ABC’s new Monday strategy: Laughter
It will use Sunday shows to promote sitcoms
January 4, 2006
For ABC, Monday has always been football through the fall and pretty much a void after the holidays, a patch to be filled until football returned.
Now, with “Monday Night Football” over for good, the network at last has an opportunity to build a year-round Monday schedule, and we’ll see the first of that effort this coming Monday.
Think women and comedy. ABC’s strategy is to play off its huge success on Sunday nights with Desperate Housewives to promote a Monday lineup of sitcoms and reality that appeals to the same young women who’ve made “Housewives and Wednesday’s Lost hits.
That’s a dramatic departure from the male football audience of the first half of the season. Football moves to ABC’s sister network ESPN in the fall.
ABC’s Monday lineup as of next week will be the continuing reality show Wife Swap, the new Heather Graham comedy Emily’s Reasons Why Not and the returning Jake In Progress, followed by the latest incarnation of the slumping Bachelor.
We have incredibly strong shows on Sunday nights in the young female demographic, so the idea is to use that as a promotional basis for the next night, explains Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC Entertainment.
Will a huge portion watch the next night? We’ll have to see.
But ABC has little to lose if viewers don’t flock. ABC Mondays post-football have not done well in recent years with movies, though it slightly perked up last year with reality shows.
In one sense, what the departure of football has done is give the network a stretch of months, really until the coming fall, to tinker and experiment as it looks for the right mix of programming.
Comedy and reality would seem that right mix, even with ratings lagging well behind football.
You cannot compare it to football. They’re not going to be getting a 17 or 18 share, but there is potential, says Jordan Breslow, director of broadcast research at MediaCom. Does it compare favorably to the Monday night movie they were running? I think it does.
At 8 p.m., ABC is pitting a proven reality hit against an unproven reality show on Fox, Skating with Celebrities, sitcoms on CBS and UPN, and dramas on NBC and the WB. Fox will bring back drama Prison Break in March.
At 10 p.m., ABC will try to revive one-time reality hit The Bachelor against established dramas on CBS and NBC.
And at 9 p.m., the most competitive hour of the night, ABC is doing what it can with comedies, including Jake, a sitcom that has been tinkered with since averaging less than a 2 adult 18-49 rating for two Thursday episodes starting in midseason last year.
With the conclusion of “Monday Night Football,” CBS becomes the dominant network on the night.
But its four-comedy block and CSI: Miami, while still doing well, is the most vulnerable it has been since Everybody Loves Raymond premiered on Mondays nine years ago. CBS’s average 18-49 rating on Mondays this season is down 15 percent on a year-to-year basis, according to Nielsen Media Research.
ABC’s comedies, as a result, stand a chance of making headway.
Meanwhile, the WB will probably put a drama in that time slot in a few weeks when Beauty and the Geek finishes its run. And NBC will continue with Las Vegas while the Fox drama 24 returns to the network’s schedule. UPN’s African-American comedies will largely attract a different audience than CBS and ABC sitcoms.
But the loss of football also frees it up to create continuity on its schedule from night to night, says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director at Horizon Media.
Typically, it has always been difficult to put something on after football that will work, he says. Now they don’t have to worry about that anymore, which might be one of the upsides of no longer having football.
After nearly 18 years, it’s time to say good-bye
Yet more evidence native advertising doesn’t work
A new type of cord-cutting: Snipping broadband
Coming, the collapse of radio’s iHeartMedia
Weeklies: Surviving if not thriving in digital age
Tweeter in chief: How Trump could save Twitter
Shows Trump hates are seeing big ad gains
Broadcast vs. cable: How the top shows stack up
A sign that coughs at your cigarette smoke
The word: Time Inc. sale is imminent
Rundown: Which advertisers have jumped from YouTube
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
HBO does hard time with Dwayne Johnson
- Arun Kumar becomes chief data and marketing tech officer at IPG
- Jenny Campbell rises to managing director at 72andSunny
- Adam Crandall becomes director of strategy at mono
- Mark Wildman rises to EVP of partnerships at Westwood One
- Kevin Craig rises to SVP of newspaper relations at AMG/Parade
- Bill Corvalan becomes VP of West Coast partnerships at AllOver Media
- Richard Just becomes editor at The Washington Post Magazine
- Gemma Lawson rises to VP and design director at Nickelodeon
- Ashley Judd joins Epix' 'Berlin Station'
- Former NBC ad sales executive Robert Blackmore dies at age 90
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: December 2016
Ad sales rep for a digital-only magazine
Freelance media planner/buyer available for all markets
Wanted: Media buyer in Philadelphia
Paid social media planner wanted in Detroit
Opening for a media planner at a top OOH agency