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. Shows ending their runs are highlighted in italics.

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.
     Orange indicates the programs in the top 40 for the season.
     Silver indicates the programs in the top 50 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 Americas Funniest Home Videos Americas Funniest Home Videos Various
Spring Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Americas Funniest Home Videos America's Funniest Home Videos
Follow-up Americas Funniest Home Videos Americas Funniest Home Videos Various
CBS 60 Minutes (#11/13.3) Touched by an Angel (#10/13.6) CBS Sunday Movie (#14/12.1)
Fox Fall Big Deal The Simpsons Ned and Stacey The X-Files (#20/11.4) Local
Mid-season Various King of the Hill (#43/9.2)
NBC Dateline Sunday 3rd Rock from the Sun (#28/10.8) Boston Common NBC Sunday Night Movie (#18/11.5)
The WB Kirk Brotherly Love The Parent 'Hood The Steve Harvey Show Unhappily Ever After Life with Roger Local

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 (#22/11.2) Pearl (#37/9.6) Murphy Brown (#34/10.4) Cybill (#31/10.5) Chicago Hope (#31/10.5)
Follow-up Ink
Spring Everybody Loves Raymond Cybill (#31/10.5) Ink
Fox Fall Melrose Place Party Girl Lush Life Local
Winter Ned & Stacey Married... with Children
Follow-up Various
Spring Married... with Children Pauly
NBC The Jeff Foxworthy Show Mr. Rhodes NBC Monday Night Movie (#24/11.0)
UPN Fall In the House Malcolm & Eddie Goode Behavior Sparks Local
Winter Sparks Goode Behavior
The WB Fall 7th Heaven Savannah Local
Spring Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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.

Tuesday[edit]

Network 8:00 PM 8:30 PM 9:00 PM 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM
ABC Fall Roseanne (#35/10.1) Life's Work (#38/9.5) Home Improvement (#9/14.0) Spin City (#17/11.7) NYPD Blue (#13/12.5)
Winter Various programming
Follow-up Ellen
Spring The Practice
Follow-up Soul Man (#22/11.2) NYPD Blue
CBS Promised Land CBS Tuesday Movie (#36/10.0)
Fox Fox Tuesday Night Movie Local
NBC Mad About You (#24/11.0) Something So Right (#38/9.5) Frasier (#16/11.8) Caroline in the City (#24/11.0) Dateline Tuesday (#20/11.4)
UPN Fall Moesha Homeboys in Outer Space The Burning Zone Local
Spring Social Studies
Follow-up Homeboys in Outer Space

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 (#45/9.1) The Drew Carey Show (#18/11.5) Primetime Live (#15/11.9)
Winter Grace Under Fire (#45/9.1) Coach The Drew Carey Show (#18/11.5) Ellen (#30/10.6)
Spring Arsenio
Follow-up Ellen (#30/10.6)
CBS Fall The Nanny (#45/9.1) Pearl (#45/9.1) Almost Perfect Various EZ Streets
Follow-up CBS Wednesday Movie (#41/9.3)
Winter Various programming Orleans
Spring Temporarily Yours Feds EZ Streets
Follow-up Dave's World CBS Wednesday Movie (#41/9.3)
Fox Fall Beverly Hills, 90210 Party of Five Local
Spring Pacific Palisades
NBC Fall Wings The John Larroquette Show NewsRadio Men Behaving Badly Law & Order (#28/10.8)
Follow-up Various programming
Winter Chicago Sons
Spring NewsRadio Just Shoot Me! Wings
Follow-up The Single Guy Men Behaving Badly
UPN The Sentinel Star Trek: Voyager Local
The WB Fall Sister, Sister Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher The Wayans Bros. The Jamie Foxx Show Local
Spring Smart Guy The Jamie Foxx Show The Wayans Bros.

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 (#45/9.1) Moloney 48 Hours
Fox Martin (#110/6.0) Living Single (#104/6.2) New York Undercover Local
NBC Fall Friends (#4/16.8) The Single Guy (#8/14.1) Seinfeld (#2/20.5) Suddenly Susan (#3/17.0) ER (#1/21.2)
Winter The Naked Truth (#4/16.8)
Spring Suddenly Susan (#3/17.0) 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 (#50/8.8) Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (#41/9.3) Clueless Boy Meets World (#51/8.7) 20/20 (#12/12.8)
Follow-up Boy Meets World (#51/8.7) Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (#41/9.3) Clueless
Spring Step by Step (#61/8.4)
CBS Fall Dave's World Everybody Loves Raymond Mr. & Mrs. Smith Nash Bridges
Winter JAG
Spring JAG Orleans
Summer Dave's World Life... and Stuff JAG
Fox Fall Sliders The X-Files Local
Follow-up Millennium
NBC Fall Unsolved Mysteries Dateline Friday (#31/10.5) Homicide: Life on the Street
Follow-up Crisis Center
Spring 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
Midseason 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 Fall COPS COPS Married... with Children (#97/6.7) Love and Marriage Local
Follow-up America's Most Wanted
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]