Magazine article ADWEEK

Buyers: Few Rock-Solid Shows in Nets' Fall Lineups: Little Besides UPN's Chris Rock Comedy Creates Buzz

Magazine article ADWEEK

Buyers: Few Rock-Solid Shows in Nets' Fall Lineups: Little Besides UPN's Chris Rock Comedy Creates Buzz

Article excerpt

NEW YORK Though media buyers credited each of the broadcast networks--except NBC--for finding at least a few fall 2005 shows that will become solid performers, it wasn't until UPN showed off its Everybody Hates Chris comedy that they felt they had found a truly buzz-worthy show. In general, however, there's a feeling of sameness across all the networks' schedules that left buyers largely unimpressed.

Their predominant complaint was that most of the fall shows fit into one of three boxes: feel-good reality, supernatural or more procedural crime drama. "Every network is starting to look like each other," said Bill Koenigsberg, CEO of Horizon Media. "All the formulas are the same. Everyone seems to be taking the safe route rather than taking some risks."

NBC's slate left buyers with the worst impression--one dubbed it "buzz-less," and others agreed. Their biggest disappointment was that NBC did not present any shows that they see as turning around the network's ratings declines. "NBC no longer is the network of forward momentum," observed one buyer. Mark Kaline, global media manager at Ford Motor Co., added that "I must say I was disappointed with NBC," but he also didn't think any of the networks hit a home run with their new slates.

All the others had at least one promising new program with top-of-mind recall. Receiving nearly universal praise is UPN's Chris Rock vehicle Everybody Hates Chris, which is being touted as a break-out hit and a show that could surpass NBC's Joey at 8 p. …

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