Pack of Pop: An Entertainment Blog

Has the television industry lost its competitive edge? It seems that networks are no longer putting competing shows up against each other for ratings but rather, are putting them on different nights to ensure viewership.

A prime example of this lack of competitive edge is Grey’s Anatomy, ER, and House. The NBC classic, ER, has held the Thursday night 10 spot for as long as I can remember. With the emergence of new, faster-paced hospital based shows like ABC’s Grey’s and FOX’s House, ER has gotten a renewed interest from viewers. One would expect that either ABC or FOX would put their hospital show on at the Thursday 10 spot.

Neither does. As a matter of fact, Grey’s holds the 9 spot on Thursdays. It is directly before ER. House is on Tuesday nights at 9. Instead of viewers having to choose, they get all three shows, as well as Grey’s and ER back to back.

Another example of this trend is in FOX’s the O.C and the CW’s One Tree Hill. These are the two dominant teen soaps of network TV; they hold the same market. The CW, formerly the WB, has had Wednesday night as its teen soap night since the days of Dawson’s Creek. OTH is on Wednesdays at 9, an hour later than the WB aired it. The O.C. is on Thursdays at 9 against Grey’s Anatomy, CBS’s CSI and CW’s Supernatural. OTH competes with Lost.

Thursday seems to be the big night for television viewers. Where the networks bring out their big guns, including all the shows listed above as well as Survivor at 8. Even the CW, a minor network in comparison to the other networks, has its strongest lineup on Thursday nights. WB favorites Smallville and Supernatural lead the CW ratings and keep it in the running against the strong lineups of other networks.

I guess the point is, even though it’s great to be able to see both my favorite shows about teens or about hospital love triangles, I wonder what I would watch if I really had to choose.

I know One Tree Hill is a major winner and I think Grey’s Anatomy would win over ER. Right now however, I don’t have to choose and maybe that’s the problem; without the competition over shows, it doesn’t matter what you watch because you can always catch a similar triangle the next night on another similar show. I think network TV needs to beef up and show us what it’s made of. It needs to give us something to fight over and to actually have to choose our network and create our loyalties because then it will truly understand its viewers.