The 2012-2013 Fall season will continue the recent problem for fans of sci-fi/fantasy, even the ones with DVRs: A lot of shows stacked up on the same nights. (Thank goodness for steaming video and on demand.)
Now that the networks have had their upfronts, we have a pretty clear idea what's going on with the broadcast networks. What's less apparent is what's going to happen on cable (Syfy, for example, has announced its Summer 2012 schedule, but not its Fall grid), though some educated guesses can be made.
Here's how it looks so far:
The main sci-fi entry on the broadcast side is Revolution, NBC's show about humanity redefining itself after the energy grid is destroyed. It comes on after The Voice. Monday is generally Syfy's key scripted series night, so some of its Fall payload will show up here -- including the second half of Warehouse 13 season 4, but not the only confirmed new scripted drama, Defiance, which won't air until Spring.
The competition: Castle, which stars Nathan Fillion, is a favorite among sci-fi fans, and Hawaii Five-O will compete for the action drama audience.
Nothing doing on the broadcast networks, but Tuesday has lately been a big night on cable networks other than Syfy, and some of those offerings will be sci-fi/fantasy. More to come as the cable offerings become clear.
The CW has a double-header of fantasy series, with the freshman series Arrow followed by season 8 of Supernatural. This feels kind of right, if only because Supernatural used to be paired with Smallville (and Jensen Ackles spent a whole year there as a regular).
The competition: Most of the facing shows are procedurals that skew older, a couple of competition reality series (The X Factor and Survivor), and sitcoms led by The Middle on ABC.
Another CW double header, this time with the veteran first: season 4 of The Vampire Diaries is followed by the debut series Beauty and the Beast. These two should work well together, since Beast has sexy leads in dark and strange scenarios, like Diaries, but isn't more of the same (vampires, werewolves, and magic).
The competition: Big Bang Theory on CBS is still doing well, and NBC's line of sitcoms led by 30 Rock is also pretty solid; for those craving drama and the supernatural, though, there's nothing else on.
On NBC, Grimm is back for a second season, with the strangely unrelated lead-in from Whitney and The Community.
But Friday also sports Fox's two paranormal offerings, back to back: season 2 of Touch and, in the fall, the abbreviated fifth and final season of Fringe. The latter will rightly draw extra attention as the show builds up to a spectacular finale, but Grimm fans know how to operate their DVRs, as do those watching Syfy's new summer-to-fall convert, Haven, the third season premieres in September.
The competition: CBS has a crime-drama line-up; most of the rest is reality shows.
No broadcast network shows, but BBC America will have a slate of sci-fi/fantasy led by the new season of Doctor Who.
Interestingly, ABC has put both of its genre shows on Sunday, but separated them: season 2 of Once Upon a Time (which is, after all, geared as more of a family show) leads of of Funnies Home Videos at 8 p.m., but then Revenge is interpolated between that an the first year of 666 Park Avenue. This is very interesting, as if Once Upon a Time (magic and dark fairy tales) plus Revenge (fury converted into calculated vengeance) equals 66r Park (subversive fantasies involving satanic pacts).
The competition: Reality competition shows (Amazing Race, Fashion Star, etc.) and sports.