Question: I am having a hard time understanding how the networks are scheduling programs. To me, it just doesn't seem like the audience for Heroes is going to stick around to watch Studio 60 or The Black Donnellys. I don't think these shows mesh at all together. On ABC, they decided that the order of the Wednesday comedy block should be George Lopez, The Knights of Prosperity, According to Jim and In Case of Emergency. Again, I don't see how the audiences of each of those will stick around to watch the other shows. George and Jim are more family-oriented, and Knights and Emergency lean to adults. Unfortunately, shows like Studio 60 and Knights, both of which I like, are not getting fair chances by getting better scheduling. I'm curious about your thoughts on this.
Answer: I don't really agree where Studio 60 is concerned. While it's true that Heroes cult fanatics aren't the perfect target audience for Studio 60, it was still a powerful lead-in, and NBC kept Studio 60 in the same time period for longer than most networks would have done, hoping that it would grow and build. It didn't. And except for possibly on Sundays, where the competition would also have likely crushed it, there was nowhere else for Studio 60 to go. At least NBC didn't jerk it around before jerking it off the air. Moving a show tends to cause more harm than good, with rare exceptions. On the other hand, with ABC, Knights didn't stand a chance, given the rotten state of the ABC comedies surrounding it, not to mention the show's vague title (they should have stayed with Let's Rob... ) and the offbeat nature of its quasi-serialized plot. Knights, reportedly a favorite of ABC brass, was moved to the earlier time slot to get it out of the way of American Idol, but when you're keeping company with George, Jim and the unwatchable Emergency, there really wasn't much hope, no matter what ABC tried. As you are no doubt already aware, Knights was put on indefinite hiatus this week, while ABC ponders a future for a show that the network would love to see work. (We may still see those Ray Romano episodes, but I'm at a loss to figure out how, when or where.)

On a similar topic, here's this from Mark: "When was the last time ABC had a sitcom that was successful both critically and in ratings? I figure that means it lasted about three or four years at least to get a good blend of both. I would disqualify both George Lopez and According to Jim because those shows have defied all reason in lasting as long as they have (the Matt Millen of the TV world). I guess My Wife and Kids is actually the most successful they've had, but I hardly consider it a hit. Has it really been since Dharma & Greg and Home Improvement?

Sadly, I think Mark's right. I can't remember an ABC comedy since Dharma that had both good reviews and good ratings. There have been gems along the way, including last season's sadly neglected Sons & Daughters, but mostly it's a ghastly track record.