Tuesday, September 7, 2010

22 Hours, Tuesday 9/8c

Today, my fall preview looks at Tuesday 9/8c. As at 8:00, three of the big four nets will be solid to strong, while the other will have new material looking to make inroads.

The alphabet has relied on Dancing with the Stars results in this timeslot, but unlike with Monday, they have struggled to find something that rates well between cycles. Comedy disasters filled the slot during the '07-'08 hiatus starting with repeats of According to Jim and eventually bringing in originals alongside burnoffs of fall '07 failure Carpoolers. The '08-'09 Dancing break saw yet more Jim and then a run for NBC import Scrubs which started surprisingly well (over a 3.0 demo) but lost steam by the end. In early 2010 they moved the final season of Lost to the hour while shifting Dancing to 8:00, but the results show will be back for fall 2010.  It averaged a 3.33 (fall) and a 2.83 (spring) on Tuesday last season.

This timeslot was the home to the first three seasons of military drama The Unit starting in spring '06. The third season was only 11 episodes due to the writer's strike and so the slot was one of the homes for the strike edition of Big Brother and then a tryout for legal drama Shark which skewed too old on Tuesday and was axed. Mediocre results from the Unit in 2007-08 led to an injection of new blood for fall '08 in drama The Mentalist. It was a smash success and aired there all of last year but was moved to Thursday for the 2009-10 season. In its place was newbie NCIS:LA, a spinoff of its 8:00 lead-in, and it returns for 2010-11 after posting a 3.50 average last year.

The original home of medical drama House, it mostly stayed there until winter of '08 when the net shifted its Bones/House night to Monday and brought in a writer's strike edition of Hell's Kitchen to air after American Idol. New Amsterdam and 'Til Death got brief tryouts in the slot in between the House move and the Kitchen arrival. In fall '08 House returned to Tuesday but at 8:00 leading into newbie Fringe which lasted for the full season in the slot, staying there even after Idol arrived.The 2009-10 season saw the second half of a regular season edition of So You Think You Can Dance, plenty of two-hour Idols, and the back-nine run for Glee. More changes are ahead in fall 2010 as the net goes with new comedies Raising Hope and Running Wilde.

In fall '07 The Biggest Loser took up residence in the 9:00 hour where it has pretty much stayed ever since, with the exception of some Saturday Night Live encores near the end of the '07-'08 season. It returns for 2010-11, coming off a year in which it averaged a 3.74 (fall) and a 3.36 (winter).

In fall '06 the CW aired UPN import Veronica Mars to unsatisfactory results. It was canned at season's end in favor of drama Reaper which stayed there for all of '07-'08 and eked out a second season despite not skewing the way the net wanted. However it was slated for midseason and the CW went with another new drama Privileged in the slot for fall '08. Privileged saw only a small expansion on its original 13-ep order and was cleared out by winter so that 90210 could air in the timeslot, away from American Idol. 2009-10 saw another show get only a small extension in Melrose Place, and repeats took its place once it left the schedule in early 2010. The net will start over on Tuesday in 2010-11 and in this hour that means well-reviewed sophomore Life Unexpected, which averaged a 1.63 in W18-34 in its midseason debut run last season.

Syfy will be airing a lot of its scripted shows on this evening in the future since they've picked up wrestling franchise Friday Night Smackdown! for one of their usual scripted nights. This fall, they go with season 2 of Stargate Universe.

The Biggest Loser (fall) - 3.50 average (-6%), 3.7 premiere (-3%) - these are two-hour averages which I applied on the 8pm post as well, since I won't reliably be able to break it down.
The Biggest Loser (spring) - 3.50 average (+4%), 4.2 premiere (-9%)
NCIS: Los Angeles - 3.25 average (-7%), 3.8 premiere (-14%)
Dancing with the Stars results (fall) - 2.95 average (-11%), 3.5 average (even)
Dancing with the Stars results (spring) - 2.95 average (+5%), 3.2 average (+7%) - I'm projecting the results show stays at 9:00 this year, which will help a bit. I think if they were going to move it back to 8:00, they'd have done it in the fall to give No Ordinary Family a better shot.
Raising Hope - 2.30 average, 3.0 premiere
Running Wilde - 1.67 average, 2.4 premiere

Life Unexpected - 1.47 W18-34 average (-10%), 1.9 premiere (-24%)

Life Unexpected. I'll give Raising Hope and Running Wilde a shot as well. You?

For more, see my 2009 post on the hour.

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