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Monday, June 7, 2010

INSIDE FALL TV 2010: MONDAYS

MONDAYS

Heading into the fall of 2010, perennially brutal Monday nights look to remain, well, brutal. There are FIVE new shows debuting on the night, with probably THE most-buzzed-about show of the development season, HAWAII FIVE-0, looking to make mince-meat out of its competition. CBS keeps it’s comedy block, while the CW tries for a East Coast/West Coast teen mash-up. Here is the night, hour by hour:

8:00 to 9:00: ABC keeps its DANCING WITH THE STARS franchise intact for the first two hours, and much of the show’s success will depend on the casting directors and who they are able to schmooze into the line-up. Would Jon Gosselin have the balls to try it out? This show was most popular with overall viewers this current season, even beating out AMERICAN IDOL for the first time…ever. So it would be unjust to bet against DWTS until the line-up is at least revealed. There is still some hoofing juice yet in this long-running alternative show. FOX has HOUSE, and though the Hugh Laurie drama slipped this year in the percentages, HOUSE still should be DWTS’s biggest competition. But don’t count out CBS’ comedies! HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is still huge, but it’s lead-out, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, is a good utility player, at best. Ratings will be good, but not great. That leaves NBC’s CHUCK, which has a huge fan following, but not the ratings to back it up to anything other than a 4th place finish again. Don’t get me wrong, CHUCK is one of my fave shows, and I am so glad it has survived yet again, but I really feel like next fall will be the show’s last. I’m just so happy that it got to live for 4 seasons, which is so important for syndication. Go, CHUCKIE! Then there is the CW, with newly-relocated 90210. This show has it’s tween girl fans, and not much else going for it. Still, it should do decent enough for CW since the bar is so low for that network anyway.
PREDICTIONS, TOTAL VIEWERS:
FIRST PLACE: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND PLACE: HOUSE (FOX)
THIRD PLACE: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER/RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (CBS)
FOURTH PLACE: CHUCK (NBC)
FIFTH PLACE: 90210 (CW)

9:00 to 10:00: DWTS will continue to win the hour for ABC, and CBS will do mighty fine, too, especially now that Charlie Sheen is back on TWO AND A HALF MEN for two more years (though what if he goes to jail?). The cute MIKE & MOLLY shouldn’t have any problems finding viewers as the lead-out to men. I loved the preview CBS provided, and if it has a heart, viewers will seek it out, especially since a lot of America is overweight and can relate. I mean, really, who doesn’t love an underdog story? After that , things get more interesting. I don’t think GOSSIP GIRL poses much a threat at the 9 hour, but two newbies, THE EVENT on NBC and LONESTAR on FOX, will be duking it out for third place. Both shows look good, with THE EVENT actually having me on the edge of my seat with it’s trailer. And if LONESTAR can recapture the glory days of DALLAS, it could just become a sleeper hit. With HOUSE as a lead-in, I give LONESTAR the edge over THE EVENT.
FIRST: DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)
SECOND: TWO AND A HALF MEN/MIKE & MOLLY (CBS)
THIRD: LONESTAR (FOX)
FOURTH: THE EVENT (NBC)
FIFTH: GOSSIP GIRL (CW)

10:00 to 11:00: No contest: HAWAII FIVE-0 wins the hour replacing the fading (and sliding to Sundays) CSI: MIAMI. Both hours have that sunny-vibe, so expect HAWAII to fit right it. I also love that the tone of FIVE-0 is lighter, which should mesh with the comedy block preceding it much better than CSI: MIAMI did. CASTLE has gained a lot of fans this current season, but will it continue to grow, or start to slow? I say the latter considering the competition. NBC brings on Jerry Bruckheimer’s THE CHASE. To me, it’s a little too generic sounding, but I would never want to count a show like it out. With a huge platform of FOOTBALL on NBC the night before to promote it, CHASE could be the dark-horse for second place. Then again, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL on ESPN is also it’s competition.
FIRST: HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
SECOND: CASTLE (ABC)
THIRD: THE CHASE (NBC)

SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: CHUCK, THE EVENT, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, TWO AND A HALF MEN, MIKE & MOLLY, HAWAII FIVE-0 and LONESTAR. For a total of SIX hours.

BREAKOUT NEW SHOW: HAWAII FIVE-0 (CBS)
RUNNER-UP: MIKE & MOLLY (CBS)

NEW SHOW CLASHES: Three new shows duke it out in the 9 pm hour: THE EVENT on NBC, LONESTAR on FOX and MIKE & MOLLY on CBS. Then at 10 pm, CHASE competes against HAWAII FIVE-0.

NOTES:
*I admire NBC for ditching HEROES and LAW & ORDER, though I am sad to see no record broken with the latter. I’m a bit less admiring CHUCK staying where it’s been for the last 3 years. I would have relaunched CHUCK on a less-competitive night/hour. But going into its fourth year, realistically how many new viewers is CHUCK going to pick up? At best, it can end its four years in the same spot where it started.

*I like how CW paired up the East Coast brats (GOSSIP GIRL) with the West Coast brats (90210). Now let them all battle it out to the death….and by death, I mean cancellation.

*CBS worked aggressively…they removed two hits from the night (BIG BANG and CSI: MIAMI). RULES OF ENGAGEMENT had it contractually written that it COULD NOT come back at midseason, therefore it appears on the fall sked for the first time in years. And I like how CBS is keeping the 9 pm hour a Chuck Lorre hour (BIG BANG is a Lorre show, too).

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