Sunday, September 11, 2011

22 Fall TV Matchups, Sunday 10/9c

Today, the end of the road as my fall preview dissects Sunday 10/9c. This hour presents a very different situation for each network. For one last year on ABC, it's the Desperate Housewives lead-out, a timeslot that's launched several successful shows. For CBS, it can be a really tough road because football overruns often push the start of the program nearly out of primetime. For NBC, it's sports in the fall, meaning you can't air something that would be year-round in the first and second quarters.

This timeslot rated easy in 2010-11. As with the previous two Sunday hours, it is the highest-viewed timeslot of the week in this hour. The CBS shows might argue with the "easy" distinction due to their often extended NFL overruns, but ABC's launched several successes here.

9/8c mainstay Desperate Housewives was not just a huge hit in its own right; it was also one of the very few huge hits of the 21st century whose lead-in support launched several other successful shows. The first couple years saw Boston Legal and Grey's Anatomy, but in the last five years it was mostly just used for Brothers & Sisters. Both Housewives and B&S were regular double-digit decliners year-to-year, and after five years that finally added up enough to mark the end of Brothers & Sisters. So the eighth and final season of Housewives will lead into period newbie Pan Am.

Over the last several seasons, this has become a final resting place for declining CBS dramas. Starting in 2007-08, three straight veteran occupants (Shark in 2007-08, The Unit in 2008-09, Cold Case in 2009-10) moved to this timeslot and were axed at season's end. 2010-11 finally saw CSI: Miami buck the trend with a renewal, but it still took a huge drop from its previous season on Monday. It averaged a 2.42 demo and returns to the hour next season.

Sunday Night Football will be demo dominant in this hour again this fall. For the last three years, the net has then gone with Celebrity Apprentice in their post-football world to decent results. For now, NBC plans to slide Apprentice back an hour in early 2012 and try new drama The Firm at midseason.

AMC will go with the tail end of the currently ongoing Breaking Bad season, then launch newbie Hell on Wheels here in November. HBO's got a pair of comedy returnees in Hung and How to Make it in America. Showtime has new drama Homeland.

Pan Am - 2.35
CSI: Miami - 2.16  (-11% from last year)
Sunday Night Football - 7.96 average (-4%)

Got Breaking Bad for a few more weeks, then trying Pan Am and Hell on Wheels. You?

Previous Sunday 8/7c posts: 2009 | 2010

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