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Upcoming TV Shows: Strongest Lineup In Years?

TheBlacklistNBC

It may surprise some to learn that the number of TV households has grown again. This month Nielsen reported that the US TV audience increased 1.2% to 115.6 million. This is welcomed news for networks who are lining up what many in the ad industry are calling one of the strongest fall TV portfolios in some time after what they saw at this year’s Upfronts.

Popular first-year shows making returns this fall include: Nashville, Scandal, Elementary and Revolution. Cable favorites like Breaking Bad and Dexter are highly-anticipated. The Voice will welcome back CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera and we’ll all wait to see what American Idol does with their judges.

And then there’s the new shows…  What to watch for?

Sleepy Hollow brings history, action, lore and humor all together and if people can go with it and have fun, as they’ve proven they like to do with shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time, Fox could have a hit.

Another show attracting excitement is NBC’s The Blacklist. This thriller out-tested NBC’s last 125 drama pilots making it the network’s best-received one-hour show in a decade. Looks good. And it will also have the benefit of following The Voice.

MARVEL comic fans, check out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There’s also something quite interesting about Resurrection.

Another change we’ll see this year are single-season narratives. These are unique because big name stars are more willing to sign up for 13 episodes than being locked in to multi-year agreements. Fans of 24 will be pleased about this as Kiefer Sutherland returns in a 24 reboot, Live Another Day.

Networks are also getting smarter about how they extend their shows between seasons to remain top-of-mind. For this, they’ve turned to digital.

One example is Pretty Little Liars where last season’s storyline was extended after the finale with an eight-episode series posted entirely online. The shows were hosted on ABC’s website and aired weekly with social media integration.  Elsewhere, fans of Downton Abbey could download the show’s “exploration app” between seasons while GIRLS used Storify to aggregate tweets and photos for behind-the-scenes production moments. Look for more of these this year.

As TechCrunch reminded us, TV is still the king of media consumption. No matter where content is watched, or on what device it’s watched on, entertainment, storytelling and characters just make life a little more fun. Nice to see a strong line-up shaping up.