While ABC, NBC and Fox are busy launching a slew of new original summer
series this year, CBS has a counterstrategy for the current dog days.
According to executive vice president David Poltrack, the network's
primary focus this summer is to build sampling for two of its 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 offseason, The Agency is retaining 80 percent of its in-season
rating, while The Guardian is holding 67 percent,
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, ratings for which, so far, are
better than last summer's Big Brother 2.