Some interesting observations in this article, especially "Despite new technologies allowing viewers to screen programs at their convenience, Beckman said Fox’s success with audience flow this summer has shown that viewers continue to watch TV in real time." Ahem....TV is not dead and web content is not trying to replace it, but allow more voices and more entertainment choices to be heard. The audience hasn't left TV, but I think increased choice has limited the size any one program can grow.
The strategy of sticking like-minded programming together on the same night is hardly a new concept to retain viewers. "Execs at both networks said flow is only as strong as the shows they develop. But programming the right block of shows can be tricky." And this pairing of similar type formats has been around for ages...ABC did it with Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, Love Boat with Fantasy Island. And NBC, throughout the eighties and into the nineties had Thursday Night Must See TV with 4 - 1/2 comedies. Pairing reality TV shows together, simply applies a different genre to the same old philosophy. And this Fall, NBC will take an existing hit, Heroes, and team it with another sci fi genre show. The audience is already there, why not keep them tuned in for the night. As the article opens, "On a cluttered TV landscape specked with appointment shows and time-shifted viewing, it’s not every day that a network benefits from audience flow anymore." Network execs may simply have forgotten the time tested formula for TV viewing success. Its the strategy that makes TV tick.