Fall TV: Your parents aren't the only ones with favorites

Looking forward to a season’s worth of Fox’s Kitchen Confidential or CBS’ Threshold? Well, you’d better hope they can find audiences on their own. According to today’s Hollywood Reporter, neither of the promising new series is being deemed a priority by their respective networks’ promotional departments. Instead, the article says, Fox is focusing the bulk of its efforts on Prison Break, Bones, Reunion, and its Sunday-night comedy block that includes the abysmal new The War at Home, while CBS is pushing Close to Home, How I Met Your Mother, and Ghost Whisperer. As for the other two major networks, NBC is betting on E-Ring, My Name Is Earl, and Surface, while ABC is backing Commander in Chief, The Night Stalker, and Invasion, the story says.

While it might seem like a strange strategy to go to the trouble of producing a new series, and then putting that baby in a corner, Vince Manze, president of the in-house marketing arm of NBC Universal says if a network touts ”more than three shows at a top level, you’re probably doing too many.”

Not that being a network’s favorite (or its redheaded stepchild) seals a series’ fate. As producer Jerry Bruckheimer recently told EW while discussing the low-profile hit Cold Case: ”Networks pick a few shows to promote heavily. We weren’t one of them. But that changes. Look what happened with the first season of CSI — they were promoting The Fugitive.”

Phew. Good to know. As someone who literally yelped with fright during the Threshold pilot, I’m just hoping history repeats itself. Which new network series are you looking forward to? And how do you feel about their level of network support?


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Comments (4 total) Add your comment
  • Scott

    Given they are promoting heavily shows like, The War At Home and Ghost Whisperer, they are probably throwing advertisement at the shows that need it the most.
    I’m already hooked on Reunion, but, was a little underwhelmed by Prison Break. It’s an interesting premise, but, too far fetched to believe.

  • Ep Sato

    What the deal is with “How I met your mother”? CBS aims for the just under 30 set with this comedy that includes some Genx faves (Dougie Howser, playing the role Hank Azaria played in “Herman’s Head” and Alyson Hannigan from Buffy as the same role she played in “American Pie”), the recent Genx/GenY altrock music (the pilot samples heavily from Beck and the Strokes), but without any creative flair or substance (a laughtrack). Also, if they put so much stock in the show, why not put more into the writing? When it’s good, the timing and dirty humor reminds me of a good episode of “off center”, but when it’s bad it feels like I am stuck in a “very special” episode of “Full House”. Do they really expect a breakaway hit?

  • Miv

    I finally watched 2 full episodes of Prison Break last night and i agree that the premise is interesting, but very farfetched. I kept reminding myself to suspend belief. They obviously can’t bust out of prison too soon- so will season 2 be called- “Still Here”?
    As for How I Met Your Mother–I think it was cute and kind of funny. It’s got the makings of a comfortable traditional sitcom. I am a fan of The Office and Scrubs, but don’t think every new comedy has to be edgy to be funny. Laugh-tracks don’t bother me. I’ll see if it stays funny after episode 1. Doogie is funny in it though.

  • Dan

    “Seinfeld” was never popular with NBC development execs because it broke the traditional rules of structure. (Listen to commentary on season 3 DVDs.) But that didn’t keep it from being one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

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