The new television season begins tonight with the top four networks bringing back hits such as "House" on Fox and hotly anticipated new programs including "Hawaii Five-O" on CBS, perhaps leading viewers to load up their digital-video recorders to watch programs during the week, reports Bill Carter in the New York Times.
The network feeling the most pressure, however, will be NBC, which will be introducing the new serial drama "The Event," the story says. "NBC believed enough in the show to place it smack in the middle of this ferociously tough night, at 9 p.m.," Carter writes.
The benefit to placing it on Monday is to garner the attention of mostly male viewers tuning into NBC’s National Football League games on Sunday nights. While that strategy makes sense, "The Event" will face a tough competitor on cable: "Monday Night Football" on ESPN, Carter points out. Nevertheless, NBC executives will be studying the DVR numbers for the program, with Angela Bromstad, the president of NBC prime-time entertainment, calling the data "very, very important."
Despite NBC’s ratings challenges following last season’s Jay Leno debacle, ABC is starting off the season with ad buyers concerned, reports Brian Steinberg in Advertising Age.
"Producing better-watched programming is crucial to ABC’s success. ABC has seen its upfront sales decline in recent years, according to recent estimates from Fitch Ratings," Steinberg writes. But some new shows are facing formidable competition, with "Detroit 1-8-7" going up against CBS’ "The Good Wife" at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays, for example.