Perhaps we should place "Network programming manager" on the list of tougheset jobs in the U.S. If recent data is any indication, it's becoming harder and harder for the television networks to break through with programming which reaches a critical mass and effectively competes with other media outlets.
The current broadcast season has already seen the cancellation of a heavily promoted show like The Playboy Club. And, other shows are in line to follow.
Overall, network viewership among adults younger than 50 is down 4.1% from a year ago. Conversely, viewership on advertising-supported cable channels, among this same viewing audience, is up 4% year over year.
The coming weeks are the time when networks analyze the viewership data of the new shows which have premiered and decide whether to pull the plug or keep the show for a second season. If the initial data is any indication, look for some pretty significant cancellations.
(Sources: Nielsen, Wall Street Journal)