There are some animals that will gather and collect a lot of food and then nestle it and themselves away in some place safe and warm for the winter such as a cave or a burrow. They'll then stay put or hibernate until spring or summer comes. Well, like ground squirrels, bears and snakes, the major TV networks have stockpiled and practically gorged themselves in preparation for the winter hibernation, now known as the WGA strike.
It's been reported that all the major TV networks have stockpiled, rushed into production and then delayed the airing of a ton of scripted shows, comedies and dramas that they knew they would need. Once the actual WGA strike began on November 5, 2007, the networks also began green lighting a slew of competition / reality shows to also help fill the gaps that the strike now two months strong have left.
Last week, NBC quickly reinstated its weight loss show The Biggest Loser while CBS plugged its Tuesday night hole with episodes of 48 Hours Mystery, but its resurrected cancelled drama Jericho will soon fill that gap, which should hold that CBS timeslot at least till May sweeps.
NBC held off on its airing its original Law & Order series in the fall and instead premiered brand new episodes last Wednesday, which should keep the Peacock network solid through March. CBS also premiered new episodes of its hit new game show "Power of 10" last Wednesday, a smart, quiz show that I like. The Tiffany network also triple teamed it with reruns of its hit crime dramas, while ABC has a whole Wednesday night of reality fare, including its hit Supernanny. Starting today, ABC will also premiere its Dancing with the Stars spin-off that should help it plug some holes as well.
Sadly, the CW was the least prepared by far and will definitely lose some mass this winter hibernation. It didn't do nowhere near as much stockpiling as the others. Granted, it doesn't have as much network time as the big four, certainly not as much as ABC or CBS, but still three nights out of the week for the next month or two will be nothing but reruns, which will eventually turn viewers off come next sweeps when people will find better or at least more entertaining and fresher things to which to tune.
No question, the FOX network did the best stockpiling. CBS is a close second with designs of importing programs from cable networks like Showtime to the CBS viewers, but I think FOX's schedule boasts the most new and original programming to ensure its viewers won't be bored this winter.
The juggernaut known as American Idol returns on January 15 and the producers have been quoted as having learned from last year's mistakes like Sanjaya and too many celebrity mentors. They promise an even better season this time around. FOX also plans to kick-start its stalwart drama series Prison Break. The network is premiering two brand new comedies and two brand new dramas, including the much anticipated Terminator series, which looks like it's really going to bring all the action and excitement of the smash films to the small screen.