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Who, What, When and Where to Watch

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This weekend marks the end of summer and the return to college sports, thank you Touchdown Jesus!  In addition to filling your evenings and weekends with college football, you’ll also have to choose which new fall broadcast TV shows to watch.
You can check out the complete fall schedule at
NBC and ABC lead the pack, with both premiering seven new shows in September, including The Event, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Outsourced on NBC and No Ordinary Family, The Whole Truth and My Generation on ABC.  CBS has five new shows, including two comedies and three dramas, and FOX has three new shows within their two hours of prime viewing every week night.
After reviewing the fall schedule and local avails across several markets, I find it interesting that some of the networks have set their rates at such monumental levels for shows that haven’t been seen yet by anyone outside of a focus group.  As a buyer, I come from the school of offering advertisers reasonable prime rates, with a realistic rating attached, as a means of sampling your new show.   Once the show has been a proven success, I think it’s acceptable to raise your rates in the first quarter.  After all, you have the November book behind you to justify the price now, right?  For a handful of premiering shows, the asking price is already as if the show has earned Idol-worthy numbers across all demos.  If I were in sales, I’d much rather operate under the “under-promise and over-deliver” motto than the “I’ve attached an under-delivery weight schedule for your review” alternative.
In any case, some of the new shows will go on to live long and prosperous lives, while others will go to join the likes of Joey and Samantha Who.  This season, I’m most looking forward to My Generation on ABC.  What new show are you most looking forward to?

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