Sunday, August 23, 2009

19 Timeslots, Sunday 8PM

Much like 7, Sunday at 8 is filled with staples that have been around for awhile.

ABC: The staple here for the last three years has been Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which returns again this fall. It has lost a lot of potency, in fact being the biggest decliner year-to-year in the last May sweep, but is probably not in immediate danger of leaving this timeslot. Originals averaged about a 3.3 demo last season.

CBS: Despite the occasional attempt to resist it seems like The Amazing Race always ends up back here. It had two cycles in '06-'07 but ended up getting held for midseason in fall '07 so CBS could try musical drama Viva Laughlin. VL was done after one Sunday airing and The Amazing Race returned almost immediately. After the single Amazing Race cycle in '07-'08, the strike edition of Big Brother filled in for the spring. Two more Races returned in '08-'09 while Million Dollar Password took over very briefly between cycles. Race is back in the slot for fall 2009 but only got a one-cycle renewal for this season. It's a worthy reality competitor to EM:HE averaging a 3.2 and 3.1 in its cycles last season.

FOX: The Simpsons has been the longtime animation anchor for Fox at 8:00 and will be no exception in fall 2009. Historic lead-out King of the Hill is done, however, and will give way to Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show. FOX debuted live-action effort The Winner in the 8:30 slot in '07, then animated Sit Down, Shut Up in spring '09 but it was pushed to the 7:00 hour after just two airings. The Simpsons averaged about a 3.2 last year.

NBC: Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football will fill this slot in the fall as they have for the last three years. The spring is a much bigger question mark. In '07 they tried failed reality effort Grease: You're the One That I Want and two-hour editions of newsmagazine Dateline. Thanks to the strike in '08 it was two-hour Datelines and repeats, first of USA Network drama Monk and then of comedy The Office. In '09 there was more Dateline along with an attempt to launch a scripted drama in Kings. But Kings was DOA and shipped to Saturday within a few weeks. The net has Jerry Seinfeld reality show The Marriage Ref slated here for the spring but we'll see how that goes.

CW: After starting here in fall '06 with comedies Girlfriends and The Game, the CW made an almost instant switch and brought the final season of 7th Heaven to the slot for '06-'07. They tried family drama Life is Wild in the slot in fall '07 but it was done after 13 episodes and replaced again by the comedy block. This time it was the first half of the block, Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America. That block was broken up for fall '08 and the CW leased Sunday night to Media Rights Capital, who went with dramedy bomb Valentine in this timeslot. The CW took back the night after a couple months of MRC disaster and began Sunday night movies in this timeslot for the rest of the season. This year, CW abandons Sundays altogether, returning it to the affiliates for local programming.

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