Commentary

Saturday Night: CBS And ABC Make Sports Noises

Applaud those efforts the networks make to develop new programming ideas for seemingly throwaway time periods.

ABC started up college football a few years ago on Saturday night. Now, CBS is taking another run with martial arts fighting. (It had done this with another producer in 2008).

You might want to make fun of "The Tiffany Network" being associated with a kicking and punching sport. But CBS has the right idea.

Remember, it was the same critics who dissed The Tiffany Network for a new and unusual summer show that debuted in 2000. You know  -- the one where people are stranded on a desert island for around 30 days in a competition-like setting.

CBS didn't just survive that moment. It thrived, ushering in a new genre -- for broadcast TV, anyway.

NBC's experiment of running five nights of Jay Leno is a different animal. Cable networks and syndication have been running multiple episodes of the same show at night for decades. And 10 p.m. is hardly an underserved, underdeveloped time period for broadcast.

Still, networks need to seek other opportunities the way CBS and ABC have done on Saturday. Some Friday time periods, perhaps? Sunday night at 7 p.m., maybe?

Finding low-cost, fresh programming ideas isn't easy. But in the coming years, all TV programmers -- especially broadcast networks -- might need to find alternative programming for traditional time slots.

2 comments about "Saturday Night: CBS And ABC Make Sports Noises ".
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  1. Stanford Crane from NewGuard Entertainment Corp, September 18, 2009 at 10:26 a.m.

    It makes good sense, doesn't it? Men watch TV too, although that seems to escape most network types. If you have good programming they will watch, regardless of the night. Bravo for being bold.

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, September 18, 2009 at 3:35 p.m.

    I don't get the analogy of Survivor and Extreme Fighting! Let me help you out: Survivor on CBS is like Grandma in a swimsuit. Kickboxing on CBS is like Grandma in a bikini.

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