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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fall TV Preview: Night By Night

NIGHT BY NIGHT

MONDAYS:
8:00 HOUR: ABC will once again be the network to catch on Monday nights with DANCING WITH THE STARS PERFORMANCE SHOW, though NBC and FOX are certainly going to give the veteran reality show a run for it’s money. Somewhat surprisingly, NBC is offering its own 2-hour reality show, the lukewarm THE SING-OFF, which looks to me like just a holding dock until midseason then THE VOICE takes over this same slot. I don’t see THE SING OFF doing much damage, so if it can attain better ratings than what CHUCK and THE EVENT had been doing, I see this still as a win-win for NBC for the night. CBS returns the again HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER for a 7th season, followed by upstart 2 BROKE GIRLS, which scored the highest testing scores (for comedy OR drama) in CBS’s history. Look for modest results for CBS here. And with CW returning GOSSIP GIRL to its original timeslot at 8, and a long-in-the-tooth fifth season, DANCING’s only real competition will come from the highly-anticipated FOX-Spielberg collaboration TERRA NOVA. No doubt, TERRA will debut strong, but these shows tend to cool quickly. So unless the genre show is out and out spectacular, look for ABC to once again dominate here.
First Place: Dancing With The Stars (ABC)
Second Place: How I Met Your Mother/2 Broke Girls (CBS)
Third Place: Terra Nova (FOX)
Fourth Place: The Sing-Off (NBC)
Fifth Place: Gossip Girl (CW)
9:00 HOUR: DANCING continues along with SING OFF for this hour. A revamped TWO AND A HALF MEN with Ashton Kutcher will also start out very strong. But once curiosity has waned, will Kutcher have the goods to keep MEN a smash? Only time will tell. CBS smartly keeps MIKE & MOLLY at 9:30. M&M is still young and has yet to prove its chops by working solo (witness the so-so ratings this past spring). Ratings for CBS will definitely diminish in the hour compared to years past. Over at FOX, it’s the rumored 8th and final season of HOUSE, which could score some decent ratings with the publicity of it being the final year. The CW tries out a new show starring another doctor, this one the young and beautiful Rachel Bilson. I don’t have high hopes for its success, though.
First Place: Dancing With The Stars (ABC)
Second Place: Two and a Half Men/Mike & Molly (CBS)
Third Place: House (FOX)
Fourth Place: The Sing-Off (NBC)
Fifth Place: Hart of Dixie (CW)
10:00 HOUR: Even though THE PLAYBOY CLUB has the word ‘Playboy’ in the title, don’t expect this new drama to be a power player, especially with the weak SING-OFF as a lead-in. This prestige drama could flame out dramatically for NBC, though it being NBC, it will gladly take a 2.0. The main battle in the hour will be fourth-year CASTLE on ABC, which has the strength of DANCING to guide it, and second year HAWAII FIVE-0, which never broke out for CBS, but is still a decent enough player.
First Place: Castle (ABC)
Second Place: Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
Third Place: The Playboy Club (NBC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls (NEW), Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, The Playboy Club (NEW) and Terra Nova (NEW)
TOTAL HOURS: 4

TUESDAYS:
8:00 HOUR: Until the public absolutely tires of the CBS crime procedural assembly line of cookie cutter shows molded to show death and mayhem, its hard to predict anything will overthrow daddy NCIS on CBS in the kick-off hour, at least in term of overall viewers. As for 18 to 49, GLEE on FOX was the break out last year, but that’s also a very fickle demo, and who knows how much GLEE will slip in its junior year. I certainly think the high school musical has peaked, both creatively and with viewers. NBC has more of THE BIGGEST LOSER, which I think should take a break to build interest, and CW moves 90210 into the hour, hardly a power play. The only new programming comes with ABCs comedy block of LAST MAN STANDING starring Tim Allen and MAN UP, which looks to be an early cancel. I also don’t know how I feel about Tim’s new show. I know he had one of the biggest hits of the 90s with HOME IMPROVEMENT, but will audiences still care enough to see him in a traditional sitcom? Overall, this isn’t a very exciting hour.
First Place: NCIS (CBS)
Second Place: Glee (FOX)
Third Place: The Biggest Loser (NBC)
Fourth Place: Last Man Standing/Man Up (ABC)
Fifth Place: 90210 (CW)
9:00 HOUR: DANCING RESULTS SHOW on ABC has the, um, leg up here, though don’t count out NCIS: LA making some solid traction. NBC should still have solid numbers, for NBC standards at least, for the second half of LOSER, though its aging much quicker than DANCING. FOX breaks out a new comedy THE NEW GIRL followed by the second season of RAISING HOPE, which started strong in its freshman year, then faded during the second half of the season. CW has the promising RINGER with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but its also one of those complication serialized shows that, if viewers arent hooked early on, will only show audience erosion as the season progresses.
First Place: DANCING RESULTS (ABC)
Second Place: NCIS: LA (CBS)
Third Place: BIGGEST LOSER (NBC)
Fourth Place: NEW GIRL/RAISING HOPE (FOX)
Fifth Place: RINGER (CW)
10:00 HOUR: Fortunately for CBS, there isn’t much competition to derail its new procedural, UNFORGETTABLE, starring Piper Montgomery. And coming off the NCIS combo, this is on brand for the network as it replaces the weak GOOD WIFE. NBC has had some highs and lows with third year PARENTHOOD, and looks to continue to do so-so numbers. The wild card is the horrible, but modestly rated, BODY OF PROOF, which will probably win the hour due to DANCING, though its going to be a tight race. I’ll still go with UNFORGETTABLE winning though.
FIRST PLACE: UNFORGETTABLE (CBS)
SECOND PLACE: BODY OF PROOF (ABC)
THIRD PLACE: PARENTHOOD (NBC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: 90210, RINGER, GLEE, NEW GIRL, RAISING HOPE, LAST MAN STANDING, MAN UP and PARENTHOOD
TOTAL HOURS: 6

