The third week of a network season is a critical one. Ratings erosion after a series or season premiere is expected and even acceptable, because it’s understood that not every viewer drawn by hype and marketing will be a satisfied customer. But a continued fall in Week 3 can be a sign of trouble, and if that decline is from a number that wasn’t great to begin with, the trouble could be serious. That being said, let’s take a look at where the networks stand as they begin this crucial week. (Note: since only 2 networks debuted their Monday schedules on the season’s first official day, we’ll include the next Monday in our review of the week.)
NEW GIRL – With a well-deserved full-season pick-up, this is one of the bona fide hits of the new season, so much that the network is already using it as a piece in its scheduling games–a repeat airs in the 9:30PM slot this Thursday , and a new episode next Wednesday at the same time to target the other networks’ new sitcoms.
X-FACTOR – OK, it’s not a blockbuster. But its solid ratings are giving FOX wins on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and that’s the kind of “disappointment” any network would envy.
TERRA NOVA – Similarly, its 3.1 rating isn’t blowing anyone away. Paired with HOUSE, however, it’s keeping the network a strong 2d on Mondays.
Holdovers – HOUSE and the Sunday animation line-up.
GLEE - OK, not “struggling”–it’s still a very strong 2d place in its timeslot. But its time as a phenomenon seems to have passed.
FRINGE – It’s already the poster child for “barely hanging on;” one or two ticks lower and it’ll have to air in a parallel universe.
There are certainly areas for improvement on the FOX schedule, but none of them are disasters.
About the Author
Mitch SalemMITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on screened.com and the-burg.com. In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."
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