Summer TV Shows, Lower Ratings: Where Can We Go From Here?

Summer TV is officially here -- now that the NBA Finals and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season finale is over with. With that in mind, harder questions continued to be asked: Can anything come of the new summer cable and broadcast shows?

Roughly 200 new and returning shows are making their way back to the summer schedules. There’s ABC’s “Astronaut Wives Club”; Fox’s “U.S. Open” golf coverage; USA’s medical series “Complications,” and Spike’s “Guys Choice Awards” -- not to mention all those new TV-like digital offerings from online platforms.

Ratings fractionalization continues to be a troubling scenario for some. At the same time, growing time-shifting and new digital aftermarket deals give these efforts some life.

Right now, TV still exists in its sleepy state, coming off its big season finales and waiting for new stuff to start up. For example, only a handful of broadcast network shows earned more than a 1.0 rating among 18-49 viewers on Wednesday night.



Some new shows are having some ho-hum performances: Fox’s “Bullseye” had a 1.0 rating; CBS’ “The Briefcase” earned a 0.8 number.

TV executives still place a lot of effort on original summer fare, as they have over the last several years, with a now-wide mix of reality, comedy and drama content. CBS has done comparatively well with “Under the Dome” and “Extant,”  in part because it made deals with subscription video-on-demand services.  

But reality shows continue to be the big winners, with NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” CBS’ “Big Brother,”and Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” as  ongoing staples.  Eight of the top-ten-rated summer shows of a year ago came from reality TV.

One thing for sure: TV’s ever harder job in finding new hits will mean some evolving reality for TV executives.

Next story loading loading..