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Thursday, June 25, 2009

FALL TV 2009-2010: NIGHTLY BREAKDOWN

FALL TV 2009-2010: FRIDAYS
8:00 TO 9:00:

For the first time in years, Friday nights are once again competitive with scripted programming. In fact, each of the Big Five has at least one hour of scripted programming to share. During this first hour of the night, NBC relocates LAW & ORDER to the hour, while CW relocates SMALLVILLE. CBS goes with the solid GHOST WHISPERER again, while FOX offers up newbie comedy BROTHERS with returning (WHY????) 'TIL DEATH. The only reality in the hour is SUPERNANNY.

FIRST: GHOST WHISPERER (CBS)

SECOND: LAW & ORDER (NBC)

THIRD: SUPERNANNY (ABC)

FOURTH: SMALLVILLE (CW)

FIFTH: BROTHERS/TIL DEATH (FOX)


9:00 TO 10:00:
This hour is even more interesting than the 8 pm hour. THREE shows are relocated to this time period: ABC's dwindling UGLY BETTY, NBC's dwindling SOUTHLAND, and the NBC to CBS drama MEDIUM. Staying put in the hour is the surprise return of DOLLHOUSE, though with an anemic comedy (TIL DEATH) leading into it, I dont expect the DOLLHOUSE ratings to improve any over this season's.
FIRST: MEDIUM (CBS)
SECOND: SOUTHLAND (NBC)
THIRD: UGLY BETTY (ABC)
FOURTH: DOLLHOUSE (FOX)

10:00 TO 11:00:
Same as last year: 20/20 on ABC and NUMBERS on CBS. The only new threat is JAY LENO, which I think will have some terrific numbers in the hour, despite what critics are saying.
FIRST: NUMBERS (CBS)
SECOND: JAY LENO (NBC)
THIRD: 20/20 (ABC)

TOTAL HOURS I WILL WATCH: TWO (DOLLHOUSE and UGLY BETTY)

****
FALL TV 2009-2010: THURSDAYS
8:00 TO 9:00:
This first hour of Thursdays is another busy hour for me, for there are 3 networks that I am wanting to watch TV from. ABC has the intriguing new series FLASH FORWARD, which is built around the high concept of a billion or more people who all have 2 minute blackout whereupon each person sees something that happens to them in their future. ABC is priming the show to take over for LOST, but first it has to succeed on its own in this brutal hour. Competition comes from FOX's reliable BONES, though that show's season finale seemed to piss off some fans. Also, BONES is starting to age, as is CBS's SURVIVOR. That leaves NBC's new-ish hour of 6 episodes of SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY and PARKS & RECREATION. I think PARKS will come back stronger in the fall now that producers will have had time to retool it. The darkhouse in this hour is CW's VAMPIRE DIARIES, which should ride the TRUE BLOOD/TWILIGHT wave of vampire success. Then again, it could become another MOONLIGHT. Interestingly, Thursday night at 8 staples UGLY BETTY and SMALLVILLE have both been transplanted to Fridays.
FIRST: SURVIVOR (CBS)
SECOND: BONES (FOX)
THIRD: FLASH FORWARD (ABC)
FOURTH: SNL/PARKS (NBC)
FIFTH: VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW)

9:00 TO 10:00:
This is still the week's most brutal hour, though ratings for ABC's GREY'S ANATOMY and CBS' CSI have fallen, and I imagine will continue to slide. That leaves an opportunity for FOX's transplanted FRINGE (which, along with MENTALIST, move from their cushy Tuesday slots to the more competitive Thursdays) and NBC combo of OFFICE and 30 ROCK to increase viewership. The dark horse here is SUPERNATURAL, which has seen its ratings increase year to year and, entering season 5, is finally an established hit for the C-Dub.
FIRST: GREY'S ANATOMY (ABC)
SECOND: CSI (CBS)
THIRD: OFFICE/30 ROCK (NBC)
FOURTH: FRINGE (FOX)
FIFTH: SUPERNATURAL (CW)

