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The Wall Street Journal mentions Pivot’s ‘Please Like Me’

Summer TV Gets Serious

TV Networks aren’t waiting for fall to release big new shows. A look at the season ahead.

By John Jurgensen

The Wall Street Journal – May 22, 2014 –

The broadcast networks have trumpeted plans to take pressure off the traditional fall premiere season by rolling out new shows throughout the year. The summer will test that strategy. Starting this month, the five broadcasters are scheduled to premiere 13 scripted series over the course of the season, up from 10 last year.

Last summer, CBS scored with “Under the Dome,” a Stephen King adaptation that benefited from the network’s marketing clout and held viewers’ attention with a season about half as long as that of a typical network show. It marked a victory in the broadcasters’ ongoing effort to reclaim the season. For years, summer had been the province of cable channels, which took advantage of the big networks’ off-season reliance on reruns and reality shows. More than a decade ago, USA’s summer detective series “Monk” helped spark the onslaught of original cable programming. Showtime planted a flag with “Weeds” in August, 2005, and AMC launched “Mad Men” in July, 2007.

Now, a new bottleneck is forming. Not only do cable channels have to deal with increased competition from each other and the resurgent broadcasters, there are new channels that didn’t exist last summer. Pivot, a new cable channel aimed at millennials, this August offers a second season of “Please Like Me,” a coming-of-age comedy that sneaked onto critics’ “best of” lists last year. More channels are jumping into the fray of original programming. “Manhattan,” a July drama about the development of the atomic bomb, is only the second original series from Tribune’s WGN America. Meanwhile, there are the buzzy offerings from streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix, which is resurrecting “The Killing” (Aug. 1) after it was canceled twice by AMC.

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