The fall season officially kicks off in three weeks, their marketing machines have done just about all they can to whet the appetite of the great American public and soon the Nielsen ratings will be making careers and breaking hearts.
Fox, which ended last season on top in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic, is first out of the gate with "Prison Break," bowing today. The show has seen the most positive buzz of all the new-season debuts, according to media agency Initiative's research of consumer-generated online comment.
ABC must continue the momentum it grabbed last season, while CBS wants to keep its Thursday-night dominance going. Industry eyes, however, will be on NBC, and whether it can dig out from fourth place. Advertising Age reporter Claire Atkinson chatted with the Big Four entertainment presidents about what they are most worried about, and what they think they did right. And we asked Doug Seay, exec VP-national broadcast at Publicis & Hal Riney, to weigh in with a buyer's view of the networks' fall season.