August 2, 2011

THE SKED: New Fall Show On-Air Promotion — August 1 Update

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>With network on-air promotion activity tracked in hit summer shows (those at or above a 2.0 Adult 18-49 rating) for the second half of July, each network’s marketing strategies are becoming clearer.

FOX, with only a 15-hour a week schedule to support, continues to pound away at three new series: X-Factor and New Girl at a very high level and Terra Nova one notch below.  The table below summarizes the number of seconds devoted to on-air promotion within hit summer shows (Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef and So You Think You Can Dance in FOX’s case). 

In contrast, NBC is promoting more shows (it has more holes to fill in its 22-hour schedule) in two basic tiers.  The top tier includes new comedies Up All Night and Whitney and the Thursday at 10 drama Prime Suspect, which had been the network’s #1 priority by a hair last week in terms of on-air promo time.  The second tier contains Playboy Club, Free Agents, and to some extent The Sing-Off (which arguably could be a third tier).   

CBS is promoting four shows, with three receiving the most promotion time (dramas Person of Interest and Unforgettable, followed closely by the comedy 2 Broke Girls).  Note, however, CBS’s overall new show promo time is quite light as a ridiculous amount of promo time can be called “Julie Chen time”: promos for the 24/7 Big Brother online feed (a tidy profit center) and even promos for The Talk.   

At ABC, Revenge still leads the way, although three other new series (two dramas and a comedy) are close behind.  Starting this week, promos within Wipeout will be added to the ABC analysis. 

Keep checking back each week, as these numbers will be updated cumulatively.

   Fall Series Promos (in seconds)
  In Hit Summer Shows since July 19

FOX      X-Factor          285
         New Girl          280
         Terra Nova        200

NBC    + Up All Night      170
       + Whitney           160
       – Prime Suspect     140
         Playboy Club       95
         Free Agents        75
         Sing-Off           45

CBS      Person of Interest 70
         Unforgettable      70
         2 Broke Girls      60
         A Gifted Man       25

ABC      Revenge            90
         Charlie’s Angels   60
         Suburgatory        60
         Pan Am             60
         Once Upon a Time   30

Note: New fall series not listed
have not been promoted in hit summer
shows during this date span.

To see the list of shows in which
promotion activity is tracked, see
the Summer Broadcast Ratings update.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."