Alternate Reality: NBC, CBS Battle Fox’s Idol


In an attempt to keep Fox’s American Idol from running over everything in its path, both NBC and CBS are trying to counterprogram shows that can attract viewers without burning up original episodes of valuable franchises.

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, NBC is airing super-sized episodes of Friends, Will & Grace and Scrubs against the mega-hit Idol. The next week, NBC will air a 90-minute Fear Factor in which contestants will have to jump between two platforms suspended 100 feet in the air and chew cow intestines. Following Fear Factor will be a super-sized Scrubs featuring guest star Michael J. Fox.

This Tuesday, CBS will repeat the premiere of Survivor: All Stars that aired immediately following the Super Bowl on Sunday night. While the show did great in the ratings, with a 20.2 rating/33 share (household), the late close of the Super Bowl on the East Coast likely lost a portion of that audience. A rebroadcast of the Survivor premiere should fare better against American Idol than Navy NCIS.