Thursday, April 23, 2009

Next Season's Network Fall Schedules

... are not things I have access to.

There's been a LOT of noise in the last week or so about CBS getting ready for some MAJOR changes in its schedule, and I wanted to say that you should count me as skeptical.

This is the network that just this season reaped the benefits of patience with NCIS, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother. By not shaking their schedule up all the time, these series exploded in the ratings this season.

On the other hand... the CSI franchise is flagging on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10pm and Thursday at 9pm and many of the CSI-like series are aging (Without a Trace, Cold Case, Numb3rs, and Criminal Minds... the first two or which are "on the bubble" with WaT an expected cancellation and Cold Case getting its last run next season).

So, this week and last, CBS has made some interesting scheduling moves that have signaled changes ahead. Or has it? Last Tuesday it aired an original episode of WaT after repeats of NCIS and The Mentalist. This Tuesday is bumped NCIS and The Mentalist up an hour and aired repeats of BBT and Two and a Half Men. Wanna know what it didn't do? Air originals out of their regular time period. This, for me, was more about season averages than testing the waters for a move. I mean, really, CBS has made amazing strides on Tuesdays this season... all it needs to do is find a new hit at 10pm (a spot that has been "cursed" in the past... but y'know what? Law & Order: SVU is vacating next season thanks to Jay Leno, so there won't be the major competition any longer). Last night's 10pm airing of Criminal Minds also is a no-brainer for me to justify... why air an original surrounded by repeats and against American Idol when you can air it after a repeat of itself, in a different timeslot, and not deal with season average loss? At the same time, Criminal Minds is one show I actually can see CBS moving to a different night. It's a proven hit and its current lead-out (CSI: NY) is not dependent on its ratings.

Anyway, I'm going to be taking a look at each of the networks and weighing in on what I think they need and what needs to change...

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