Will Getting "Serious" With Scripted Summer Shows = Success For Broadcasters?

Categories: Broadcast TV

Written By

June 7th, 2010

The LA Times is hardly alone in jumping on the TV meme of the summer.

Broadcast networks – Fox and ABC, at least – are trying to make inroads with summer scripted programming again. And this time, they say they're serious.

How serious are the broadcast networks about scripted summer shows (burn offs not included)?

  • ABC is numerically the most serious. They are premiering the scripted shows Scoundrels, The Gates, and Rookie Blue this summer.
  • Fox has the return of Lie To Me, and the new Good Guys (which had its first airing May 19).
  • CBS has Canadian scripted imports Flashpoint and The Bridge airing in the summer.
  • NBC has the originally planned for the 2009-10 regular season 100 Questions, and Persons Unknown.

Will those "serious" scripted show efforts be successful?

The question of the day sets a pretty low bar for success.

How many new scripted summer broadcast shows will finish with a higher adults 18-49 ratings average than ANY of its OWN NETWORK'S new unscripted shows?

Here's my handicapping:

  • ABC - with so many unknowns in both scripted and unscripted, I think there's a good chance at least one of ABC's scripted shows finishes better than at least one of their unscripted shows.
  • Fox - I think there's a chance Lie To Me can finish ahead of Masterchef.
  • CBS  - No chance either of their Canadian imports top Big Brother.
  • NBC - I don't think their two scripted shows can top any of their unscripted shows.

You can see our (we hope) fairly comprehensive list of summer premieres here if you'd like to judge the unscripted intra-network summer competition.

 
© 2014 Tribune Digital Ventures