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Look out: A fall harvest of new broadcast TV shows

NEW YORK — There's something antiquated about the custom long known as the Fall TV Season.

It was born of a bygone era (and still harkens back to it) when fall signaled all things important in America: the much-anticipated return to school, the resumption of football and the grand unveiling of next year's car models.

It was an era of the Big Three. And not just General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but also ABC, CBS and NBC, which each autumn launched their new shows with the stated intention of airing these dramas and comedies through much of the season to come.

This was an orderly, narrowly consigned TV world. So the Fall Season represented for viewers most of what they could expect to see in prime time for months ahead, at least until the "summer replacement" shows arrived the following June.

"Midseason" (a term even Fox boss Kevin Reilly said recently he'd love to ban) wasn't part of the lingo back then.


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