It's the fall canning season
ABC, first to act, puts the lid on Push, Nevada and That Was Then; NBC's Just Shoot Me next?
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/13/2002 8:00:00 PM
Although ABC and media buyers are crowing about the performance of its Tuesday-night schedule, it was the first network to announce cancellations last week, showing that it still has plenty of work to do on the rest of its schedule.
|The Ratings Race|
|Broadcast nets' rating/share|
|Sept. 30-Oct. 6|
|Source: Nielsen Media Research
Getting the ax is ABC's Push, Nevada on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET. It will get its last airing on Oct. 24, right before the sweeps. Also gone, at least for now, is the network's That Was Then, on Friday nights at 9 p.m., which ABC stuck in the "hiatus" netherworld after only two airings. Analysts are wondering how long ABC will be able to support medical show MDs, on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m., which is getting battered by NBC's ratings powerhouse, Law & Order.
"ABC's ratings are still down over last year because their bads are outweighing their goods," says Sam Armando, media director, broadcast research group, at Starcom Worldwide. "Push and That Was Then were really pulling them down."
To fill the hole on Thursdays, ABC will run the two-hour pilot of Monk on Thursday, Oct. 31, and then fill the slot with to-be-determined special programming through November. ABC will move Monk to its new time slot, Mondays at 8 p.m., beginning Nov. 18.
The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which now air Mondays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively, will move to Fridays as of Nov. 8, replacing That Was Then.
Regarding the switch, ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne says: "That Was Then was a good show in a bad time period. We have six remaining episodes that we fully anticipate trying in a different time slot later on."
Lyne also says Push viewers still can compete for the million-dollar-plus grand prize after ABC airs the seventh episode. The network will post revised rules on ABC.com.
Conversely, ABC has purchased full-season orders for the John Ritter comedy, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Life With Bonnie and Less Than Perfect, all of which are turning in strong performances for the network in key demos on Tuesday nights.
Otherwise, NBC is struggling on Tuesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. with last week's seventh-season premiere of Just Shoot Me placing fourth in households and fifth in adults 18-49, performing even below last year's ill-fated Emeril. Dennis Farina's In-Laws at 8:30 p.m. didn't do much better, coming in fourth in households and third in adults 18-49.
Viewers came back to NBC for Frasier at 9 p.m., which took first in the key ratings categories, and Hidden Hills at 9:30 p.m. retained enough of that audience to win the key adult demos.
Through Oct. 6, CBS is winning the race in households with an 8.9 rating/15 share to NBC's 8.6/14, while NBC is hanging on to its lead in adults 18-49 with a 5.2/14 to CBS's 4.3/12.
Elsewhere on the schedule, though having a tough year overall, UPN is happy enough with the performance of new comedy Half & Half on Monday night that it purchased a full-season order of the show, which airs at 9:30 p.m., to finish up a comedy lineup that includes The Parkers, One on One and Girlfriends.
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