prior to the string of murders. As she unravels the mysterious connection between herself and the killer, she realizes that fate is written in stone and that changing events will require an ultimate sacrifice.

NBC

“Midnight, Texas” (debuts July 24)– Based on a book series from “True Blood” author Charlaine Harris, the show follows a young psychic named Manfred (François Arnaud) who moves to the small Southern town on advice from his deceased grandmother after one of his readings goes awry. Once he arrives, though, he quickly learns he is not the only one with special abilities. Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video for the series below:

“The Night Shift” (returned June 22)– Currently in its fourth season, the series follows the night shift team of doctors and nurses at San Antonio Memorial’s emergency room. At the end of Season 3, Paul (Robert Bailey Jr.) led a staff walk-out after his father (James McDaniel) bought the hospital and fired Topher (Ken Leung). Overseas, TC Callahan (Eoin Macken) was left unconscious after a bombing on a refugee camp. The season premiere opened down significantly in the overnight ratings compared to Season 3.

CBS

“Zoo” (returned June 29)– Currently in Season 3, the series is based on the novel by James Patterson, and explores a world in which a wave of violent animal attacks against humans are sweeping the planet. This season jumped ahead to 2027, and the world has reached a tipping point: as the human population continues to dwindle due to the sterility problem, an equally devastating threat rises in the form of “the hybrids,” an army of unstoppable lab-made creatures.

“Salvation” (debuts July 12)– This disaster drama centers on Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe), an MIT grad student, and Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera), a tech superstar, who bring Pentagon official Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan) a staggering discovery – that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. The series is produced in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, with Peter Lenkov also executive producing. Craig Shapiro and Liz Kruger created the series and serve as showrunners.

The CW

“Hooten and the Lady” (debuts July 13)– The CW acquired this series from Britain’s Sky Vision. The eight-episode drama follows the unlikely partnership between American Ulysses Hooten (Michael Landes)–a smooth-talking, danger-prone lone wolf–and  Lady Alexandra Lindo-Parker (Ophelia Lovibond), an aristocrat and British Museum curator. The pair travel the world together to recover priceless and legendary artifacts.

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