The Second Wave

A handful of midseason placeholders are rolling in on the heels of what may be the
weakest development period in recent memory. In a year dominated by sophomore comedies like Modern Family and a reprised Hawaii Five-0, the lone new show that generated any life force was, ironically, AMC’s zombie thriller, The Walking Dead. 

As the networks begin rounding the turn into the back end of the 2010-11 TV season, cable has returned to the starting blocks. A wealth of new original dramas has clients lining up for prime-time inventory on baby broadcaster USA Network, fringe channel Syfy and the gritty, gut-busting FX.

And since the year began, marketers looking to reach the young ‘uns are enjoying unprecedented reach. On Jan. 11, Comedy Central’s raucous Tosh.0 scared up a net record of 3.57 million viewers, nearly 80 percent of whom were in the 18-49 demo. On the same night, BET attracted a staggering 7.7 million viewers with its premiere of The Game, making it the No. 1 scripted debut in cable history.
Here’s a roundup of both broadcast and cable midseason slates.