Just some corrections to your message....
The January start time has little to do with the points you raise.
It doesn't give us (or any other show) a longer lead time, because what
you do is backtrack from when you want to be on the air, to when you should
start preproduction to meet that date, then factor in about a month just
to be on the safe side, as a buffer. That applies whether your show goes
on the air in January or September. It's no longer a shooting schedule
than any other show. Our schedule is seven working days per episode,
which is pretty much standard.
There's no "smaller episode package to try and peddle" because we're
doing 22 episodes, which were pre-sold to the stations. And nobody does
27 episodes of any series anymore, not in years and years. Even the most
successful top-10 series -- and I was on one -- doesn't usually get more
than 24 episodes total per season.
There's also no financial roll-over to the show, since it began in
July (for pre-production), and continues throughout.
There are really only a few factors involved in a January launch: it
does come toward mid-season when people have seen what else is out there,
and you're not competing in the fall season push with major network
shows that outnumber you 10-1. Also, January/February are the next big
Sweeps period for ratings after the fall, so that's the time you pick.