ABC: Easily wins best presentation. The network set out to woo women with its parade of hot guys from the shows and the largely female-oriented schedule. But buyers worry the schedule has a lot of holes, meaning many of its new picks will need to hit. "They are strong because of three shows," said one buyer. "Even ABC has to admit there are a lot of question marks." Another said, "They're putting on 12 new shows and that's risky." "Let's Rob ...," the Mick Jagger sitcom, drew perhaps the most divided opinions on whether it will hit or miss.
CBS: Few scheduling surprises, and generally judged as pretty solid. Most of the Eye network hits, including the multiple "CSIs," "Survivor" and Monday-night comedies, are returning. New shows "Shark" and "Smith" won positive marks from buyers, though one said the network felt a little "too vanilla. It's total middle America."
Fox: Not surprisingly buyers' collective reactions made Simon Cowell look like, well, Paula Abdul. "Great slate, tough night," said one buyer about the event, which was variously described as a "disaster" and "boring." Most positive reaction went to a drama about hostage negotiators called "Standoff." Some also like the sitcom "Happy Hour."
NBC: Its presentation drew a mixed reaction. Some liked the emphasis on digital, others didn't. Programming generally received a thumbs-up from buyers, though reaction to one of the network's biggest hopes, "Studio 60," was tepid, with many saying they will reserve judgment until they see a pilot, since the clips hadn't sold them on it. "They are going to have to sell their brains out on multiplatform," said one buyer. "They have been outflanked and they're going to get hammered."
CW: Best advertiser-focused presentation. The new network launched only two shows and a midseason replacement, leaving buyers to wonder if the same shows can rate more highly if they only come in different wrapping.
MyNetworkTV: Best upfront presentation for "hottest women," according to one buyer. Could be a winner with a small audience with a taste for daytime soaps at night, said another. The network, made up of two "novelas," has a Web site aimed at helping viewers get to know the characters better.