New TV Lineups: A Real Competitive Drama

With the networks’ new fall lineups laden with drama and reality series, there’s no shortage of drama building up about the reality of which shows will prevail in primetime’s key battlegrounds next season.

Friday is shaping up as a four-way battle among ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox for the 18-49 demo that generally is in short supply on the night. Monday brings the face-off of quiz shows “Weakest Link” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Jason Alexander’s new ABC sitcom “Bob Patterson” will square off against NBC’s “Frasier” on Tuesday, while “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” newly relocated to UPN, will vie with “Gilmore Girls” for the young female demo.

A big battle between two veteran dramas is shaping up Wednesday at 10 p.m. as ABC’s “NYPD Blue” relocates to the slot where “Law & Order” has shone for many seasons. On Thursday, CBS is betting that “Survivor III” will maintain its edge over “Friends” in the lead-off hour.

And Fox is gamely jumping into the fray at 9 p.m. with “Temptation Island 2,” which could take a bite out of the younger demos for NBC’s “Will & Grace” and “Just Shoot Me” if “Temptation’s” second outing has the same pull with Gen-X viewers.