Tuesday, August 23, 2011

22 Fall TV Matchups, Tuesday 8/7c

Today, my fall preview looks at Tuesday 8/7c. Glee joined the hour last fall and was one of TV's strongest shows despite heavy competition; are big drops inevitable, or can it possibly hold off NCIS for another year?

This timeslot rated somewhat difficult in 2010-11. Shows that led off Tuesday night had an even to significantly negative Sitch. Though I expect ABC and CW to continue to struggle and the veterans to drop, it will remain a comparatively difficult timeslot.

This timeslot has been quite an adventure for the alphabet, and they've tried pretty much every genre. Fall of '08 featured reality duds Opportunity Knocks and Homeland Security USA, typical fill-in Dancing with the Stars recaps, and another low-rated run of previous occupant According to Jim. 2009-10 saw more reality with first Shark Tank and then the DWTS results, moved an hour earlier, and in the middle were some low-rated Scrubs episodes and the successful four-episode launch of V. 2010-11 brought a near-full season of No Ordinary Family, the flop return of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and more Dancing recaps. They'll cycle back around to comedy this fall with newbie pair Last Man Standing and Man Up!

Unlike the troubled ABC, CBS can sum this timeslot up with just four letters: NCIS. It premiered in fall 2003 and improbably became a grower several years into its run. It amazingly averaged a series high 4.07 demo in 2009-10, then dropped only a tiny amount last season to a 3.99 demo.

In fall '07 The Biggest Loser returned to Tuesday after a year on Wednesday. Loser has aired almost entirely two-hour episodes since spring 2008, though some episodes last spring were shortened to usher in The Voice. The two 2010-11 cycles of The Biggest Loser averaged a 2.73 and a 2.84.

For much of the aughts, this timeslot was home to chart-toppers like American Idol and House. In early 2009 House finally moved off the night for good, and in fall 2009 the net went with the first half of a two-hour regular season edition of So You Think You Can Dance. It was back to scripted in fall 2010 with Glee, whose results were so stellar they convinced Fox to keep Glee as the Tuesday anchor and move Idol to Wednesday/Thursday. Glee averaged a 4.41 demo and returns to the hour next season, though Fox plans to try out a couple comedies in the hour during a Glee midseason hiatus.

There was reason to be optimistic thanks to the huge debut of 90210 in fall '08 but it had weakened so much by the winter that the net opted to put midseason returnee Reaper in this slot to keep 90210 away from Idol. 90210 returned to 8 for the full season in 2009-10, then in 2010-11 it swapped timeslots with previous Monday fixture One Tree Hill. This fall, 90210 takes on this hour for a third time.

Last Man Standing - 1.70
Man Up! - 1.45
NCIS - 3.69 (-8% from last year)
The Biggest Loser (fall) - 2.33 (-15%)
Glee - 3.53 (-20%)
90210 - 0.72 (-17%)

Glee. I'll probably try ABC's comedies. You?

Previous Tuesday 8/7c posts: 2009 | 2010

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