Monday, February 7, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 2/6/11 - Rules of Engagement/Mike & Molly, The Cape, NCIS, Chase, Return Dates

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending February 6, 2011:

Rules of Engagement/Mike & Molly - Two and a Half Men's likely episode losses are Rules of Engagement and Mike & Molly's episode gains, as both shows got a pair of additional episodes added to their season orders (bringing each to 26). Those episodes will likely teach us more about both shows, particularly M&M, which has yet to air an original episode without the 2.5 Men lead-in and has had a retention percentage (81%) similar to that of previous post-Men shows Rules and The New Adventures of Old Christine.

The Cape - With The Cape taking yet another dip last week to a 1.5 (behind the two shows that sandwiched it on NBC, Chuck (1.7) and Harry's Law (2.1)), NBC decided to end production, effectively slashing the episode order from 13 to 10. Now the question is whether the show will make it through the five episodes still in the can. I'd guess NBC will finish it out if it stays at this level, but yet another dip could be deadly.

NCIS - CBS has worked out a deal with lead Mark Harmon and renewed NCIS for another season. It's a no-brainer from a ratings standpoint, as the show is now pretty comfortably CBS' strongest drama (4.09 demo average in this, its eighth season, just about on par with its amazingly series-high seventh season). And that's not even touching the total viewers, where the show exploded to a series-high 22.845 million last week on the day before the renewal. Coincidence?!

Chase - More bad news for NBC drama, as the latest Bruckheimer failure gets pulled. It's a bit of an odd in-season cancellation in that it comes as the direct result of something doing really well (Minute to Win It was over a 3.0 in the 9:00 hour last week) rather than directly as the result of the show bombing. But the show did bomb in that 9:00 hour in its own right, pulling a mere 1.0 and 1.2 in its two airings there.

Return Dates - I spent a couple minutes trying to decide which return date announced this week was most important for the fifth "spot," then decided to just throw 'em all out there. ABC's Dancing with the Stars returns March 21 at 8/7c, ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager on March 28 at 8/7c, Friday Night Lights' NBC second window on April 15 at 8/7c (ten days after the final season's DVD release), and USA's Law & Order: CI (9/8c) and In Plain Sight (10/9c) on May 1.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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