The Broadcast TV "Summer Of Serious" Gives Way To The "Summer Of Cheap"

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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May 25th, 2011

Last year I teased the members of the TV media who'd declared that during Summer 2010 the broadcast networks were getting "serious" about programming because they'd scheduled a number of scripted original series.

How'd that turn out?

Instead this summer:

  • ABC will be returning Rookie Blue and picking up The Hot Zone (perhaps now known as Combat Hospital?) Both Canadian imports reported to cost ABC as little as $350k per episode. Compare that to the conventional wisdom cost of ~$3 million / episode for a broadcast primetime "in season" drama. That's also cheaper than many unscripted reality shows (costs of which vary all over the map).
  • Fox has no new episodes of scripted shows scheduled.
  • CBS originally had scheduled 13 episodes of Flashpoint, but only 10 will air in the summer since Flashpoint was pulled onto the Friday schedule early after the collapse of Chaos. Flashpoint, also a Canadian import, is certainly cheaper than an original US produced drama, but no reported word on exactly how cheap.
  • NBC has scheduled the 2010-11 season scripted holdover reject Love Bites (and perhaps more, I admit to not checking carefully).

Clearly it's not going to be the "Summer of Serious", so I hereby declare it the "Summer of Cheap"!

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