Monday, March 14, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 3/13/11 - Two and a Half Men, Law & Order: LA, Survivor, TNT Dates, Terra Nova

Just missing this week's Sked Five-Spot: Three NBC comedies (Community, The Office, Parks & Recreation) get one-hour finales in May, while ABC fills the late-season Tuesday 8/7c void with reality sophomore Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending March 13, 2011:

Warner Bros. Fires Charlie Sheen - What does Warner's firing of Charlie Sheen mean for Two and a Half Men? To me, it suggests they'll most likely make a run at doing the show without him. Lots of potential replacements have been floated. Since I'm not a viewer (though I'd check out the early post-Sheen eps probably) I'm just as interested in scheduling implications, and my gut says CBS sticks with Men in its Monday 9/8c anchor spot and continues establishing comedy Thursday with The Big Bang Theory.

Law & Order: Los Angeles Return - The somewhat bizarre and troubled run for Law & Order: LA resumes on April 11 with a two-hour event (preempting the actual The Event) that will explain the show's major cast overhauls. They'll have enough eps in the can to keep running originals into the summer. The weirdest thing about this development is that the originals in the summer will actually be episodes filmed before all the overhauling began, meaning the original cast will be back in action after several weeks without them.

Survivor Renewed - CBS has signed up host Jeff Probst for another couple seasons of reality tentpole Survivor, the series' 23rd and 24th overall. The show is actually off to its worst ratings start in franchise history this spring, but there's a pretty easy explanation: it's regularly facing American Idol for the first time ever. Considering that and considering the hit unscripted shows usually take against the Death Star, its low-3 demo has remained quite a solid option for CBS.

TNT Dates - TNT's summer sked has programming on four nights. Monday has the only intact returning lineup in The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles (back on 7/11). Tuesday returns Memphis Beat and HawthoRNe (6/14), but they switch timeslots with Beat now leading off at 9/8c. Wednesday's got legal newbie Franklin & Bash leading into Men of a Certain Age (6/1), while new alien invasion drama Falling Skies gets a two-hour premiere on Sunday 6/19 and then leads out of 9/8c returnee Leverage starting the next Sunday.

Terra Nova Bumped - As noted earlier, the plan with Fox's highly anticipated fall 2011 drama Terra Nova was to give it a May sweeps sampling that would let the buzz build over the summer (a tactic that worked brilliantly with Glee). Unfortunately, that's now not happening. Fox says that difficulties with the special effects will prevent the show from being ready at all until the fall.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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