Special Report: It’s No Mystery

NEW YORK After Jump-starting 10 p.m. Sunday courtesy of Without a Trace this season (at a dominant 14.7 million viewers and a potent second-place finish among adults 18-49 behind ABC’s freshman Brothers & Sisters: 4.3 rating/11 share vs. 4.1/11 through May 20, according to Nielsen Media Research data), CBS will move the mystery favorite back to Thursday at 10 p.m., its original home. Out of former lead-in CSI, a proven fit, expect Without a Trace to win the hour in total viewers. But there is still an opportunity for upcoming ABC drama Big Shots to reign supreme among adults 18-49. Led by an ensemble cast including Dylan McDermott (The Practice), Michael Vartan (Alias), Joshua Malina (The West Wing) and comedy star Christopher Titus, Big Shots is a fast-paced relationship drama about four successful male friends who support each other through life’s surprising twists and turns. While leading out of Grey’s Anatomy does not guarantee success (remember Six Degrees?), the soapy antics on Big Shots looks like a seamless fit out of the angst-riddled shenanigans at Seattle Grace Hospital. And airing opposite another season of NBC’s fading ER—probably its last—means that viewers accustomed to serialized plotlines now have a new drama to sink their teeth into. While it is unlikely Big Shots will keep every viewer of Grey’s Anatomy satisfied, it should be enough to guarantee a long-term place on ABC’s schedule. And it will be further proof that two very different dramas can successfully co-exist in the same time period.