The District

2000, TV Show

TV Listings



Why do none of the major ...

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 The notion of there being a "captive audience" for network TV is obsolete; even in recent years, when the networks were still programming original series on Saturdays (CBS, the most traditional network, was the last holdout), there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 ... read more

It seems a given, in the many ...

Question: It seems a given, in the many questions about network scheduling that you receive, that Saturday night is where TV shows go to die, so no one schedules a potential keeper on Saturday. Yet within living memory (mine, at least), CBS had a killer Saturday lineup that would put any recent "must-see" night to shame (All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett). I know we went out on Saturday night in the '70s (and with no TiVo, or even VCRs). It can't just be due to the fracturing of cable — if the audience is really too small on Saturday, then it's too small whether your share is 15 percent or 35 percent. I've been looking back trying to find the tipping point, but I can't see when the landscape changed. What in the business has caused this change in perception? On a completely unrelated note: I have fallen in love with Slings & Arrows. Has there been, or is there going to be, a third season? I need more of New Burbage! Answer: First off, I'm thrilled ... read more

Don't the relatively large ...

Question: Don't the relatively large ratings numbers for NBC's Saturday Olympics coverage prove that there is still an audience for network fare on Saturday night? I'm not convinced many stayed home specifically to watch the Olympics. I think most just flipped around the dial and stopped on something that looked like it was worth watching. Don't the networks create a self-fulfilling prophecy by not programming anything worth watching on Saturday nights and then claiming there's no audience for programming on that night? Worse, it looks like the networks may be headed in the same direction on Friday nights. I'm convinced that a solid comedy block on either night would eventually deliver large numbers for them. Maybe not at first, because viewers are conditioned to avoid the networks on those nights. But if they actually made the effort, I think viewers would follow. Your thoughts? Answer: It's a good and always pertinent question, but this particular self-fulfilling prophecy appears to ... read more

I found an interesting ...

Question: I found an interesting statistic in a recent AP-TV Guide poll. It stated that people watch more TV as they get older: 14.7 hours per week for those 65 and older vs. nine hours for those 18 to 34, the age group most coveted by the networks. I'm not 65 or older, but I am a baby boomer, and although I'm not rich, I have a fair amount of disposable income and I watch a lot of prime-time TV. At the peril of generalizing the 18-to-34-year-olds, it seems to me that not only are they watching less TV, they have less disposable income because if they have jobs at all, they are entry-level, lower-paying jobs. They're also busy raising kids, coaching soccer or, if single, going out with friends to parties, bars etc. Given those (admitted) generalities, and the results of the poll, do you see any possibility that maybe someday the networks will decide we boomers are a somewhat better audience to play to than the 18-to-34 crowd? I'm not getting my hopes up, but it sure would be nice to be ... read more

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Premiered: October 07, 2000, on CBS
Rating: None
User Rating: (30 ratings)
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Premise: A tough Washington, D.C., police chief struggles to shape up the demoralized department and reduce crime. `Mannion is an equal-opportunity abuser,' said the actor who played him, Craig T. Nelson. `As long as you're doing and implementing what he feels is correct, then you're on his team. The minute there is any kind of disallegiance or betrayal or ineffectiveness, you get written off really quickly.' The series is based on the experiences of ex-New York deputy police commissioner Jack Maple.


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