Today, my fall preview looks at Monday 10/9c. Last year proved there's room for two crime dramas in one 10/9c timeslot, but NBC's efforts at a third got squeezed out. This year, they go in a different direction.
This timeslot rated easy in 2010-11, with mainstays Hawaii Five-0 and Castle each having noticeably positive Sitches in large part due to their big lead-ins.
Three different shows aired in the slot in 2008-09, first the final season of law drama Boston Legal, then reality sleeper success True Beauty, then crime newbie Castle, which started modestly but has been one of the very few shows in broadcast primetime to grow each of the last two seasons. Though many predicted ABC would use the Dancing with the Stars lead-in for something new, it's Castle that returns to the hour for a fourth season. Its third season averaged a 2.68 demo
CBS plugged CSI: Miami here in September of 2002 and got a very good eight years out of it in this hour. Its last year in 2009-10 was easily its weakest, both in terms of raw numbers and especially when considering that it had its strongest lead-in (The Big Bang Theory) in several years. That rough going prompted CBS to try a new crime drama in Hawaii Five-0, a reboot of the 1970s show. It couldn't improve on Miami's numbers, but it did OK and will return for season two in the hour. It averaged a 3.04 demo last season.
For NBC it's been a rough ride in the timeslot, as has been the case in many of its 10:00 hours. First, there was a long list of failed lead-outs to previous 9:00 mainstay Heroes: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Black Donnellys, The Real Wedding Crashers, Journeyman, My Own Worst Enemy and the final NBC run of Medium. In the 2009-10 season they started off their weekly strip of The Jay Leno Show here and after its midseason axing it became the final resting place for long-running Law & Order. With NBC mostly a disaster at 9:00 last year, a couple more newbies in Chase and Law & Order: Los Angeles joined the cancellation pile. In the middle, though, they got a somewhat respectable run out of Harry's Law, and this is a network where "somewhat respectable" is more than enough. So Harry gets a second season but heads to Wednesday. This season, NBC actually has two dramas pre-scheduled for the hour: first period drama The Playboy Club, then Broadway-themed Smash at midseason.
It's a surprisingly light hour for scripted on cable, but there are a few unscripted beasts. ESPN's Monday Night Football will dominate the broadcast competition. History's Pawn Stars may not do quite as well as during the regular season, but its 2.0+ demos from this summer could be within striking distance of the broadcasters. And USA will go with its potent WWE Raw.
A18-49 AVERAGE PREDICTIONS
Castle - 2.65 (-1% from last year)
Hawaii Five-0 - 2.70 (-11%) - Castle was actually handily beating Five-0 late last year, but I think the return of Two and a Half Men in originals will get CBS back in the game.
The Playboy Club - 1.67
WHAT I'M WATCHING
I'll try out The Playboy Club. You?
Previous Monday 10/9c posts: 2009 | 2010