Monday, February 6, 2012

Schedule Five-Spot, WE 2/5/12 - Cable Renewals, Alcatraz, Kitchen Nightmares, Awake, Breaking In

After two weeks full of pilot pickups but very little immediate scheduling news, it all came at once, as it so often seems to. So here's the Schedule Five-Spot for a busy week ending February 5, 2012:

Cable Renewals - Lots of these this week. Showtime re-upped its whole current Sunday lineup of Shameless, House of Lies and Californication as did HBO with Luck despite its weak ratings start. Top Chef will be back for season 10 on Bravo. TV Land renewed The Exes, meaning we still don't know how low a TV Land show has to go to get axed. And FX renewed Sons of Anarchy for season six while inking creator Kurt Sutter through a potential seventh.

Alcatraz - Fox had a pretty busy week, starting with a so-called "extension" of the run of Alcatraz even though there are no actual additional episodes. It was originally slated to have two-hour installments in early March and wrap in time for House to lead into Touch. Now Alcatraz will shift to 8/7c and lead into the first three 9/8c telecasts of Touch (including the March 12 encore of the pilot shown in late January). That seems a pretty solid vote of confidence in Alcatraz.

Kitchen Nightmares - Fox picked up what is technically the fifth season of Kitchen Nightmares with a 16-episode order. (It'll be the sixth season in which it is broadcast, as "season one" aired both in fall 2007 and fall 2008.) After getting bumped all over the place in its first few seasons, Nightmares has established itself as one of Friday night's biggest shows, usually winning the 8/7c hour (though it fell behind Shark Tank for a couple recent weeks).

Awake - I called this move after The Firm's Sunday premiere, not that it was that big a reach. NBC finally bumped The Firm, as for some reason the 0.8 on last Thursday was meaningfully more "yikes"-worthy than the 1.0's and 0.9's. In its place will be sure-to-be-acclaimed new drama Awake starting on March 1. Grimm encores will fill in through the rest of the February sweep. Meanwhile, The Firm and its sixteen remaining episodes head to Saturday.

Breaking In - I thought Fox's first arrangement of its Tuesday two-hour comedy block was ridiculous. This one's a little less so, even if the results may not ultimately be much better. With Raising Hope continuing to struggle after New Girl, Fox will bump it down to 8/7c leading into I Hate My Teenage Daughter (previously slated to go post-Idol). And it's Breaking In, the show that got horrible post-Idol numbers last spring, which will get the post-New Girl slot.

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

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