WEDNESDAYS
8:00 HOUR: The only option in the kick-off hour is reality on three networks and comedies on the other two. No doubt, FOX’s X FACTOR will come on strong with the curiosity factor of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. But coming off a summer of AMERICAS GOT TALENT, and a resurgent AMERICAN IDOL and the new hit addition of THE VOICE, not to mention THE SING OFF on Monday nights, will audiences be tired of all this vocal adrenaline? I don’t think FACTOR will nearly be the hit that IDOL is, but will still be huge. CBS’s SURVIVOR is still a reliable performer, and will probably take second place. The other reality option, H8R on CW, isn’t even in the running and will be a very weak fifth place. The comedy alternatives are THE MIDDLE and SUBURGATORY on ABC. Entering its third year, THE MIDDLE has never broken out the way MODERN FAMILY has, and there’s no reason it will next season up against X FACTOR. This could spell disaster for SUBURGATORY if it doesn’t click with viewers, though it should still improve upon BETTER WITH YOU. Challenging ABC’s comedy block is NBC’s very own new comedy block of UP ALL NIGHT from Lorne Michaels and FREE AGENTS with Hank Azaria. Neither jumps out as a hit to me, and will most likely get lost out of the gates.
First Place: THE X FACTOR (FOX)
Second Place: SURVIVOR (CBS)
Third Place: THE MIDDLE/SUBURGATORY (ABC)
Fourth Place: UP ALL NIGHT/FREE AGENTS (NBC)
Fifth Place: H8R (CW)
9:00 HOUR: FOX continues with the final 30 minutes of FACTOR, followed by the promising newcomer I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER. CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS will probably see its numbers dwindle up against the smash MODERN FAMILY on ABC, though the verdict is still out on how good HAPPY ENDING will do following it. I happen to love HAPPY, and hope it finds its audience following a spring tryout where the comedy had to fight for viewers from the 10 to 11 hour. NBC offers up the older skewing HARRYS LAW, which sounds like a mistake in this hour, and CW has the fading AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL.
First Place: X FACTOR/I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (Fox)
Second Place: MODERN FAMILY/HAPPY ENDINGS (ABC)
Third Place: CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS)
Fourth Place: HARRYS LAW (NBC)
Fifth Place: AMERICAS NEXT TOP MODEL (CW)
10:00 HOUR: This should be an interesting hour, as we find out just how far CSI has fallen in the hearts of viewers. CBS moves it to this new night, and it will challenge the long-in-the-tooth final LAW AND ORDER franchise on NBC, SVU. Both shows have seen their better days, so its just borrowed time for both as they go up against the new soapy show REVENGE on ABC. ABC has had very little luck in this hour over the years, and I don’t see REVENGE bucking that trend. Look for an early cancellation for REVENGE.
First Place: CSI (CBS)
Second Place: LAW AND ORDER: SVU (NBC)
Third Place: REVENGE (ABC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: X FACTOR, I HATE MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER, SURVIVOR: SOUTH PACIFIC, THE MIDDLE, SUBURGATORY, MODERN FAMILY, HAPPY ENDINGS, REVENGE, UP ALL NIGHT and FREE AGENTS
HOURS: 6

