MyNetworkTV Sticking With Telenovelas - Broadcasting & Cable

MyNetworkTV Sticking With Telenovelas

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Despite debuting to low national ratings, MyNetworkTV (MNT) says it will stick with its telenovela-inspired format.

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy Friday reiterated the company’s long-term commitment to the new concept, saying there has been no talk internally of switching out the prime time soaps.

“We’re not like other networks where, by the third day of overnights, we pull a show,” he said. “We’re not going to do that," calling it "the early steps of a long journey.”

MNT had earlier abandoned plans to develop low-cost reality fare as possible substitutes, although some producers have said there have been recent conversations about possible replacements.

MNT remains at work on the next 13-week batch of prime time soaps. It is halfway through production on Watch Over Me and 15 days into shooting for Art of Betrayal. Meanwhile, work is underway on scripts for the third cycle.

After ending its first four days during the week ending Sept. 10 with a national score of a 0.5 rating/2 share in adults 18-49—finishing ahead of reruns on UPN (0.3/1) and behind The WB (0.6/2)—MNT slipped slightly this past week.

In metered-market ratings from Monday-Thursday, Desire at 8 p.m. dropped from a 1.0/2 in week one to a 0.9/1. Fashion House at 9 slipped from a 1.1/2 to a 1.0/1. Next week, MNT will face stiffer competition as the new season kicks into high gear and The CW debuts.

The earlier national ratings showed Desire garnering a 0.4/1 in the demo (1.16 million viewers) and Fashion House at 9 posting a 0.5/2 (and 1.28 million viewers). Each declined throughout the week, with little deviation between their standard and live-plus-same-day ratings.

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