Summer is traditionally the dead zone for TV ratings thanks to a combination of repeats and more hours of daylight. (Seriously-daylight savings time? Bad for farmers and for TV executives.) But with the arrival of fall, TV gets back into its groove-and music programming takes full advantage of it. Here are five of the new season’s music events that will garner ratings and buzz for the participants.
1. “2010 MTV Video Music Awards” – Sept. 12, MTV
Will Lady Gaga’s 13 nominations steal the show? Will Kanye West’s performance this year make up for his Taylor Swift-inspired lunacy last year? The VMAs-back in Los Angeles this year at the Nokia Theater-are traditionally an MTV ratings bonanza. According to the network, almost 9 million viewers watched the show live last year; that number went up to 27 million based on repeats on MTV, MTV2 and VH1.
2. “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” – Sept. 3, Disney Channel
With 8.9 million viewers, the original “Camp Rock” in 2008 was the Disney Channel’s second most-watched original movie ever, according to the network. The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato return for the sequel, which will be shown repeatedly across Disney’s platforms over Labor Day weekend in a build to an extended edition of the movie being released on DVD on Sept. 7.
3. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” – Sept. 1, ABC
Country music programming is an almost guaranteed instant win in terms of ratings and this year’s edition of “Country’s Night to Rock” will be hosted by Tim McGraw and feature the television debut of Taylor Swift’s new single, “Mine.” The concert is a warm-up for another major music event, the actual awards show, which is set for Nov. 10 in Nashville and will air live on ABC.
4. “Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It” – Oct. 11, VH1
Bret Michaels ongoing reality juggernaut-we’re up to three seasons of “Rock of Love” now-expands with “Life As I Know It,” which follows him as he tries to balance his home life and touring. According to VH1, the most recent itieration of the “Rock of Love” franchise, “Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels,” debuted in 2009 to 2.1 million viewers, a standout number for the cable network.
5. “Fantasia For Real” – Sept. 19, VH1
It’s a terrible truth that difficult times for a star of a television show often equate to big ratings. (See Bret Michaels, above.) Fantasia’s debut on VH1 was already anticipated in tandem with the release of her album “Back To Me” on August 24; and given the recent news of her overdose, expect fans and the ghoulishly curious to turn in to her reality show.
Looking for more insight into the world of Film/TV music? Attend the Billboard/THR Film & TV Music conference Oct. 27-28 at the Century Hyatt in Los Angeles. To register, go to billboardevents.com.