Once again, Fox will be skipping one of President Obama's speeches -- this time to a rare joint session of Congress about health care -- to kick off its fall Wednesdays.
Whether Fox would have done so had George W. Bush been in office remains to be seen, but from a financial stance, the move makes sense for a few reasons. For one, Fox will pretty much have the first hour of programming to itself while ABC, NBC and CBS carry the address from 8-9 p.m.
Doing so will cost those networks about $1 million each in ad revenue, according to TVGuide.com. Fox not only gets the ad revenue, but it also launches two of its most anticipated shows of the season with "So You Think You Can Dance" at 8 p.m. -- which Fox execs are hoping will serve as a perfect placeholder until "American Idol" arrives in the winter -- and "Glee" at 9 p.m., one of the most heavily promoted Fox dramas in years.
As I wrote during the Bush administration, it's a little pointless for all of the networks (except Fox in this case) to carry the same telecast, which is also being aired on several cable news outlets. Of course, any Presidential address should be shown to the public and it should be shown on one network so that people without cable/satellite/internet can watch it for themselves. But switch it around so that all three networks don't lose ad revenue during these economic times. Make Fox rotate it around with the other three networks.
If the speech isn't for you (or even if it is), I do recommend "Glee" as one of the best new shows of the season. It's a brilliant parody with archetypes of various kinds of student caricatures that grows into something more. Plus, it's got great musical numbers and the scene-stealing Jane Lynch.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Leverage" (TNT, 9 p.m.) wraps up its engaging second season with guest appearances by Jeri Ryan and Peter Riegert. It's a series that continues to grow more clever each week and is easily TNT's best offering. Not so good is "Dark Blue," which is also new at 10 p.m.