Most Network TV Viewers Say They’ll Watch Reruns During Strikes – IndieWire

Five broadcast channels (and nothin’ on — but reruns). No problem, say most network-television viewers.

The dog days of summer will soon give way to the dogged days of Fall TV, when Hollywood’s dual strikes will significantly reduce the number of originals on your flat screen. Sure, some scripted series were shot and banked well before the writers strike began on May 2, but the majority of what you’ll see come September 25 (Day 1 of the 2023-24 season, per ratings company Nielsen) will be live sports, reality programming, and reruns.

According to a post-SAG strike (that one started on July 14) study by Civic Science, 58 percent of network-TV viewers in America are at least “somewhat likely” to watch repeat episodes. One-quarter of the 4,717 adult respondents said they are “very likely” to consume the reruns.

Surprisingly, Gen Z (born 1996-2010) adults were the survey-takers who were most in, with 65 percent saying they’re at least “somewhat likely” to watch reruns. Perhaps the episodes are not repeats to them.

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All told, 41 percent said they are “not at all likely” to watch the reruns. See the results below; Civic Science excluded respondents who said they do not watch broadcast television (CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and The CW).

Of note is the starting point for the study. It began five days after the SAG-AFTRA strike started, so that’s important. Also interesting is the fact that the survey began two days after CBS revealed Paramount Network mega-hit “Yellowstone” would make its broadcast-television debut this fall on Sunday nights. The Taylor Sheridan smash will start at the start, re-running Season 1.

CBS will also air repeats of “NCIS,” “FBI,” “Young Sheldon,” “Ghosts,” and “Blue Bloods” this fall, as well as the UK’s “Ghosts” and a to-be-announced Paramount+ original.

CBS is not alone in the trend. NBC will also air a bunch repeats this fall, including episodes from the “Law & Order” shows and the “Chicago” dramas, as well as same-week re-airings of original “America’s Got Talent,” “The Irrational,” and “Dateline” episodes. (It’s a far different look than what NBCUniversal’s president of program planning Jeff Bader touted back in May, when it was just the writers walking the picket lines.)

The other networks are lighter on reruns; ABC, which will air encores of “Abbott Elementary” on Wednesdays and run Disney movies on Sundays (some of which will be broadcast-television debuts, we’re told), is going huge on unscripted. Fox actually doesn’t have any repeats planned; they’re going all-in on animation. The CW’s only encore is of its new NFL studio show, “Inside the NFL,” on Friday nights.

It certainly helps that Fox and The CW do not nationally program the 10 o’clock hour — the other three do.

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