2009-10 Ratings History

Written Ruing One of Sitcom's Worst Years by Bridger Cunningham (former TVRG writer)

CBS and FOX continued to jokey for the lead position, heaving a 4-tenth network average between 3rd Place ABC and FOX.  CBS stuck to the basics with its Prodecurals, successful reality TV slate and its still-successful Monday night comedy block.  FOX applied the same "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, riding high on reality TV winner American Idol and its Sunday Animation Domination craze.  ABC, still ruling Sundays, struggled to locate winners in its schedule, despite acquiring two strong sitcoms to rebuild its dormant Wednesday comedy block.  NBC, having completed five shameful seasons in 4th place, opted to reinvent the wheel in an effort to ditch failing 10pm hours.  The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, having a steady, dominant run for nearly years, was eyed as a new solution.  NBC plucked Leno out of his post and placed him in a new 10pm variety hour.  Beyond the first week, with most of its showings finishing the season between 69th-102nd Places.  And CW was just there, again. 
To check out other years' ratings, visit the Ratings History Library.   

Trending Hot -- Reality TV was still on top, despite all franchises delivering softer ratings.   CBS and FOX held the real estate premiums on scheduling as American Idol continued to deliver on FOX, and CBS's comedy roster heated things up.  NBC's only noteworthy entry outside reality TV was The Office making Thursdays Must-See-TV again. 

Trending Tepid -- ABC, having enjoyed a refreshing mid-decade renaissance, began to show signs of wear and tear as that era's successful shows aged or ended.  The network still managed to locate a handful of successes in the way of its new comedies.  Soaps began to wane, again, as the trending buzz of CW's 90210 cooled.  Their next continuation of Melrose Place fizzled, even after Heather Locklear made her obliged appearance.  Duplicate shows held mixed fortunes this season.  CBS earned a passing grade with their crime Procedural franchises, while NBC failed miserably with their Leno experiment and axing Law and Order, which tied Gunsmoke's record for being the longest-running scripted drama on television.  

Trending Cold -- NBC was in a world of hurt, thanks to the failed Leno experiment.  Not only did the remaining schedule spaces rate poorly, but the network had few replacements slated in the event of its failure.  CW managed three showings which ranked between 82nd-95th Places, and that was where their fortunes stopped.  Movie nights and Saturday programming became a thing of the past. 

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