10:00 TO 11:00:
THe most aggressive move of the season is CBS's decision to move THE MENTALIST to this hour. That means terrible news for PRIVATE PRACTICE, which also had a terribly gruesome season finale. I will be watching JAY LENO, thank you very much.
FIRST: THE MENTALIST (CBS)
SECOND: PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
THIRD: JAY LENO SHOW (NBC)

TOTAL HOURS I WILL WATCH: Six (PARKS, SNL, OFFICE, 30 ROCK, VAMPIRE DIARIES, SUPERNATURAL, FLASH FORWARD, FRINGE)

********
FALL TV 2009-2010: WEDNESDAYS
8:00 TO 9:00:
In terms of new tv, this is the night of the biggest change. ABC begins a totally-new four hour comedy block with BACK TO YOU stars Kelsey Grammer in HANK and Patricia Heaton in THE MIDDLE. Competing with those two comedies are CBS' returning NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE and GARY UNMARRIED. NBC goes the dramedy route with the promising PARENTHOOD, while reality encompasses FOX (SYTYCD) and THE CW (AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL). This hour is up for grabs, with not a single network impressing me in the hour, though that's good news for CHRISTINE and the newbies.
FIRST: PARENTHOOD (NBC) Just a gut feeling I have.
SECOND: HANK/THE MIDDLE (ABC)
THIRD: SYTYCD (FOX)
FOURTH: CHRISTINE/GARY (CBS)
FIFTH: ANTM (CW)
NOTE: I honestly don't know how this hour is going to play out. It's entirely possible that America is going to embrace SYTYCD, but I feel like viewer fatigue will have set in from it's summer run. If so, that leaves things wide open for the comedy block on the other Big Three nets. PARENTHOOD could be a sleeper hit, or a total bomb. And I have no idea how 4 new comedies on ABC will do, which could allow CBS to squeek a victory with CHRISTINE and GARY.

9:00 TO 10:00:
CBS will win the hour easily with CRIMINAL MINDS, followed by NBC's LAW & ORDER SVU, assuming it's two leads come back. ABC has potential with MODERN FAMILY and the Courtney Cox-starrer COUGAR TOWN. FOX is hoping that a summer promotional push for GLEE will pay off, and dont count CW out with its newcomer BEAUTIFUL LIFE. As a viewer, I have some serious TV viewing to watch in this hour, exlucing those two crime procedurals.
FIRST: CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
SECOND: LAW & ORDER: SVU (NBC)
THIRD: MODERN FAMILY/COUGAR TOWN (ABC)
FOURTH: GLEE (FOX)
FIFTH: BEAUTIFUL LIFE (CW)

10:00 TO 11:00:
Again, an easy win for CBS with CSI:NY. ABC's EASTWICK is a toss-up, especially without having seen the pilot. If the buzz is good, viewers will follow. And dont count out JAY LENO in the hour.
FIRST: CSI: NY (CBS)
SECOND: EASTWICK (ABC)
THIRD: JAY LENO (NBC)

TOTAL HOURS I WILL WATCH: Six (PARENTHOOD, HANK, THE MIDDLE, MODERN FAMILY, COUGAR TOWN, GLEE, BEAUTIFUL LIFE, EASTWICK)
*************
FALL TV 2009-2010: TUESDAYS
8:00 TO 9:00:

Other than Saturday and Sunday, Tuesday nights in the fall look the weakest, for me as a viewer at least. There is an overdose of reality on the night, with ABC's THE SHARK TANK kicking things off. That will compete with the first hour of THE BIGGEST LOSER and the first hour of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. TANK will be the obvious loser, and DANCE and LOSER will duke it out. That leaves the hour wide open for the hit scripted show NCIS on CBS, and the CW drama 90210. Both those scripted shows lead in to two highly-anticipated shows at 9.
FIRST: NCIS (CBS)
SECOND: DWTS (ABC)
THIRD: BIGGEST LOSER (NBC)
FOURTH: SYTYCD (FOX)
FIFTH: 90210 (CW)

