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NBC Tweaks Its Midseason Schedule: ‘Parenthood’ Stays Put, ‘LOLA’ Benched

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is making changes to its midseason schedule. Dramedy Parenthood, which was slated to air 4 episodes in January in its regular Tuesday 10 time period, take a break and then move to the Monday 10 PM berth on March 7, will now remain in its Tuesday slot through the end of the season. Law & Order: Los Angeles, which was scheduled to take over the Tuesday 10 PM slot on Feb. 8, will now be held back, with its return date/slot TBD. The decision comes after two consecutive solid showings for Parenthood (2.3 and 2.2 Live + same day 18-49 rating), which came from winter hiatus 21% higher, as well as an OK premiere for Harry’s Law in the Monday 10 PM slot last night (2.1 demo rating and a time slot-winning audience of 11 million). NBC had planned to air only 6 of the 13 episodes of Harry’s Law on Mondays before Parenthood moved in; now it will extend the run of David E. Kelley’s newest legal drama. The move also won’t break Parenthood‘s current momentum. And last but not least, the decision to hold LOLA will give the Law & Order spinoff some breathing room as it is undergoing major creative changes.

On the unscripted side, NBC is moving series America’s Next Great Restaurant from Wednesdays to Sundays after good early feedback for the new series, including at last week’s TCA. It was supposed to premiere … Read More »

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NBC Cuts Back Order For ‘Love Bites’

Nellie Andreeva

NBC has cut the order to midseason dramedy Love Bites from 13 to 9. The anthology series, originally slated for a fall launch in the Thursday 10 PM slot, was pushed to midseason after a series of setbacks, including the pregnancy of star Becki Newton, the decision by creator/executive producer Cindy Chupack to step down from day-to-day showrunner duties and the exit of Jordana Spiro because of her commitment to TBS’ My Boys. However, word is NBC brass are happy with the episodes they’ve seen and resorted to the order reduction as they’re running out of shelf space for midseason. NBC has 9 new and returning series – 6 scripted and 3 unscripted – on deck for midseason. Love Bites is one of 3, including half-hour comedies Friends with Benefits and The Paul Reiser Show, which are yet to be scheduled.

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Ratings Rat Race: ABC Tops CBS On Friday; Are Scripted Series On The Night Doomed?

Nellie Andreeva

After gaining on CBS for the past few weeks, ABC topped the eye network last night for its first Friday win among adults 18-49 this season. Kudos to ABC for assembling a solid Friday lineup of Supernanny, Primetime: What Would You Do and 20/20. But, after ABC and NBC abandoned scripted programming on Friday this fall, it was comforting to see CBS’ all-original scripted lineup winning the night week after week, proving that it was still worthwhile for the networks to try to program Friday night with scripted series. Will the change of the guard on the night further undermine Friday as a viable scripted night? NBC already announced its midseason schedule, which features only reality/newsmagazines on Friday. Fox, which also just unveiled its midseason plans, is going down from 2 to 1 hour of scripted programming on the night – banished sci-fi drama Fringe. With ABC’s unscripted lineup doing so well, I doubt the network will mess with it. So all eyes will be on CBS, which still packs large audiences on Friday, and whether the network will stay all-scripted on the night following the departure of Medium in January.

For a second consecutive week, an ABC program was the highest-rated on Friday night. Last week, it was Primetime, this time it was 20/20 (2.0/6, 6.8 million), which posted its highest demo rating in 10 months with a Cher interview. Primetime (1.6/5, 5 million) was tied for second place in … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Dramas, ‘Mike & Molly’ Gain As Most Monday Series Tie Lows

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is making changes on Monday in midseason and they can’t come soon enough as the network had another dismal ratings performance  last night, with none of its series crossing the 2 demo rating mark. Chuck (1.8/5, 5.5 million) came the closest, down 10% from its last original 2 weeks ago (it was preempted for Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush last Monday) and tying its series low. In total viewers, it drew its largest audience since premiere week. Freshmen The Event (1.7/4) and Chase (1.2/3) were both flat, tying last week’s all-time lows. NBC (1.6/4, 5.3 million) finished a distant fourth for the night.

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (4.0/10, 20.6 million), which switched from a two-hour to a 90-minute format, was flat with last week’s  season low for a performance show but will probably adjust up in the finals. With Dancing shrunk to 90 minutes, ABC ran a rerun of The Middle (2.3/6) at 9:30 PM to get additional exposure for the underrated sophomore comedy, which has been doing solid business at 8 PM on Wednesday. Castle (2.5/7) was flat with last week and currently tying its season low.

With a Middle repeat instead of original Dancing to go against at 9:30 PM, CBS’ new comedy Mike & Molly (3.8/9, 12.3 million) perked up, up 9% from … Read More »

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NBC Shakes Up Midseason Schedule, Puts 6 Comedies On Thursday & Renews ’30 Rock’

Nellie Andreeva

With its entertainment lineup largely underperforming this fall, NBC is making wholesale changes for midseason with moves on every night, including a rarely-seen on broadcast TV 10-11 PM comedy block for an all-comedy Thursday. Additionally, the network  has given one of those Thursday comedies, 30 Rock, an early renewal for next season, the Emmy winning series’ sixth. It also represents a vote of confidence for the series, which is entering uncharted territory with a Thursday 10 PM slot midseason assignment. In addition to a 3-hour comedy block on Thursdays, which will include Community at 8 PM, followed by new series Perfect Couples, The Office, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock and Outsourced, NBC’s other major scheduling moves for midseason include shifting Parenthood to Mondays, Law & Order: Los Angeles to Tuesdays, Chase to Wednesdays and Law & Order: SVU to 10 PM on Wednesday. “The goal for our mid-season schedule was to keep us in original programming throughout the season and launch several promising new shows, said NBC’s EVP planning and scheduling Mitch Metcalf. “We were looking to add more comedy to our schedule and we believe the best way to do so is to expand our already successful Thursday night.” When NBC gave new Thursday comedy Outsourced a full-season order last month, it became clear that the network wouldn’t be able to contain its half-hours within its established Thursday 8-10 PM block as it also had Parks & Recreation and new entries Perfect Couples and Friends with Benefits on deck for midseason. The network brass explored the possibility of opening a second comedy night but reportedly felt it was not the right time to do so. And, unless it was to go on an assault against CBS’ Monday and ABC’s Wednesday comedy blocks the way CBS did against NBC on Thursday this fall or to bump established Tuesday performer The Biggest Loser, NBC had no real opening for a second comedy night. As for its new all-comedy Thursday, the network already flirted with the idea last spring when it launched comedy reality series The Marriage Ref at 10 PM and in May when it scheduled hourlong comedy Love Bites in the hour. (After a production start delay, the anthology series is now in production for a late spring launch). But airing half-hour comedies at 10 PM on broadcast TV has been very rare and has not fared well so far. However, a 10 PM comedy block is very common on cable TV with such series as HBO’s Entourage and Comedy Central’s South Park. Read More »

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