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In New TV Season, CBS Has Managed to Avoid Missteps Seen on Rival Networks

Oct 11, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Bill Carter of the New York Times writes that CBS has managed the feat of avoiding the types of failures seen so far this season by its rivals. 

While CBS has long been known to be weak with viewers between 18 to 49 years old, the network has won in that demographic each week of the new season, the story notes. Not one of its new five series has seen the "instant rejection that has already sent “Lone Star” on Fox and “My Generation” on ABC to the remainder bin," Carter writes. And its schedule changes have also worked, he adds.

"But the real eye-opener involves the overall picture for CBS,which is finishing last on no night of the week. More remarkably, CBS is not finishing last in any of the 22 hours that constitute the prime-time week, and is almost always first or second," the story says.

Kelly Kahl, the network’s chief scheduler, says the network’s strategy is what he calls "ball-control offense," which Carter says means that "CBS runs familiar plays, does not throw wildly downfield and still scores often. He said the most familiar metaphor for the CBS approach was the “big tent” theory: If you get as many people as possible into the tent, he said, some of them will be in those younger age groups and you’ll be competitive there as well. "

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