9:00 TO 10:00:
At 9, CBS goes with NCIS: LOS ANGELES, which I think will be the biggest hit of the season, now that it follows NCIS and takes over THE MENTALIST's slot. Another show set in LA is competitor MELROSE PLACE, which is a nice fit following 90210. These are two perfect scheduling decisions. Realtiy continues with the second hours of LOSER and SYTYCD. And ABC has the DWTS results show.
FIRST: DWTS (ABC)
SECOND: NCIS: LOS ANGELES (CBS)
THIRD: THE BIGGEST LOSER (NBC)
FOURTH: SYTYCD (FOX)
FIFTH: MELROSE PLACE (CW)

10:00 TO 11:00:
Competing against LENO are two newbies: THE FORGOTTEN on ABC and THE GOOD WIFE on CBS. I dont expect stellar ratings for either show, especially THE FORGOTTEN. As for THE GOOD WIFE, it takes the doomsday slot that has led to the demise of CANE, 3 LBS, WITHOUT A TRACE, and so on. But without much competition, it will the hour, though a weak win at that.
FIRST: THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
SECOND: THE FORGOTTEN (ABC)
THIRD: JAY LENO SHOW (NBC)

TOTAL HOURS I WILL WATCH: One (MELROSE PLACE)

MIDSEASON: Looks more promising. SCRUBS and BETTER OFF TED return on ABC. NBC has 100 QUESTIONS, and FOX has PAST LIFE.

*********
FALL TV 2009: MONDAYS
8:00 TO 9:00:
Once again, Monday night is a brutal battlefield, especially in the 8 pm hour. ABC continues it's run of DANCING WITH THE STARS, though one has to wonder how long this ratings juggernaut will last. With ratings continuing to slide cycle to cycle, look for even greater audience erosion to set in for the fall edition. Over at CBS, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER time-shifts to 8 PM, which will give new Jenna Elfman series ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE a nice lead-in. HIMYM had its best year, and I believe next season it will hit it's ratings peak before starting to slide a bit in the ratings. That's good news all-around for a show now entering it's fifth season. NBC takes a chance by leading the night off with the fading HEROES, though one has to consider how much of an impact Zachary Quinto might add to the show now that his Spock is smacking the box office. As for drama, HOUSE is also fading, and I am kind of thinking that next year will see continued audience erosion. THE CW has season 3 of it's buzzy GOSSIP GIRL. I think its smart the network didnt pick up LILY, for that could have diluted GG's numbers.
FIRST: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND: HOUSE (FOX)
THIRD: HIMYM/ACCIDENTALLY (CBS)
FOURTH: HEROES (NBC)
FIFTH: GOSSIP GIRL (CW)

9:00 TO 10:00:
The second hour of DANCING continues on ABC, which is always higher than hour 1. And CBS' top comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN leads into the hysterical BIG BANG THEORY, which will raise THEORY's profile significantly. After that I think it's going to be a battle between NBC's promising TRAUMA and the fading LIE TO ME on FOX. ONE TREE HILL, which has been reliable at CW, is going to start hemmhorging viewers with the loss of Chad Michael Murray.
FIRST: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND: TWO AND A HALF MEN/BIG BANG (CBS)
THIRD: LIE TO ME (FOX)
FOURTH: TRAUMA (NBC)
FIFTH: ONE TREE HILL (CW)
NOTE: It's going to be a close call for first between DWTS and the CBS comedies, and will also be a close call for third between LIE TO ME and TRAUMA.

10:00 TO 11:00:
No contest here. CSI: MIAMI will rule the hour, but ABC's CASTLE will do surprisingly better in its second season. JAY LENO will start out strong before tapering off around November. When the others are in repeats, JAY LENO's ratings will spike. I predict having LENO every night of the week wont be the massacre that others are saying. Yes, it will be a drop for the network, but when compared to other shows in that hour in the past that cost a lot of money (JOURNEYMAN, STUDIO 60 and MY OWN WORST ENEMY), NBC will have played the hour right. Plus, LENO is a comedy alternative to all the death, murder and mayhem (which I dont watch)
FIRST: CSI: MIAMI (CBS)
SECOND: CASTLE (ABC)
THIRD: JAY LENO SHOW (NBC)

WHAT I WILL BE WATCHING ON THE NIGHT: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, TWO AND A HALF MEN, BIG BANG THEORY, TRAUMA and (from time to time) JAY LENO SHOW.

TOTAL HOURS: THREE

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