From Campaign US: Once upon a time, summer was a TV dead zone, a vast expanse of reruns, game shows and leftovers infomercials that drew the paltry numbers it deserved.
That all started to change about 15 years ago, when the influx of scripted shows on cable began creeping into the post-Memorial Day period. It took a while, but the broadcast networks eventually took note, and began expanding their programming strategy to include all 12 months of the year.
CBS drama “Under the Dome,” with an average 11.2 million viewers in 2013, was the first real broadcast scripted summer success. That year, the network even proclaimed that the words “midseason” and “summer” were no longer part of its vocabulary.
Of course, warm-weather programming hasn’t been enough to stanch the overall ratings decline for the networks. But stepping to the plate with more original scripted summer options at least indicates to advertisers that the “Gone Fishin’” sign has been retired. And the chance of a potential new hit offers a stronger promotional platform for the fall. It never hurts to be aggressive.
There are a number of promising entries among the broadcasters this summer, scripted and non-scripted alike. For a look, click here