Well, FOX is currently giving its upfront presentation [Full Schedule can be found here], and it looks like the network will be using the plum post-Super Bowl spot in February to showcase…a Fourth-season drama which already nets tens of millions of viewers per week.
4:18: Liguori breaks news, announcing that House has landed the plum post-Super Bowl slot on Feb. 3!
Now, FOX, I’ve discussed post-Super Bowl programming way back when this blog began, and I believe that the slot is best used to take an up and coming show that needs an extra boost. I have news for you: House does not need a boost. Just this week it actually BUILT from its American Idol lead-in amongst younger viewers. This show does not NEED the rub you’re giving it, it already has all the success it needs. I know you want people to stick around after the Super Bowl, and I know that David Shore and company will be able to put together a great episode…but they don’t need it. They get millions of viewers as it is.
Now, you might be wondering what exactly I’d suggest go there instead; FOX is certainly not swimming in shows that fit my description. Well, they have one of them, and it’s one that is going to need its help to continue to thrive. That show?
It’s been performing well ahead of American Idol at 8pm on Wednesdays as of late, and is building a loyal following despite a slow start. It’s moving to 9pm on Wednesdays this year, where it will face off with Grey’s Spinoff Private Practice, and then in January the show moves to Friday nights, usually a dead zone for FOX and almost all other networks. The show is going to have a tough year, but it’s still a strong performer.If FOX had half a mind, they would provide this show with a post-Super Bowl episode that could turn it from modest success into a strong Friday night performer for the network. House doesn’t need the ratings, but Bones does, and will even moreso by the time February rolls around. FOX might not have a Friday Night Lights (Which would be so perfect if only NBC had the Super Bowl) kicking around, a show clearly in need of resucitation, but that doesn’t mean that FOX can just slot in its biggest drama success for the hell of it.
I’m sure this is being driven by a combination of ad dollars and a desire to really blow some people away. However, while I respect that concern from FOX, I don’t believe that this is where their head should be. When it comes to the Super Bowl slot, they need to put away their egos like ABC did when it had the balls to schedule the greatest Alias episode of all time in the slot. There was a show struggling to find an audience and needed a boost, and one that survived another three seasons because of it.
I think that Bones has three seasons in it, at this point, but I don’t know if next year’s turbulent scheduling will let it happen. FOX should have taken this fantastic, once every few years, opportunity to do something about that. Instead, they are just going to pump up House further and fail to capitalize on its true power by refusing to allow it to lead-in to new shows. House is fine as it is, FOX, you’ve got more important things to worry about.