You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

2nd place isn’t that bad

TV execs settle for improvement, remaining steady

HOLLYWOOD — In network television, winning means a lot, but it’s not everything.

When victory isn’t possible on a given night, sometimes execs will settle for signs of improvement over where they were a year ago. And in today’s ever-shrinking broadcast universe, even staying flat can be cause for celebration.

Here’s a look at how the Big Six stand on Tuesday nights heading into the 2001-2002 season:

ABC:Net declined by more than 20% in key demos last season (primarily because of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and has returned to a four-laffer block — a formula it used with much success for the previous 24 seasons before the quizzer came around and gave Fox a comedy entry on the night. Despite its troubles last year, it won the night in total viewers (14.1 million), adults 18-49 (5.3/14) and 25-54 (6.0/14) and was second in 18-34 (4.3/12).

CBS: Net was down a mere 2% year-to-year in its 25-54 demo but remained fourth (4.7/11), 3 shares out of the lead. It could close the gap this season, as “The Guardian” seems tailor-made for the 9 p.m. hour and should provide much better flow between hit dramas “JAG” and “Judging Amy” than the inconsistent “60 Minutes II.” Eye was second in viewers (12.6 million) but a solid victory at 8 with vet “JAG” should pave the way to overtake ABC, which is now without “Millionaire.”

NBC: Peacock is again putting “Frasier” on a Tuesday island by itself, surrounded by two rookies (“Scrubs” and the much-bashed “Emeril”) and marginal second-year performer “Three Sisters.” If ABC’s “Bob Patterson” can give “Frasier” a battle at 9, NBC becomes even more vulnerable on the night. Last year, it was third in viewers (11.1 million), 18-49 (4.7/12) and 18-34 (3.9/11).

Fox: Net improved by 30% or more in key demos last season, anchored by hotter-than-ever “That ’70s Show.” It was first in adults 18-34 (5.6/16), second in 18-49 (5.1/13) and third in 25-54 (4.9/12). With one-half of its sked devoted to the night’s biggest question mark — “24” — predictions can be dicey, but in success the drama could put Fox on top in 18-49 for the first time ever on Tuesday.

UPN: Net posted double-digit gains on the night a year ago but remained sixth by all key measures, including viewers (2.9 million), adults 18-49 (1.2/3) and 18-34 (1.1/3). “Buffy’s” two-hour net preem is sure to be a ratings winner, but then it’s up to the Jockstrap net to remind viewers where they can find the slayer. “Roswell,” meanwhile, was an unsung hero for the WB last season, faring well in the tough Monday-at-9 slot; it’s got another tough task here.

The WB: Teenage Superman drama “Smallville” has received plenty of buzz and should keep the Frog in strong shape on the night. Last year, with “Buffy” and “Angel,” the net posted year-to-year gains in adults 18-34 (up 14% to 2.4/7) and 18-49 (up 5% to 2.0/5) but was down an alarming 37% in teens (to a second-place 2.7/9).

More TV

  • 'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by

    'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by 'Crayon Shin-chan'

    The enduringly popular Japanese cartoon franchise “Crayon Shin-chan” has inspired a new animated TV series, “Super Shiro.” “Crayon Shin-chan” has been on air since 1992 and inspired 26 feature films. “Super Shiro” is a fast-paced chase series, for kids, based on original IP by Yoshito Usui and scripted by on Kimiko Ueno.  The series is [...]

  • Us Television Writers and Producers Maria

    Mad Men’s’ Andre, Maria Jacquemetton Set for Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus

    MADRID — André and Maria Jacquemetton, the Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer-producers of AMC’s “Mad Men” and consulting producers on Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” will serve as Guests of Honor at Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus, a workshop whose participants include Denmark’s Christina Miller-Harris and Israel’s Noy Carmel. The Jacquemettons will deliver a masterclass and [...]

  • China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel

    China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel Cop Show ‘Life on Mars’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    A Chinese “Life on Mars” is in the works after BBC Studios and Phoenix Entertainment inked a deal to create a Mandarin-language version of the time-travel cop series. BBC Studios will officially unveil the format deal at Showcase, its annual programming market for international buyers, which is now underway in Liverpool, England. “Life on Mars” [...]

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content