Monday, March 28, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 3/27/11 - NBC Summer, The Paul Reiser Show, Fringe, ABC Summer, Southland/Lights Out

Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending March 27, 2011:

NBC Summer - NBC will have originals (or almost-originals) on five different nights this summer. Monday's got the return of Law & Order: LA bleeding into June, Tuesday and Wednesday have America's Got Talent, Friday has Dateline and the second window of Friday Night Lights, and Sunday will have season two of The Marriage Ref. The net still hasn't set the whole summer sked, as they seem to be waiting on other announcements before slating reality newbies Still Standing, Love in the Wild and It's Worth What? Look for at least one of those to get scheduled around Got Talent.

The Paul Reiser Show - Many thought that NBC's trio of midseason scripted shows on the shelf (Paul Reiser, Friends with Benefits, Love Bites) would all stay there forever and maybe air in the summer. So that means almost anything else is good news for those shows, and that's the news The Paul Reiser Show got. It debuts on April 14 and will air on Thursdays at 8:30 after Community. I still think this show working is a long shot, but it's sure a lot less long than it'd have been if burnt off in the summer (like last summer's 100 Questions). The other two scripted shows? Still the dreaded "TBA."

Fringe - I'd be surprised if you haven't heard this by now, but Fox is bringing back genre drama Fringe for a fourth season. The show's recent 1.5 A18-49s are down about 20% from its Thursday average, but that's not a huge drop by Friday standards (see CSI: NY in the same timeslot) and apparently that was good enough for an early renewal. It also had huge DVR numbers and a whole lot of buzz on its side. I tend to doubt there's much of a future in syndication, but perhaps it can carve out a niche sorta like what Supernatural and Charmed have done on TNT.

ABC Summer - ABC's focusing its original energy this summer on three nights: Monday (first a Bachelorette/Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition block, then Bachelor Pad and newbie America's Karaoke Challenge), Tuesday (anchored by strong vet Wipeout and joined by newbies Expedition Impossible and scripted The Hot Zone) and Thursday (with 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show and sophomore scripted effort Rookie Blue). The Thursday lineup will be joined in late July by Amazing Race-esque Take the Money and Run, previously scheduled for the regular season.

Cable Roundup - These may all get their own "Spot" on a slower week, but not this time! Two broadcast cast-offs secured renewals on their new cable nets, with Comedy Central's Futurama returning for two more 13-ep seasons and Southland getting ten more episodes on TNT. FX canned drama Lights Out, which did a little better ratings-wise than similarly critically beloved Terriers but not enough to make a difference. MTV's picked up a couple more cycles of The Real World, whose currently-airing twenty-fifth season is off to a better start than the previous three.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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