Who’s Winning Now? Fall Broadcast Season Predictions

Premiere week of the new fall broadcast TV season has finally approached and the tune in rates achieved across the top 5 broadcast networks this week will certainly set the tone for the remainder of the season. Which programs will be deemed the clear winners of their night and time slot will soon be determined as viewers decide if the new and returning programs have won them over, securing their attention for weeks to come.

ABC is highly banking on the success of the remakes of old TV shows such as Charlie’s Angels and period drama Pan AM (modeling the success of period drama Mad Men), whereas CBS is rooting the for the success of its new comedy programs 2 Broke Girls and dramas Persons of Interest. FOX is looking to gain ground during the fall months where it has historically fallen short vs. the spring season with the premiere of X Factor in hopes that this show will capture the interest of American Idol fans. NBC also is anticipating the success of several new comedies such as Up In the Air which stars prior SNL cast mates. The success of other comedies with SNL cast mates such as 30 Rock (Tiny Fey) and Parks and Recreation (Amy Pohler) have proven to be a success which NBC hopes to build upon.

Looking at unique visitor trends to the broadcast sites on Compete.com through August, it appears that ABC has driven the highest rates of interest as we approach the new broadcast season with CBS right on its heels.

This increase in August may be in part due to interest in the summer programs airing on both of the networks as well as the introduction of new fall TV shows. Although interest levels in broadcast programming are much lower during the summer months, there were a few programs on both ABC and CBS that continued to garner strong interest throughout August (Bachelor Pad, ABC and Big Brother, CBS).Focusing on the July to August increases in UV’s, CBS actually came out slightly ahead of ABC (+24.8% vs. +20.7%) however looking at the year over year change, it is ABC that reigns over CBS (+17.8% vs. 15.9%). The question here is which network will take the lead in September.

Investment in media spend to promote the new and returning shows experiences an increases in August as well as the weeks leading to premiere week in September, as networks strive to increase awareness levels. Display advertising for broadcast programs have blanketed the portals sites in hopes of driving consumers research rates for more information on TV programs online. To what extent consumers are engaging with online content will certainly support the results obtained in week one.

I personally have set my DVR to record all new programs that I am interested in watching and will soon make the decision if I keep or delete the ‘series recording’ option on my DVR. What programs have won you over thus far? Is Ashton’s replacement of Charlie Sheen a yay or nay for Two and a Half Men? Can the period drama Pan AM win over TV viewers similar to how Mad Men did? Stay tuned for updates in online visits and search referrals over the next few weeks to help support your predications of what will fail and what will succeed.


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