Video: Trying to Beat the Summer Blahs

The networks launch new shows to hold viewers year round

Summer was once a pleasant, carefree time of year in televisionland. Network programmers had a relatively simple job: switch on the reruns, perhaps trot out a few Gold-diggers to spell Dean Martin for the hot months, and relax. If the viewers flicked off their sets and headed for the ball park, so what? They would be back again in the fall.

But those halcyon days are over. Cable, VCRs and independent stations are steadily eroding the networks' share of the TV audience, and that erosion is especially acute in the summer. Just 35.4% of the nation's TV viewers were watching network...

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