Monday, August 22, 2011

22 Fall TV Matchups, Monday 8/7c

Today, my fall preview looks at Monday 8/7c. Most networks stood pat in this hour last season, but lots of change is in store this season.

This timeslot rated average difficulty in 2010-11. Most shows leading off Monday night had an approximately even Sitch.

In spring 2007, ABC brought in reality tentpole Dancing with the Stars, which has been here on a fall/spring basis ever since. On Mondays in 2010-11 it was one of TV's biggest shows, averaging a 4.31 adults 18-49 rating in the fall and a 4.65 in the spring. For a couple years, ABC struggled to get through the winter months between Dancings, but the return of The Bachelor in early 2009 had a major resurgence and it's filled that role ever since, averaging a 3.26 demo last season.

Since the debut of How I Met Your Mother in 2005, it's aired in this hour and CBS has been trying to find young-skewing comedies to accompany it. In fall of '07 they found one in The Big Bang Theory at 8:30, but the writer's strike unfortunately kept the shows from having originals for the winter, one of the ripest times for CBS comedy growth since ABC's Dancing is out of the picture. BBT and HIMYM switched timeslots after the strike and both came back strong, especially HIMYM which got some help from a couple Britney Spears guest spots. They stayed in place and continued to build momentum the next season, but BBT was moved to 9:30 for fall 2009 and in stepped Accidentally on Purpose, which left after a short season one. Rules of Engagement aired at 8:30 for most of 2010, then in stepped another failed newbie Mad Love for early 2011. CBS will go with yet another new show in 2 Broke Girls this fall, hoping it's more Big Bang than Accidentally or Mad Love. HIMYM averaged a 3.39 demo and returns to 8:00.

In fall '07, Chuck premiered in this hour and has aired here for all four of its seasons. It started off decently enough but the show was cut off after 13 episodes by the writer's strike and replaced by a slew of reality options. NBC went back to Chuck for a full season in 2008-09, and though it was usually 4th in a very tough slot, it got renewed but held for midseason. Reality dud Superstars of Dance filled in for Chuck during December and January of that season. The last hurrah for Deal or No Deal came in this hour late in 2008-09, and its results were downright ugly. Heroes moved to the 8pm hour for fall 2009, but its ratings only got worse, and Chuck showed up again in the second half of that season and then for all of 2010-11. It managed one last renewal, but it's finally leaving its longtime home in favor of a fall edition of The Sing-Off. The show averaged a 2.88 demo in its December run last season. Midseason will bring season two of The Voice, last season's biggest new hit.

In fall 2008 previous occupant Prison Break was bumped to 9 and renewed Terminator: SCC took over the slot with subpar results, so Fox finally moved House to the slot on a permanent basis in early 2009. It's aired there ever since, but it will slide up to 9:00 for its possible final season while heavily hyped newbie Terra Nova leads off for Fox in fall 2011.

In January of '08 the CDub moved Gossip Girl from the post-Top Model slot on Wednesday with not great results but some momentum toward the end of the spring. It stayed there through '08-'09, having its heyday in fall '08 when it spent a couple months consistently above 3 million viewers, but there were big declines late in the season and for fall '09 the net moved it to 9:00 in a swap with One Tree Hill, which aired here in 2009-10. Tuesday staple 90210 then took over the hour for a year, but the revolving door revolves back to Gossip Girl for fall 2011.

ESPN's Monday Night Football is always a very large part of the Monday picture. Most weeks, it kicks off at 8:30 Eastern.

Dancing with the Stars (fall) -  4.18 (-3% from last year)
How I Met Your Mother - 3.05 (-10%)
2 Broke Girls - 2.85
The Sing-Off - 2.05 (-29%) - I think this show will suffer against full-fledged competition, especially Dancing with the Stars, but will still be an improvement over most recent NBC Monday stuff.
Terra Nova - 3.02
Gossip Girl - 0.69 (-20%)

I'm definitely still in for How I Met Your Mother and will try out newbies 2 Broke Girls and Terra Nova. I'm reasonably optimistic I might stick with both for awhile. You?

Previous Monday 8/7c posts: 2009 | 2010

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