Monday, August 24, 2009

19 Timeslots, Monday 9PM

ABC: The alphabet had Supernanny here in fall and winter of '06-'07 but brought on Dancing with the Stars' first spring cycle in '07. 9:30 in spring of '07 was often filled by the first thirty minutes of The Bachelor, which ran till 11. In fall of 2007 the net launched singlecam comedy Samantha Who? after the end of the 90-minute Dancing to exceptional results, but winter airings alongside Notes from the Underbelly were much weaker. Notes continued to air along with extended editions of DWTS-spinoff Dance War in early '08 until the return of Dancing. Samantha returned post-Dancing for spring and fall of '08, and the second half of The Bachelor filled the slot during winter '09. For the spring '09 cycle ABC tried a different post-DWTS comedy in Surviving Suburbia, a refugee from the CW's disastrous MRC experiment. It had significantly worse retention than Samantha and aired there just four times with Dancing often running two hours. This fall Dancing will be two hours all the time, with The Bachelor probably returning to the hour between cycles.

CBS: The anchor for this hour for the last four years has been Two and a Half Men which averaged a 5.1 in '08-'09 originals and is the best-repeating show on television. It will continue to occupy 9:00 in fall '09. 9:30 has been a bit more of an adventure. For most of '06-'07 the slot belonged to The New Adventures of Old Christine, but Christine got a break late in the season for the very successful tryout of newbie Rules of Engagement. Rules won the slot for fall '07 and held it for most of that season, though Christine returned for a few months during the writer's strike to run originals after Men repeats. A third show entered the mix in fall '08, singlecam effort Worst Week, but it did poorly and was eventually replaced by Rules again. This time CBS moves a known quantity into the slot in The Big Bang Theory, which has two years of success in the 8:00 hour under its belt, and should have its strongest 9:00 hour in several years.

FOX: This timeslot is best known on Fox for hit 24 which will return and run consecutively from January through May again. When 24's off, it's another story, including five new dramas across one two-year period. In '06 the net ran heavily serialized drama Vanished out of Prison Break to poor results. It was pulled after a handful of eps and Fox gave another failure Justice a brief shot in the slot. They got improvement from repeats of House which carried them through to 24. In fall '07 they went with New Orleans cop show K-Ville which also failed. Winter '08 saw 24 out of commission due to the strike but the net got pretty decent mileage out of the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. After it wrapped yet another newbie, New Amsterdam, ran in the timeslot for the rest of the season. 24 came back for the first half of '09 and the net used Prison Break there in the fall of that season. This year, the nod goes to sophomore Lie to Me, which Fox is hoping will have compatibility with lead-in House.

NBC: The peacock launched Heroes to great success in fall '06 and it has been the signature show of this timeslot ever since. But the second half of '07-'08 required other programming as Heroes was cut off by the writer's strike and repeats awfully. The answer was generally some combination of American Gladiators and Deal Or No Deal. Heroes returned for most of '08-'09 though reality failure Superstars of Dance took up some time between volumes. This year Heroes slides to 8 while newbie Trauma will lead out of it.

CW: The original CW home to newbie Runaway, this timeslot instantly saw change as the net brought its UPN comedy block to the night, with Girlfriends and The Game occupying this hour. Spring '08 saw the move of One Tree Hill to this slot alongside lead-in Gossip Girl. With the shows fizzling by 2009 the net decided to move OTH to 8 to lead into Gossip Girl which has had some downright disastrous repeat results this summer. Remains to be seen how the switch will work out.

Cable notables: As at 8, ESPN's Monday Night Football is a part of the mix. ABC Family will go with season 3 of young-skewing dramedy Greek.

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