THREE SUMMER BOOSTS
First, UGLY BETTY found it's own tone after the success of the similar themed story of a fish-out-of-the-water girl getting hired on to do assistant work at a high-fashion print magazine. To be fair, UGLY BETTY has been around for a long time in various forms in other countries and was picked up to go to series long before PRADA succeeded at the box office. But PRADA's summer success sure didn't hurt BETTY's mojo when BETTY got the coveted Thursday at 8PM timeslot before GREYS ANATOMY on ABC.
Next, XMEN: THE LAST STAND was a huge box office winner last summer. People's appetite to see normal people with various super powers uniting to fight evil certainly didn't hurt HEROES success. But HEROES ditched the tights and went for realism...and succeeded on its own terms. Also, HEROES had a difficult time slot opposite TWO AND A HALF MEN (the top rated sitcom on television) and PRISON BREAK (the buzzed about FOX show that ditched the prison confines). It also didnt bode well for HEROES that STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP ended up being such a dud for the NBC network. Still, HEROES managed to attract a huge audience, making it one of NBC's biggest success stories in the last 3 years.
Finally, SMALLVILLE continues to do well, though I wonder if SUPERMAN RETURNS had performed better at the box office that SMALLVILLE would be performing better for the CW. But at 200+ million dollars, SUPERMAN RETURNS was hardly a dud. And it's hard to mess with hottie Tom Welling. That stud is super Yum!