"Summertime has long been network TV’s season of experimentation, in part because the stakes are so much lower due to lower ad revenue and viewership," says Josef Adalian. "In years past, summer is how we got shows such as Seinfeld and Northern Exposure and Survivor — ideas once seen as far too out there to put on during the regular TV year. Nielsen numbers have sunk so far in recent summers, I honestly think there’s never been less downside, ratings-wise, to just going wild and doing stuff that’s the opposite of a sure thing. Few folks even notice when a network show comes on and barely cracks one million viewers. Cable ratings have sunk to even more embarrassing lows, but I’m not even sure the Hollywood trades bother to cover those numbers. Doing something flashy and different probably won’t result in notably worse ratings than the usual mix of reruns and reality shows, and there’s the chance a few ideas could break out. To be sure, my throw-caution-to-the-wind strategy falls apart if all you’re looking to do is maximize short-term revenue. A low-rated rerun or reality show makes a lot more money than an ambitious idea which simply matches the ratings of something it replaced. But I don’t think being more creative means networks need to start packing summertime with massively expensive original productions. I think there are ways to get clever and build buzz with some modest, strategic investments that don’t break the bank. More importantly, the goal should be not to dramatically boost summer ratings, but to use the season as a testing ground to identify ideas that might translate well to the regular season and help in broadcasters’ bigger battle — not just to survive, but to thrive." Adalian's proposals include reinventing the TV movie (Reboot Diagnosis: Murder with Neil Patrick Harris! Reimagine The Love Boat!) and bring back soaps, daytime and late-night stars to primetime.