Tuesday, August 30, 2011

22 Fall TV Matchups, Tuesday 9/8c

Today, my fall preview looks at Tuesday 9/8c. All of the big four bring something back to the hour that they had here last season, so most of the ratings focus will be on hyped newbies New Girl and Ringer.

This timeslot rated easy in 2010-11. Most shows had positive Sitches, with shows like NCIS: Los Angeles and Raising Hope having particularly positive Sitches due to their big lead-ins. It's probably the least competitive of the weeknight 9/8c hours and doesn't look to get meaningfully tougher this year.

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. The '08-'09 Dancing break saw some According to 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 that was just a one-season deal. The second season of V then took over and was the bright spot (or at least the least dark spot) on an overall disastrous ABC winter Tuesday. Dancing returns for two more cycles in 2011-12; it averaged a 3.50 and 3.66 demo in its two seasons on Tuesday last season. Meanwhile, the winter plan is third-year comedy Cougar Town and newbie Apartment 23, which seems to have some good buzz.

This timeslot was the home to the first three seasons of military drama The Unit starting in spring '06. 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: Los Angeles, a spinoff of its 8:00 lead-in, and it returns for its third season in the hour after posting a 3.38 demo average last season.

In fall 2008, longtime occupant of this timeslot House returned to Tuesday but at 8:00 leading into newbie Fringe. The genre drama lasted for the full season in the slot, staying there even after Idol arrived at 8/7c. 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. Then Glee dropped down to 8:00 and led into a couple new comedies in Raising Hope and Running Wilde. Raising Hope did OK and picked up a second season in the hour (now at 9:30), while previous 9:30 shows Running Wilde and spring replacement Traffic Light both bombed. So Fox tries another new comedy, this time Zooey Deschanel-led New Girl at 9:00.

In fall 2007 The Biggest Loser took up residence in the 9:00 hour where it has pretty much stayed ever since. It returns for 2011-12, coming off a year in which it averaged a 2.60 (fall) and a 2.92 (winter). Should NBC need a second night for The Voice at midseason, we might finally see Biggest Loser shortened from its typical two-hour telecasts. But I'll believe it when I see it.

The CW's first lead-out for the new 90210 was another new drama Privileged in fall 2008. 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. In 2010-11 came a couple more shows that ultimately got axed, sophomore Life Unexpected and then the surprisingly weak second half of newbie Hellcats' season. Fall 2011 brings another newbie in Ringer, heavily hyped mostly because it marks Sarah Michelle Gellar's return to the netlet world. Can it succeed where many other young shows have failed recently?

Dancing with the Stars (fall) - 3.45 (-1%)
NCIS: Los Angeles - 3.04 (-10%)
The Biggest Loser (fall) - 2.33 (-15%)
New Girl - 2.43
Raising Hope - 2.17 (-12%)
Ringer - 0.84

Not interested in the returnees, so it's another "try out the new shows" timeslot. New Girl and Ringer.

Previous Tuesday 9/8c posts: 2009 | 2010

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