Monday, April 18, 2011

Scheduling Five-Spot, WE 4/17/11 - The Office, Working Class, Happy Endings, The Game, Syfy Summer

I typically try to limit my Scheduling Five-Spots to primetime first-run programming because that's where my ratings data is strongest, but there were a few big stories outside of that arena but still in the general "scheduling" arena this week, like the overhaul of ABC daytime (including the cancellation of One Life to Live and All My Children) and TNT's syndication deal for Hawaii Five-0 (whose dollar amount I've added to my "List of Cable Syndication Deals" post). Here's your Scheduling Five-Spot for the week ending April 17, 2011:

The Office - NBC's been out of the "supersizing" game for almost four years now, but they're gettin' back in for the Steve Carell finale of The Office. That episode will now be 50 minutes long (from 9/8c to 9:50/8:50c) and followed by a 40-minute episode of Parks & Recreation. A regular-length 30 Rock caps off the evening at 10:30/9:30c. Don't expect it to mean much ratings-wise since it's part of such a huge Office event, but I do observe that several supersized season 3 eps of The Office were among the season's lowest-rated, including a 3.2 on 4/5/07 which was easily the season's low.

Working Class - Melissa Peterman's quest to completely take over CMT hit a snag as the network cancelled her sitcom Working Class after one season. Though there was some press about the show's premiere, which found 1.2 million total viewers and set CMT scripted records, ratings info beyond that point was almost impossible to come by (which is never a good sign). Peterman will continue to be a big presence on CMT as host of NBC refugee game show The Singing Bee, though.

Happy Endings - Just one day after the ABC comedy's two-episode premiere, ABC announced that they were scheduling a second episode for the next Wednesday (April 20) as well. What does it mean? I'm sort of stumped on this one, as I have a tough time getting very excited either positively or negatively about the premiere ratings (2.8 at 9:30 and 2.3 at 10:00). I doubt it's a "pre-sweeps burnoff" as there was no chance of actually getting through the 13-episode order by then anyway. PR stunt? Ad rates grab? Genuine belief it'll significantly outrate the Modern Family encore? I dunno.

The Game - As oh-so-boldly predicted here a couple weeks ago, BET has picked up another season of The Game, the unassuming CW sitcom that suddenly became a cable monster after making the move to BET. Joining it in the renewal column is its 10:30 lead-out Let's Stay Together, which typically got around a 1.0 A18-49 and lost a big chunk of its Game lead-in (and crashed in its season finale on April 5 without an original Game pairing) but still must've gotten good ratings by the previously non-existent BET scripted programming standards.

Syfy Summer - Syfy officially released its summer schedule this week. This schedule would seem to signal that the network has almost completely shifted its home base for scripted programming to Monday night. The net will somewhat unconventionally have three straight hours of scripted originals on Mondays starting July 11, with Eureka, Warehouse 13 and newbie Alphas. The lone scripted show that won't be on Monday is the sophomore season of Haven, which gets the post-Friday Night Smackdown! timeslot starting July 15.

More Five-Spots in the Index.


Anonymous said...

My theory is that "ABC is cramming in more episodes while they’re still worth something." It fell 0.6 during the second episode. Modern Family reruns will get better ratings during the summer than burn-offs of Happy Endings.

Spot said...

Yeah, that's what I was getting at with "ad rates grab." If the show is on the decline overall, the eps will have more value the earlier they can get them in.

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