THURSDAYS:
8:00 HOUR: Mirroring the IDOL template, THE X FACTOR RESULTS SHOW should win the hour, witch CBS continuing to pack in eyeballs with their BIG BANG THEORY and newcomer HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN. The wild card in the hour is the highly anticipated CHARLIES ANGELS on ABC, which could finally give ABC some needed juice in an hour that’s been proven to be quite challenging these last couple of years. NBC has their cult faves COMMUNITY and PARKS & RECREATION, which should score the same numbers they’ve done in the past in their respective slots. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on CW isn’t much of a player anymore, though still has its ardent fan base, too. This is going to be a brutal hour, for sure, and is shaping up to be the most exciting hour, in my opinion.
First Place: X FACTOR RESULTS (Fox)
Second Place: BIG BANG THEORY/ HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN (CBS)
Third Place: CHARLIE’S ANGELS (ABC)
Fourth Place: COMMUNITY/ PARKS & REC (NBC)
Fifth Place: VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW)
9:00 HOUR: Now that Steve Carell is gone from THE OFFICE, how far will it slide? Being paired with the new WHITNEY doesn’t seem to help it’s chances much. Then again, CSI is now gone and has been replaced with the risky entry PERSON OF INTEREST on CBS, all while GREYS ANATOMY continues to age on ABC. Speaking of age, there’s also BONES on FOX, and another newbie, THE SECRET CIRCLE on CW. If ANGELS is a hit, then look for GREYS to get a boost, but overall I don’t think any one network is going to be balls-out a success here. Instead, look for a very tight race between all shows… this is also one hour in particular that I am curious to see where the pieces fall. Its really anyone’s game for a myriad of reasons.
First Place: GREYS ANATOMY (ABC)
Second Place: PERSON OF INTEREST (CBS)
Third Place: BONES (FOX)
Fourth Place: THE OFFICE/WHITNEY (NBC)
Fifth Place: THE SECRET CIRCLE (CW)
10:00 HOUR: THE MENTALIST on CBS doesn’t have much competition here. It will be a split decision between PRIME SUSPECT on NBC, which has the challenge of offering something new to the table with Maria Bello (can she really replace Helen Mirren in the iconic role?). Then there is the aging PRIVATE PRACTICE on ABC, which never has been a strong competitor in four years of existence.
First Place: THE MENTALIST (CBS)
Second Place: PRIVATE PRACTICE (ABC)
Third Place: PRIME SUSPECT (NBC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: THE BIG BANG THEORY, HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, THE X FACTOR, CHARLIES ANGELS, COMMUNITY, PARKS & REC, THE OFFICE, WHITNEY, THE SECRET CIRCLE, PERSON OF INTEREST
HOURS: 7

FRIDAYS
8:00 HOUR: CHUCK finishes out its run on NBC with 13 episodes on this new night. It’s main competition will come in the form of the new CBS drama A GIFTED MAN. From there its anyone’s game as ABC relocates the fading EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION and CW relocates NIKITA. FOX goes for more of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES.
First Place: CHUCK (NBC)
Second Place: KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (FOX)
Third Place: EXTREME MAKEOVER (ABC)
Fourth Place: A GIFTED MAN (CBS)
Fifth Place: NIKITA (CW)
9:00 HOUR: It’s looking grim for NBCs GRIMM in this hour as the new thriller goes up against established genre shows FRINGE on FOX and SUPERNATURAL on CW. That leaves CSI NY on CBS and SHARK TANK on ABC. There’s no real reason why CSI won’t again win the hour in total viewers, leaving other eyeballs to check out the other shows, all of which I will be watching.
First Place: CSI NY (CBS)
Second Place: FRINGE (FOX)
Third Place: SHARK TANK (ABC)
Fourth Place: GRIMM (NBC)
Fifth Place: SUPERNATURAL (CW)
10:00 HOUR: CBS will dominate once again with sophomore effort BLUE BLOODS. That leaves newsmags DATELINE and 20/20 to duke it out on NBC and ABC.
First Place: BLUE BLOODS (CBS)
Second Place: 20/20 (ABC) will edge out the similar:
Third Place DATELINE (NBC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: CHUCK, GRIMM, FRINGE, SHARK TANK and SUPERNATURAL
Hours: 5

SUNDAYS
8:00 HOUR: For obvious reasons, NBC is going to win this night due to the presence of SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - assuming there’s even going to BE football in the fall. At this point, we have to assume there will be and rank the night accordingly. For non-sports fans, the shows in this hour vying for attention are animation domination on FOX with THE SIMPSONS and the new ALLEN GREGORY. Look for a solid 18 to 49 demo win here. ABC has a new show, too, ONCE UPON A TIME, which is will probably flame out spectacularly if it isn’t, well, spectacular. That leaves THE AMAZING RACE on CBS…and never count out THE RACE.
First Place: SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC)
Second Place: THE AMAZING RACE (CBS)
Third Place: THE SIMPSONS/ALLEN GREGORY (FOX)
Fourth Place: ONCE UPON A TIME (ABC)
9:00 HOUR: It’s a battle for second place with the fading DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES on ABC and the relocated THE GOOD WIFE on CBS. This will be a key battle come fall. FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD air on FOX.
First Place: SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC)
Second Place: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
Third Place: THE GOOD WIFE (CBS)
Fourth Place: FAMILY GUY/AMERICAN DAD (FOX)
10:00 HOUR: There’s high hopes that the new PAN AM will be glorious for ABC, and I’m certainly rooting for it. But it will have some stiff (hehe) competition from CSI MIAMI on CBS.
First Place: SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NBC)
Second Place: CSI MIAMI (CBS)
Third Place: PAN AM (ABC)
SHOWS I WILL BE WATCHING: ONCE UPON A TIME, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, PAN AM, ALLEN GREGORY
HOURS: 3.5

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