Is Daylight Saving Time Bad For Television?

Illustration for article titled Is Daylight Saving Time Bad For Television?

After Chuck hits an all-time ratings low, daylight savings has started hurting television behemoths like American Idol... So why is Human Target apparently immune, and what can other shows learn from it?

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The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog noted Human Target's strong performance, pointing out that the show even managed to win its time slot, unusually. So what makes Target so unusual?

Firstly, it stood out in its timeslot in terms of genre (It was up against two comedies and NBC's medical drama Trauma), but so did the less successful Chuck; what it offered that Chuck didn't, though, was a done-in-one storyline complete in one hour (Admittedly, one that had continuity call-outs to earlier episodes, but nothing a new viewer would find problematic). With that idea having kept NBC's Law & Order and CBS' CSI franchises not only alive, but surprisingly strong in the ratings, for years, is Human Target a pointer towards a post-Lost direction for genre television that'll be more successful for networks?

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DISCUSSION

I personally like shows that are episodic, and don't require any previous knowledge to get into.

The best shows I have seen combine both the episodic all encompassed in an episode story, and the story arch that happens to come back every few episodes. Supernatural does a good job with this, striking a seamless balance that invites in new viewers and hooks them( I am currently filling out my backlog with the released seasons). Other shows I really enjoyed included the X-Files, which had a nice blend of one-off stories going into many genres of conspiracy and horror, and the alien storyline and the search for Mulder's sister covering the over-arching story department.