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Is there a February drought of new shows?

Question: Why do cable shows that air in the second half of the TV season start in March/April and not February? It seems like there would be more viewers available in the winter than when the weather improves, and they could air during February sweeps.

— Chris

Matt Roush: There’s plenty of TV to go around — have you seen the number of shows bowing in January? — and with most networks now operating on a year-round basis, premieres tend to be staggered. (For the record, A&E just announced that the final season of Bates Motel was getting its earliest start ever, on Feb. 20.) And it’s not like February is a wasteland. Among the more notable premieres: FX’s Legion, HBO’s Big Little Lies, CBS’s Superior Donuts and Training Day; the Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight on CBS All Access, Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, new seasons of Girls and Humans, to name just a few. Given how many shows are starting in the first weeks of the new year, we’ll still be watching plenty of them through February, and not having to contend with as big a batch of premieres in February might be something of a relief. The argument that we watch more TV in the winter months is a fair one, but stunting for sweeps is pretty much a thing of the past, except for Sundays, which are Event Central in February with football playoffs, Grammys and Oscars.

To submit questions to TV Critic Matt Roush, go to: tvinsider.com

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