Picks and Pans Main: Tube
The TV season at mid-semester barely rates a passing grade. After a slight uptick last year, network viewing is down again, resuming a decade-long trend of audience erosion. Last year only one new series was a certifiable hit: Home Improvement. This year there are no new successes. Of the nearly 40 shows introduced since the fall, only a handful (CBS's Hearts Afire and Love & War, Fox's Martin, ABC's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and its new arrival, The Jackie Thomas Show) have notched decent ratings. And all of those are artificially bolstered by highly advantageous lime slots. None of these shows is bringing people to the TV set; they're merely holding on to an acceptable portion of the large audiences they inherit from strong lead-ins.
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