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There’s No Business Like Show Business

By Ken Foote

Remember the 1954 movie, “There’s No Business Like Show Business?”  And the late Ethel Merman singing it? That’s what this week has been for the networks and they all want you to know that “there IS NO business like show business!”

The network television business in America is very competitive on all fronts: competitive in the quest to attract advertisers to spend money and competitive in the quest for viewers. When I was growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, there were still only the three networks and a handful of local independent stations. No internet. No social media. No DirecTV or DISH. And cable was viewed more as a means to extend local television service in areas that could not pick up over the signals real well. Today in 2012, it’s all different. Convergence of various media platforms such as computers and iPhones. Hundreds of channels, programmed almost like radio stations. And consumption of media far different than from the 1960’s.

But there is one thing that hasn’t changed….and that’s being a big tent…….like the CBS Television Network……and it’s a great way to go! And one thing as a viewer is that you can get in for free!

This past Wednesday, CBS executives formally presented the 2012-2013 primetime programming lineup in New York City. CBS is very fortunate in that its schedule had very few weak spots. Not all networks are so lucky!  Of the 25 shows on the fall schedule filling 22 hours of prime time a week, CBS kept intact 21 out of 25 shows or an 84% renewal rate. 4 out of 25 shows received new time periods or 16%. And 4 out of 25 shows are new…again 16%. In a business as competitive as network television, you can’t get much more stable than that!

CBS prides itself on shows that have strong characters that Americans like and can look up to with superb writing and character development. Mark Harman of NCIS (Jethro Gibbs) is one of the most outstanding actors today and is a great example of an actor playing a character that Americans love, worship, and look up to.

The four new shows on the schedule this fall are: Partners (Mondays, 7:30pm), Vegas (Tuesdays, 9pm), Elementary (Thursdays 9pm), and Made In Jersey (Fridays 8pm). Shows that received new time periods were: 2 Broke Girls (Mondays 8pm), Two & A Half Men (Thursdays 7:30pm). CSI: New York (Fridays 7pm), and The Mentalist (Sundays 9pm).

Series that have completed their run on the network include Unforgettable, CSI: Miami, Rules Of Engagement, and A Gifted Man. But you will be able to see syndicated reruns of CSI: Miami this fall, late night Saturday and Sunday, on CBS11. Rules Of Engagement also premieres in syndication this fall on our sister station, TXA21.

Next week we will talk about the new shows that will be premiering this fall on CBS. See you next time!