Prime-Time Matchup

A breakdown of shows going head-to-head

ABC Dancing With the Stars vs. CBS 2 Broke Girls/ Mike & Molly vs. FOX The Mob Doctor vs. NBC The Voice

As much as you never want to drag a knife through the innards of the golden goose, you also don’t want to let the plucky little revenue source sit around and get too fat to lay eggs. Little surprise, then, that NBC chose to return The Voice for a fall cycle. Not only is it the network’s top-performing entertainment property, it’s literally the only viable lead-in for the new drama Revolution.

Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, The Voice should dominate this particular part of the night. Heading into its 15th cycle, Dancing With the Stars is on the downhill slide, dropping from a 4.5 rating in the 18-49 demo in 2010-11 to a 3.2 this season. And while 2 Broke Girls is the top-rated freshman comedy, it closed out its first campaign at a series low of 3.3. Moreover, 2BG no longer will enjoy the benefit of the How I Met Your Mother lead-in. Instead, the show will be required to build on the new comedy Partners.

Of course, nobody ever got rich by underestimating CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, so it’s possible that Partners will help maintain 2BG’s big deliveries. (Thematically, the two shows would seem to lock into one another like Lego.)

As it’s the only game in town, Fox could steal share among people looking for drama. Newcomer The Mob Doctor shares DNA with its lead-in, Bones, though that drama is beginning to exhibit signs of osteoporosis. 

Continue to next page →