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It’s The End of TV As We Know It

"Lost" is in its final season after a 7 year run on ABC

With the end of the 2010 spring television season, the landscape we know as primetime is about to take a drastic turn. Taking our time machine backwards five years, we found ourselves falling in love with shows like “American Idol” (Fox), “24” (Fox), “Lost” (ABC), “The Office” (NBC) and “Heroes” (NBC). Now in 2010 as we get ready to move into a new year of television, we find ourselves saying goodbye to some favorites and wondering what’s next for primetime.

When September 2010 roles around, primetime will likely be without “24,” “Lost,” and “Heroes” three shows that became mainstays over the past half a decade. On top of these cancellations and series conclusions are other shows that have begun a decent into the abyss of television mediocrity.

“American Idol” will be loosing Simon Cowell, who is regarded by many as the only musically sound judge that show has ever seen. Regardless of how much people like Ellen Degeneres, Kara Dioguardi and Randy Jackson, there is nothing and no one who could replace the arrogant British snot.

On top of all of this, shows like “The Office,” “Greys Anatomy” and “Law and Order” have become stagnent, afraid to push beyond the huge success they saw in the past few years. Things aren’t all bad. The aforementioned Cowell will be bringing “X-Factor” to the American shores in hopes of revitalizing the music community the same way “Glee” did in September (2009). There are still some solid comedy nights in primetime with CBS Monday’s and NBC Tuesday’s holding their ground and ABC Wednesday’s making a late season charge.

The show’s that will be missed the most are the ones mentioned earlier. Going into the 2010 fall season, there will be a huge lack of one hour drama’s on all of the networks. Fox appears to be in the worst shape. Without a major drama to anchor their lineup, it will be interesting to see how shows like “Bones,” “Fringe” and “House” fair. NBC isn’t sitting in a great position either. With two huge medical drama flops in 2010 (“Trauma” and “Mercy”), NBC will have a lot of spots to fill during the summer (especially if they cancel the ailing “Heroes.”).

CBS stands with the most to gain. No longer having to compete with “Lost” and “24,” CBS’s crime drama series team of “CSI” and “NCIS” could dominate the ratings. Another interesting shift in the television market will occur after 11 PM. With Conan O’Brien’s announcment that he would begin a late night show on TBS at 11 PM, followed by George Lopez, TBS stand to become major players in this market. Competing with Comedy Centrals “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report,” it will be interesting to see what type of shift late night viewing sees.

NBC will likely be the looser in this battle. Similar to running two candidates in a presidential race, O’Brien’s extremely loyal following will join him on TBS while Jay Leno sees his usual, aging audience slowly shrink. David Letterman (CBS) will likely still rule the ratings in late night, playing the steady hand. Things are certainly going to look different this fall. The landscape of television is changing right before our eyes and it will be interesting to see what shows step up and claim some key spots left vacant by primetime veterans.

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  • Comment by Greg posted April 22, 2010 at 18:08

    only one problem with this article. CBS has already been dominating prime time drama, in fact they have been for the past 10 years. CSI was continuously in the top 5 in the middle of the decade peaking at #1 in ratings and now NCIS has taken its title. Although i do love Lost so, it has never seen the success as the CBS dramas.

    Oh and i assume you meant that NBC thursday for comedy.