Presidential address could impact CBS’ FBI, The Gifted, and more


Tuesday night’s television lineup is about to be thrown a curveball — at least if broadcast networks choose to give up airtime.

In a post on Twitter, President Trump announced that on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, he will address the nation on a number of recent headlines (see below), and obviously the assumption here is that some primetime networks will flip over to cover it. As to whether or not that actually happens, it remains to be seen — if that happens, though, it could mean that shows like FBI, The Giftedor ABC’s comedy block could face preemptions and/or delays. It’s a situation that may be somewhat-fluid based on the length of the speech.

Given that the speech is not slated to begin until 9:00, we would assume that at least the first hour of Tuesday programming is safe — that includes such new programming as NCIS, The Conners, and Lethal Weapon. The first two programs are ones that we could see CBS and ABC being somewhat-hesitant to move away from.

What’s a little bit surprising about this comes via the timing of it, given that the annual State of the Union Address is only a matter of weeks away and there are already plans for that to take up some airtime across all of the major broadcast networks.

We’re not a political site and with that, we’ll spare you any further commentary on the subject matter that the President chooses to address — from a programming standpoint, though, this address could force networks into a tough position. If they choose to not carry it, they face backlash from the President’s supporters. If they do carry it, they disrupt some of the plans that they already had in the works for the night. Networks often have schedules plotted out far in advance for specific reasons; if we were them, we would find a way to continue to air their typical programming, even with a brief delay. Given that this is not a State of the Union, we have a hard time thinking that this speech is going to somehow make it to an hour. (We do feel for The Gifted, given that this show is in a certain degree of danger as it is.)

Of course, we’ll have some more updates on Tuesday’s programming … on Tuesday. Doesn’t that make the most sense?

What do you think the major networks should do when it comes to covering the President’s speech? Be sure to share now in the attached comments. (Photo: CBS.)

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