Video: The Blackboard Jumble

Networks start the new season by going back to school

It is that sunny, uncertain time of year on the offshore islands of network television. The new season has just been launched, and the vice presidents of programming are watching the skies. The winds can blow balmy in these weeks or the weather can turn cruel. The season is young enough for any new show even a thrice-cloned knock-off from an already enervated formula, to have a shot at success. At the same time, the season is far enough along—and computers, demographics and ratings...

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