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If Netflix Had a TV Schedule, It Might Look Like This

I think almost everyone on the internet will agree that Netflix is awesome. They are constantly adding great new original content to their robust archives. Making the deal even sweeter, you don’t have to wait a week for each episode of your new favorite show. However, I’ve always wondered what Netflix would look like if they decided to adopt a traditional network TV schedule when they started getting into original content. I know it is almost blasphemous to even suggest such a thing but I was curious enough that I just had to draw up a potential schedule. While I’m still very glad that Netflix choose to try something new instead of going with a weekly schedule, after doing this exercise it is clear to me that they would easily have the strongest lineup out there if they ever changed their mind. Keep in mind that this is the schedule I think Netflix would be most likely to try, not what my dream schedule would be. Thus, shows like Fuller House have made the list while some shows I personally love (3% in particular) didn’t make the cut. This schedule is basically what would make the most financial sense if Netflix ever adopted a traditional network schedule.

Sunday:

For many TV networks, Sunday is “prestige night.” I figure there is a very good chance that Netflix would decide to throw their prestige shows into the Sunday mix as well. Netflix’s Sunday schedule consists of three of their most well-known dramas and a block of docuseries to start the night off.

  • 7/6c: Making a Murderer (and other docuseries)-Since shows like Making a Murderer are limited in terms of the number of episodes that can be produced, Netflix would likely set up a block to air their various docuseries in. Since Making a Murderer is definitely their most well-known series in the genre, it would almost certainly be the first series to air in this time slot (probably followed by shows like The Keepers, Last Chance U, and Dirty Money). This might look like a somewhat odd selection but most broadcast TV networks start their Sunday schedules off with some sort of non-scripted programming and this was the time slot that made the most sense for this block of programming.
  • 8/7c: Narcos-I have yet to see a single episode of this show but considering it is one of Netflix’s most highly-regarded dramas, it needed a spot on this schedule. Even though I haven’t watched it, it feels like a Sunday show to me based on what I’ve heard about it. It is a little odd to have a TV-MA series in the 8:00 slot but Netflix has far too many mature shows that at least a few nights had to contain one. If Netflix was an actual broadcast network, they would never be able to get away with this kind of scheduling but thankfully in this exercise, they are still a streaming company (just one with a set schedule).
  • 9/8c: House of Cards-Of course the anchor spot in Netflix’s prestige night has to go to their first big show. While House of Cards has been fading in quality and now has fired its lead actor, it was the show that helped build the Netflix we know and love today so it needs to get one of the prime spots in their lineup. Most political drama shows seem to air on Sundays so I am very confident that Netflix would choose this slot for House of Cards if they moved to a weekly schedule. In fact, this was one of the first shows I penciled into the lineup since it made way too much sense.
  • 10/9c: The Crown-Yet another Netflix show I haven’t gotten around to watching yet but have only heard good things about it. While it gets a lot of love from TV critics, I highly doubt The Crown is one of Netflix’s highest rated shows (though we know next to nothing about Netflix’s ratings) so it gets the post-House of Cards spot to try to build its audience. Historical dramas scream Sunday night slot to me as well.

Monday:

In my projected Netflix schedule, there are far too many genre shows to fit on just one night so Monday becomes the first of 2.5 sci-fi/fantasy nights on their schedule. For whatever reason, a lot of Netflix’s best shows (not just in my opinion) happen to be genre shows. Monday is also home to the one personal favorite pick I made for this schedule, Travelers. There is a good chance that Netflix wouldn’t pick it to be on their actual schedule but it won the final spot on mine.

