While ABC, NBC and Fox are busy launching a slew of new original summer
series this year, CBS has a counter-strategy for the current dog days.
According to David Poltrack, CBS's executive vice president, the network's
primary focus this summer is to build sampling for two of the networks more
promising sophomore dramas, The Agency and The Guardian.
Both shows are being promoted heavily and The Agency is even getting
some second runs, on Saturday, its new night for next season.
If the ratings are an indicator, the strategy seems to be paying off. So far
in the off-season, The Agency is retaining 80 percent of its in-season
rating while The Guardian is holding 67 percent of its in-season rating,
which in both cases is sharply higher than normal.
Meanwhile, the network still has some entries in the summer programming
sweepstakes, most notably Big Brother 3, whose ratings, so far, are
better than last summer's Big Brother 2.