Last night, NBC debuted its heavily promoted new singing competition, The Voice. The Voice, of course, is the network's answer to American Idol and a show it hopes will fix some of its problems. At its peak, more than 12 million viewers watched the program, according to Nielsen ratings.
Over on ABC, the successful dancing competition Dancing With the Stars waltzed to the tune of 18.5 million viewers at its peak, taking up two hours of the network's Tuesday-night schedule.
Fox, for its part, aired a supersized new episode of Glee, which features plenty of singing and dancing numbers performed by McKinley High School's Glee Club. Even with a season-low rating, the 90-minute, Lady GaGa-assisted tribute to self-acceptance still drew more than 8 million viewers.
In fact, five and a half hours out of 13 available hours of primetime programming were taken up by shows that feature singing, dancing, or both. Add NBC's The Biggest Loser, and you've got another hour of programming devoted to losing weight. In other words, if you're into singing, dancing, and/or inspiring weight loss, you had plenty of options to pick from. But if you're not, Tuesday night was awfully lonely.
Do Tuesdays really need that much singing, dancing, and weight losing? I don't mean to knock the programs or the taste of the fans who watch them; I simply want to lodge a complaint about the evening's lack of variety. Where's the action show, the science-fiction series, or the comedy block—and why aren't any of the major networks seizing the opportunity to cash in on audiences who like those types of programming instead of trying to cannibalize each other? If you owned a restaurant with a rotating menu, would you serve pizza on the same day as everyone else on the block?
If you take at the options offered elsewhere on Tuesdays, CBS stocks the night with procedurals (NCIS, NCIS: LA) and The Good Wife, while The CW boasts teen soaps Hellcats (which features plenty of dancing as it's about cheerleaders) and One Tree Hill. In addition to Glee, Fox airs Raising Hope, which is misplaced without a buddy comedy companion (Traffic Light usually rounds out the hour). And ABC goes with Body of Proof in the 10pm hour. Even cable has been a desert since the end of FX's Lights Out. Syfy, which should be airing sci-fi, instead gives us a cooking show (Marcel's Quantum Kitchen).
Again, I don't mean to rail against NCIS, Glee, or anything else that airs on Tuesdays. But who do I call to complain about the networks' lack of Tuesday-night variety? There just doesn't seem to be anything appealing for the generic, beer-swigging, 18-49 year-old male who isn't into procedurals, making the night a perfect opportunity for me to go out on the town, watch sports (NHL Playoffs, go Sharks!), or *gasp* read a book.
Do any of you have Tuesday-night recommendations, or are you in the same boat? How would you advise the networks to fix their schedules?