  • 8/7c: Lost in Space-While Lost in Space hasn’t even aired yet, it was one of Netflix’s biggest pickups and I’m sure they have put a lot of effort into making the show great. It is also likely being made for families so the 8:00 time slot is very fitting (and it is one of the few shows that could probably actually air at 8:00 on an actual broadcast TV schedule). Hopefully the series is as good as I’m expecting it to be so I don’t wind up looking like an idiot for scheduling it preemptively, but considering Netflix’s track record for sci-fi shows, I’m very confident in it.
  • 9/8c: Marvel Universe Shows-For their superhero shows, Netflix would likely adapt a wheel scheduling format where they would air one series after another in the same time slot. The order of air would probably be almost exactly the same as the actual order except for Daredevil Season Two being delayed until all series have aired one season (so Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, The Punisher, then Daredevil: Season Two). In order to fit all the series into a traditional network schedule, episode orders would have to be cut to 8-10 episodes a piece (which would be a good change for Netflix to make in reality as well). Another possibility would be to combine Luke Cage with either Jessica Jones or Iron Fist or cut a show or two out of the lineup.
  • 10/9c: Travelers-I will admit that Travelers would have a hard time making it onto Netflix’s schedule if such a thing existed. It isn’t very well-known at all and might even have been cancelled after season one if it weren’t a co-production with Canada’s Showcase channel. However, I consider it to be one of Netflix’s best hidden gems and think it deserves the very last spot in the lineup (it was actually the final show I programmed into this schedule). Airing after the Marvel Universe shows, it would get a great slot to try to grow its audience and it does fit in pretty well to begin with.

Tuesday:

I will admit that Tuesday nights are definitely the roughest looking night on this schedule, not due to quality (all of the shows on this night are highly-regarded) but just because it doesn’t flow particularly well. None of these shows fit together nearly as perfectly as the other nights I scheduled, which would be a big problem if Netflix actually had to move to a traditional schedule since they would have trouble keeping their audience tuned into their station with such a random assortment of shows.

  • 8/7c: Grace and Frankie-All of the shows on this night are rated TV-MA so I went with the series I thought would be the least objectionable in the 8:00 slot. Grace and Frankie doesn’t get a ton of buzz but Netflix has quickly picked it up for another season after three of the four seasons have aired (only waiting awhile after season two) so it is likely one of their highest rated comedies. Since most of the other shows on Tuesday’s schedule are very niche, Grace and Frankie gets to lead the night off.
  • 8:30/7:30c: Master of NoneMaster of None is a critically-acclaimed show but I don’t see it being a huge hit for Netflix. However, Netflix would likely put it on their schedule for prestige reasons. This is kind of an awkward fit (a show about a 30-year-old comic following a show about two old women whose husbands dump them for each other) but it made the most sense out of the possibilities I had left.
  • 9/8c: BoJack Horseman-This was probably the hardest show to find a time slot for since it fits with nothing else on the schedule. There is only one more animated show on the schedule (Castlevania) and it’s a dramatic one, not a comedic series. It’s a little weird having a random animated series after two more normal comedies but that’s the only spot I could fit BoJack Horseman in.
  • 9:30/8:30c: The End of the F***ing World-One of the newer shows on this list, I have heard nothing but positive things about this show. Again, it doesn’t fit very well but Netflix’s comedies are all so different from each other that none of them are going to fit very well together.
  • 10/9c: Mindhunter-I don’t have much to say about Mindhunter, but based on the buzz it certainly deserves a spot on this schedule and this was one of the last ones available. Like the rest of tonight’s lineup, it doesn’t fit particularly well but since most TV networks follow their comedies with a completely unrelated drama of some sort, I think it’s fine.

Wednesday:

For Wednesday, I decided to go with an all comedy night (though Orange Is the New Black is a comedic drama), filled with most of Netflix’s biggest comedy shows. While Tuesday’s comedies didn’t flow particularly well, I feel like these ones do fit a lot better together.

  • 8/7c: Fuller House-I know Fuller House is critically panned but it appears to be Netflix’s top-rated comedy (based on the small glimpses we’ve gotten of Netflix’s ratings) and is easily the most family friendly of their comedies. Thus, it makes perfect sense to lead off Netflix’s heavy comedy night with Fuller House.
  • 8:30/7:30c: One Day at a Time-Netflix’s comedies are very, very different from each other but two of their most similar ones are Fuller House and One Day at a Time so they make for an almost perfect pair to kick off Wednesday.
  • 9/8c: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-This comedy is probably Netflix’s second most well-known comedy series (after Fuller House) so it gets the chance to lead off the second hour of comedies (since the show is TV-14 it fits much better at 9 to begin with).
  • 9:30/8:30c: GLOW-One female-centric comedy followed by another. While the subject matter is completely different, they feel like surprisingly good complements to each other.
  • 10/9c-Orange Is the New Black-Capping off Wednesdays is yet another female-heavy show, this time a comedic drama. While a well-known and prestige show like Orange Is the New Black would normally get a 9:00 slot, I didn’t want to break up the comedies so it gets the last time slot of the night instead.

