The somewhat ballyhooed notion early in the summer that this was to be the “summer of scripted” where the nets would air more original scripted content on broadcast television didn’t pan out. Only ABC’s Rookie Blue could claim success, and by broadcast standards it was only modest. Though had Rookie Blue been on cable and gotten the same numbers it would’ve been declared a hit.
The broadcast networks might have the notion that it’s time to stop ceding the summer scripted landscape to cable, but that didn’t happen this summer. While the broadcast networks could only get one new scripted show off the ground, cable had modest-to-great success with at least four newcomers: A&E’s The Glades, TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles & Memphis Beat and USA’s Covert Affairs.
Those shows joined existing successful scripted summer programming like The Closer, Burn Notice and of course True Blood.
Unscripted programming holds sway on cable too though, and excluding the premium cable True Blood’s impressive ratings, Snooki & the Kardashians frequently lorded over the basic cable ratings with adults 18-49. With no new episode of True Blood in the current week, look for Jersey Shore to rule not just all of cable for the week with adults 18-49, but all of television.