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ABC Weak at Season's End

Discussion in 'Alias' started by Azhria Lilu, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. Azhria Lilu

    Azhria Lilu Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Derbyshire, UK
    Like an overambitious miler who churns up the track on the first lap only to hit the wall in the homestretch, ABC finds itself gasping toward this television season's finish line, winded after a promising start.

    A combination of weak dramas, second-rate reality shows, questionable scheduling maneuvers and a surge by the Fox network broke ABC's surprising fall momentum and pushed it back behind its three main rivals for most of the weeks since January. With a month left in the season, it is likely to land in fourth — and last — place again, both in total viewers and among those ages 18 to 49, whom advertisers crave and the network uses as its benchmark of success.

    Which half of ABC's split-personality season shows up in the fall could have a significant effect on the comeback of the network's parent, the Walt Disney Company. ABC's financial health is so important that Disney's chairman, Michael Eisner, has said fixing the network is the company's top priority.

    ABC's entertainment executives do not consider the network fixed yet. "There is still a ton left to do," Lloyd Braun, the chairman of ABC Entertainment, said.

    But they can find encouraging signs from this season. Although the network is likely to finish behind NBC, CBS and Fox, its ratings so far have gone up more than any other network's, while the median age of its viewers has gone down. (The network did have the Super Bowl helping it out this year, but will not have it in 2004.) And pointing to a batch of comedies, notably "According to Jim" and "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," the executives are claiming a more solid foundation of shows on which to build a schedule for the coming season than at the same time last year. "I feel like we met our goal: We had to stop the bleeding." Mr. Braun said.

    Read the full article here.

    The paper version of The New York Times has a Sydney picture along with this article (in the Monday Business section)
     

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