Thursday:

Thursday was a very easy night for me to schedule. I pretty much guarantee Stranger Things would get one of the spots and a two-hour movie slot makes way too much sense for Thursday.

  • 8/7c: Stranger Things/Dark-Netflix’s biggest show is almost a shoe-in for a Thursday night time slot (networks almost always put their biggest shows on this night). It is a bit mature for an 8:00 time slot but since I’m predicting Netflix would have a movie block on this night as well, this is the only place I could put it. Since Stranger Things is best kept to shorter seasons (of ten or less episodes), it needs a partner series to air in the winter and spring. I gave that nod to a German show called Dark which has a lot in common with Stranger Things (and got pretty good reviews for its first season). The two series feel like natural partners for this time slot.
  • 9/8c (Two Hours): Netflix Original Movie of the Week-While Netflix hasn’t had a lot of breakout hit original movies, based on how much capital they have poured into film development they almost certainly would have a weekly movie block on their schedule. With Thursday being one of the biggest nights on television, I elected to schedule their two-hour movie block on it. Even though Netflix movies are a bit more hit-or-miss than their original series, there are still plenty of hits to show. Dramas include Bright, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Okja, Gerald’s Game, The Meyerowitz Stories, Death Note, Shimmer Lake, and The Discovery while their comedies are pretty much limited to the critically-panned but highly-watched Adam Sandler films.

Friday:

Friday is the night most TV networks devote to genre programming and I did exactly the same with my potential Netflix schedule.

  • 8/7c: A Series of Unfortunate Events-While Lemony Snicket would beg to differ, A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of the few Netflix shows that could actually work in an 8:00 slot. Also, due to the subject material, Friday is the perfect day for this show to air (especially for the possibility of episodes airing on Friday the 13th). This is another scheduling selection I’m very confident Netflix would make if they moved to a weekly schedule.
  • 9/8c: Black Mirror-This newfangled Twilight Zone type anthology series is another perfect fit for Fridays, even though it doesn’t really share much thematically with A Series of Unfortunate Events. To keep episode orders down and the quality of the episodes up, most likely Netflix would develop another anthology series to pair with Black Mirror.
  • 10/9c: Altered Carbon-The second show on this list to make the schedule before airing is Altered Carbon. Based on the trailer I am very confident that this show is going to rock. In addition, this is about as perfect of a partner to Black Mirror as you could possibly come up with (the concept almost feels like a very long Black Mirror episode to begin with).

Saturday:

TV networks today don’t really program much but re-runs and sports events on Saturdays anymore but it used to be one of the biggest nights on television. If Netflix were to have a weekly TV schedule, they likely would give Saturdays a chance but they would go with some of their less expensive programming. I think I came up with an interesting mix of genre and comedy stuff that fits pretty perfectly on Saturdays.

  • 8/7c (90 Minutes): Mystery Science Theater 3000-I immediately penciled Mystery Science Theater 3000 into this spot because what screams Saturday programming more than riffing on cheesy B-movies? I pretty much guarantee that this show would air on Saturdays if Netflix adopted a schedule as it is a perfect fit.
  • 9:30/8:30: Castlevania/Santa Clarita Diet-I needed a 30-minute show to fill this slot and the best I could come up with was Castlevania and Santa Clarita Diet, a horror animated show and a horror comedy in a shared time slot. Admittedly, Castlevania is kind of an awkward fit but where else was I going to put it? Since it is critically-acclaimed enough to deserve a spot on this schedule, I pretty much had to put it here since it really didn’t fit anywhere else. Santa Clarita Diet makes a lot more sense (as it is a horror-comedy) but it is way more violent than Mystery Science Theater 3000 so it isn’t a perfect fit either.
  • 10/9c: Saturday Night Stand-Up Comedy Special-Since Netflix is in love with stand-up comedy specials, I knew I had to put a block of them somewhere on this schedule and I feel like it fit best in the late night Saturday slot. I could even see Netflix having a second late night slot for stand-up comedy specials to try to compete with Saturday Night Live.

While I’m still glad Netflix doesn’t act like a traditional network, I think this schedule came together pretty well. Do you agree or disagree with my schedule? Feel free to let me know in the comments section what changes you would make to this schedule.

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