Monday, February 13, 2006

The latest time-slot firestorm

And I can be relevant too!

In this world we call TeeVee, time slots are everything. A bad time slot consigns you to wither away and die. A good time slot means you can survive longer than you probably should have. Unfortunately, with six networks out there (okay. . .only five soon), time slots are getting more and more crowded. As a matter of fact, all of the good shows are being forced to go up against each other while there are many slots where there's literally NOTHING ON.

The case in point from earlier this season was Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST/PST. However, that fight is over now. Survivor and Smallville won (with Dancing with the Stars coming on strong in the latter part of the season). So we now return our attentions to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

Astute people who have talked to me in the past will know that Tuesdays at 9 have been a problem for some time now.

Why, just last season, we had. . .

CBS: The Amazing Race
Fox: House
NBC: Scrubs
UPN: Veronica Mars

all mucking up this time slot. NOT TO MENTION One Tree Hill, which commanded a loyal audience for some reason. And According to Jim which. . .well, we'd best not speak of that.

This season, the slot was slightly LESS crowded with. . .

ABC: Commander-in-Chief
CBS: The Amazing Race
Fox: House
NBC: My Name Is Earl/The Office
UPN: Sex, Love & Secrets
The WB: Supernatural

Now, Sex, Love & Secrets was a pretty awful show, but the other five all had their charms (especially if you subscribe to the theory that the president should really, really, really enjoy babies). If you didn't have multiple TiVOs and VCRs, what were you to do?

But now, at mid-season, this time slot has gotten even WORSE. . .

Observe. . .

ABC: Sons and Daughters
CBS: The Unit
Fox: House
NBC: Scrubs (two episodes per week)
UPN: Get This Party Started
The WB: Pepper Dennis

Reliable old UPN gives us something completely not worth watching, but the other five networks have brought their A-games. Sons and Daughters, The Unit and Pepper Dennis are the three midseason shows TRULY worth watching (if you enjoy, in this order, dysfunctional family comedy, military-themed action drama and "you-go-girl!" adventures in the big city). House remains one of TV's superlative procedurals. And Scrubs is a good go-to for zany comedic fun.

Fortunately, House should be in repeats, but that's still a huge train wreck.

Better to just read a book, I guess.

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