1996–97 United States network television schedule

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This was the United States broadcast television schedule on all six commercial television networks for the fall season beginning in September 1996. All times are Eastern and Pacific, with certain exceptions, such as Monday Night Football.

New series highlighted in bold.

Each of the 30 highest-rated shows is listed with its rank and rating as determined by Nielsen Media Research.[1]

     Lime indicates the #1 most watched program of the season.
     Yellow indicates the programs in the top 10 for the season.
     Cyan indicates the programs in the top 20 for the season.
     Magenta indicates the programs in the top 30 for the season.

PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, was in operation, but the schedule was set by each local station.

Sunday[edit]

Network 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall America's Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman The ABC Sunday Night Movie
Winter Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman America's Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos
Follow-up America's Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos Various Programming
Spring Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman America's Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos
Follow-up America's Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos Various programming
CBS 60 Minutes (11/13.3) Touched by an Angel (10/13.6) CBS Sunday Movie (14/12.1)
Fox Big Deal The Simpsons Ned & Stacey The X-Files (20/11.4) Local
NBC Dateline Sunday 3rd Rock from the Sun (28/10.8) Boston Common NBC Sunday Night Movie (18/11.5)
WB Kirk Brotherly Love The Parent 'Hood The Steve Harvey Show Unhappily Ever After Life with Roger Local

Note: On Fox, the animated television series King of the Hill premiered on January 12, 1997 at 8:30.

Monday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Dangerous Minds Monday Night Football (7/16.2)
Winter The ABC Monday Night Movie
Spring Spy Game
Follow-up Relativity
CBS Fall Cosby (23/11.2) Ink Murphy Brown Cybill Chicago Hope (30/10.1)
Spring Everybody Loves Raymond
Follow-up Murphy Brown Cybill Ink
Fox Melrose Place Party Girl Lush Life Local
NBC The Jeff Foxworthy Show Mr. Rhodes The NBC Monday Movie (26/11.0)
UPN In the House Malcolm & Eddie Goode Behavior Sparks Local
WB 7th Heaven Savannah Local

Note: On CBS, the debut of Ink was delayed by a month due to production problems, resulting in another new sitcom, Pearl, which aired temporarily in its slot before moving to its own originally designated Wednesday time period in late October.

The WB premiered Buffy the Vampire Slayer on March 10, 1997 at 9 p.m.

Tuesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Roseanne Life's Work Home Improvement (9/14.0) Spin City (17/11.7) NYPD Blue (13/12.5)
Spring Coach
Follow-up Soul Man (22/11.2) The Practice
CBS Promised Land CBS Tuesday Movies
Fox Fox Tuesday Night Movie Local
NBC Mad About You (25/11.0) Something So Right Frasier (16/11.8) Caroline in the City (27/11.0) Dateline Tuesday (21/11.4)
UPN Moesha Homeboys in Outer Space The Burning Zone Local

UPN premiered the short-lived teenage sitcom Social Studies in March as a midseason replacement. The show lasted for six episodes.

Wednesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Ellen (30/10.6) Townies Grace Under Fire The Drew Carey Show (19/11.5) Primetime Live (15/11.9)
Winter Grace Under Fire Coach The Drew Carey Show (19/11.5) Ellen (30/10.6)
Spring Arsenio
Follow-up Ellen (30/10.6)
CBS Fall The Nanny Pearl Almost Perfect Public Morals EZ Streets
Follow-up CBS Wednesday Movies
Winter Various programming Orleans
Spring Temporarily Yours Feds EZ Streets
Follow-up Dave's World CBS Wednesday Movies
Fox Beverly Hills, 90210 Party of Five Local
NBC Fall Wings The John Larroquette Show NewsRadio Men Behaving Badly Law & Order (29/10.8)
Spring NewsRadio The Single Guy Wings
UPN The Sentinel Star Trek: Voyager Local
WB Sister, Sister Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher The Wayans Bros. The Jamie Foxx Show Local

Note: On CBS, due to the effect of the debut delay of Ink on Monday, the first month of the new season on this night aired Almost Perfect at 8:30 p.m., followed by CBS Wednesday Movies at 9 p.m. The originally planned fall Wednesday lineup took shape at the end of October with Pearl taking over at 8:30 p.m., Almost Perfect moving to 9 p.m., Public Morals debuting at 9:30 p.m., and EZ Streets debuting at 10 p.m.

Thursday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall High Incident Murder One Turning Point
Winter The ABC Thursday Night Movie
Follow-up Vital Signs Turning Point
Spring The ABC Thursday Night Movie
CBS Diagnosis: Murder Moloney 48 Hours
Fox Martin Living Single New York Undercover Local
NBC Fall Friends (3/17.0) The Single Guy (8/14.1) Seinfeld (2/20.5) Suddenly Susan (4/16.8) ER (1/21.2)
Winter The Naked Truth (5/16.8)
Spring Suddenly Susan (4/16.8) Fired Up (6/16.5)

Friday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Family Matters Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Clueless Boy Meets World 20/20 (12/12.8)
Follow-up Boy Meets World Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Clueless
Spring Step by Step
CBS Fall Dave's World Everybody Loves Raymond Mr. & Mrs. Smith Nash Bridges
Winter JAG
Spring JAG Orleans
Fox Sliders Millennium Local
NBC Unsolved Mysteries Dateline Friday Homicide: Life on the Street

Saturday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Second Noah Coach Common Law Relativity
Winter The ABC Saturday Night Movie
Spring Dangerous Minds The ABC Saturday Night Movie
Follow-up Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Leaving L.A. Gun
CBS Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Early Edition Walker, Texas Ranger (24/11.0)
Fox COPS COPS Married... with Children Love and Marriage Local
NBC Dark Skies The Pretender Profiler

Note: America's Most Wanted would debut in November at 9:00 on Fox. Married... with Children moved to Sundays at 7-8pm in November, Mondays at 9:30 in January, and Mondays at 9pm in February.

Pickups and Shows[edit]

ABC[edit]