Question: Why do none of the major networks show new programming on Saturday night anymore? I grew up with TV, and there have been a lot of good shows airing on Saturday nights (i.e., Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, District, Hack, to name a few). Do the major networks think that no one is home on Saturday evening to watch TV? A lot of us "baby boomers" are done running around and partying on Saturday nights and would really appreciate something other than repeats to watch. Is there any hope for us?
Answer: There's no such thing as a simple question. Saturdays are a dead zone for the networks, and I can't see that changing in the foreseeable future. In fact, I worry that Fridays will be the next to go. The notion of there being a "captive audience" for network TV is obsolete; even in recent years, when the networks were still programming original series on Saturdays (CBS, the most traditional network, was the last holdout), there was a sense that most at-home viewers were renting movies or doing anything but watching regular TV on Saturdays. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I don't see anyone turning back the clock. Best advice: Use the night to play back shows you missed earlier in the week. In fact, for at least the first few weeks of the new season, some of the networks are using Saturdays to repeat episodes of some of their new shows. But that probably won't last, because the sad truth is that the umpteenth repeat of a Law & Order or CSI will do better.