[10/05/09 - 09:08 PM]
The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season: #6 - Shows Rarely Change Networks
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

Welcome once again to "The 10 Things You Need to Know About the New Season," our annual feature about, well... the 10 things you need to know about the new season. The goal of this venture is to address not only common questions people have about television but to also demystify (or potentially reaffirm) stigmas out there about certain networks, time periods, genres and so forth. So with that in mind let us put on our journalistic caps and give you the cold hard truth about what's potentially ahead for some of your favorite new and returning shows...

6. Shows changing networks is the exception, not the rule.

Of the 707 shows to premiere on broadcast television (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, The WB and The CW) in the past 10 years (those that have launched from 9/1/99-6/1/09), guess how many of those aired on two different networks? Excluding the WB/UPN merger, just 18. And if you expand that pool to include the 74 returning shows for the 1999-2000 season, that number grows to only 29. Take a look:

1/3/97 - jag (cbs, from nbc)
9/17/98 - for your love (wb, from nbc)
9/11/00 - hughleys, the (upn, from abc)
9/12/00 - mysterious ways (pax, from nbc)*
9/22/00 - sabrina, the teenage witch (wb, from abc)
10/8/00 - pjs, the (wb, from fox)
9/12/01 - candid camera (pax, from cbs)
10/2/01 - buffy the vampire slayer (upn, from wb)
10/9/01 - roswell (upn, from wb)
1/19/02 - making the band (mtv, from abc)
2/28/03 - grounded for life (wb, from fox)
9/5/04 - surreal life, the (vh1, from wb)
10/3/04 - america's most talented kids (pax, from nbc)
2/14/06 - world's most amazing videos (spike tv, from nbc)
6/4/06 - simple life, the (e!, from fox)
7/18/06 - contender, the (espn/versus, from nbc)
9/11/06 - monday night football (espn, from abc)
10/4/07 - law & order: criminal intent (usa, from nbc)
2/4/08 - paradise hotel (mynetworktv, from fox)
3/5/08 - high school reunion (tv land, from wb)
3/23/08 - futurama (comedy central, from fox)
10/1/08 - friday night lights (directv, from nbc)
10/3/08 - wwe smackdown (mynetworktv, from cw)
1/6/09 - scrubs (abc, from nbc)
4/18/09 - nanny 911 (cmt, from fox)
6/1/09 - i'm a celebrity, get me out of here! (nbc, from abc)
6/16/09 - singing bee, the (cmt, from nbc)
9/25/09 - medium (cbs, from nbc)
TBA - secret millionaire (abc, from fox)

The above means in the past decade, just 3.71% of series have ever made the leap from a broadcast network to another home. And of those only 14 were scripted shows. In other words, on average just one scripted and one unscripted show per season wind up in new homes.

So why such long odds? First and foremost, shows rarely switch networks because they are successful. They switch because they failed the original broadcaster and, if picked up by someone else, have the cloud of "someone else's garbage" hanging over it. Secondly is the cost. Shows on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC simply cost more to produce that shows on cable. This is why there's always talk of behind-the-scenes upheaval (cast, crew, budget, etc.) when a potential move is being discussed. And finally, history shows that outside of a few notable exceptions, the overwhelming majority of network jumps don't pan out in the long run. Of the aforementioned shows, so far only six ("The Contender," "For Your Love," "JAG," "Making the Band," "Mysterious Ways" and "The Surreal Life") went on to run longer on their new networks than their original ones.

At the end of the day, switching networks is a rare feat. So while we hear the cries of "HBO should pick up 'X!'" or "Syfy should pick up 'Y!'" each year, the reality is that the hurdles involved - cost, perception and risk - are only overcome by the very few.

TOMORROW: The iTunes, Hulu and DVD question.

* was intended to move to PAX from the start

  [october 2009]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[11/24/15 - 01:01 PM]
NBC's Annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" Celebrates the Music of the Holidays Live on Wednesday, Dec. 2
Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales will host the live broadcast from New York City's Rockefeller Center.

[11/24/15 - 12:30 PM]
"Jimmy Kimmel Live: The Star Wars Special" to Air Wednesday, November 25 on ABC
Said encore replaces the previously announced repeat of "Nashville" that night.

[11/24/15 - 12:29 PM]
TV One's Hit Scripted Comedy "Born Again Virgin" Returns with All-New Episodes Tuesday, December 8 at 9 P.M. ET/PT
The scripted comedy is back with more dating adventures of three 30-something best friends and the challenges they face while attempting to navigate a new romantic landscape and trying to avoid the pitfalls of empty relationships.

[11/24/15 - 11:30 AM]
Music Icon and Animal Activist Emmylou Harris to Be Honored on "The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration" Thanksgiving Night, Thursday, November 26, On FOX
Eugene Bostick and Michael Schoepf also will be honored as ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things to better the lives of rescue animals.

[11/24/15 - 11:18 AM]
Showtime(R) Documentary Series "Dark Net" to Premiere Thursday, January 21st at 11 PM ET/PT
Each half-hour episode will shed light on themes such as bio-hacking, cyber-kidnapping, digital warfare, online cults, pornography addiction, the webcam sex trade and more.

[11/24/15 - 11:04 AM]
ABC Family Announces Winter Premiere Dates
New scripted drama "Recovery Road" and fan favorite "The Fosters" will now premiere on Monday, January 25.

[11/24/15 - 11:01 AM]
Hallmark Channel Is the Most-Watched Network for the 3rd Consecutive Weekend Among Households, W25-54 and Total Viewers
The Hallmark Channel spins the numbers for the week of November 16-22.

[11/24/15 - 10:38 AM]
With the Cast of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Kimmel" Draws Its 4th-Biggest-Ever Monday Audience
ABC spins the late-night numbers for Monday, November 23.

[11/24/15 - 10:16 AM]
New Year, New You! TLC Amps Up Friday Nights with the Return of Fan-Favorite TLC Talent
Fan-favorite talent including Stacy London, Clinton Kelly, Devyn Simone, Monte Durham and Lori Allen come together to make Friday nights bigger and better than ever.

[11/24/15 - 10:00 AM]
Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster Are Back as "Sesame Street" Debuts Its 46th Season Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 on HBO
The award-winning show will include 30-minute episodes, new preschool-relevant themes, new show opening and closing songs, an updated set, a new segment called "Smart Cookies" and a new cast member, Nina.

[11/24/15 - 09:01 AM]
LL Cool J to Host the 17th Annual "A Home for the Holidays," An Entertainment Special Celebrating Families, To Be Broadcast Friday, Dec. 18 on the CBS Television Network
Special performances are dedicated to these children and their new adoptive families, whose stories are featured in pre-taped segments to help raise awareness of this important social issue.

[11/24/15 - 08:51 AM]
Monday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Holds Off Surging ABC in Demo Race
The Peacock leads the night among adults 18-49 while the Alphabet is the most-watched network.

[11/24/15 - 08:37 AM]
NBC Sweeps 6 of 6 Monday Half-Hours Among the Big 4 in 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Monday, November 23.

[11/24/15 - 08:35 AM]
ABC Ranks as Monday's Most Watched Broadcaster for the 2nd Straight Week
ABC spins the numbers for Monday, November 23.

[11/24/15 - 08:06 AM]
New Premiere Date and Time: Travel Channel's New Series "Planet Primetime"
The series will now launch with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, January 19 at 8:00/7:00c.