MNT Blows Out Night of Soaps in May


MyNetworkTV is loading its May sweeps schedule with plenty of specials and movies, allowing it the cut back on a night of low-rated telenovela-inspired programming during the key ratings measurement period.

MNT will rely on reality, entertainment, comedy and music specials, many of which feature lots of skin, and reruns of previous high-rated specials during the month.

It will also offer a pair of Access Hollywood-produced “exposes” on Anna Nicole Smith—whose last special brought the mini-network its highest ratings ever—and Britney Spears.

Meanwhile, MNT will preempt its low-rated Tuesday night telenovela-inspired soap American Heiress, which now airs from 8-10 p.m., with specials.

Except for May 16, when the Smith and Spears specials run, MNT will air one hour of American Heiress on Wednesdays, followed by Saints & Sinners.

MNT President Greg Meidel plans to eliminate scripted telenovela programming entirely next fall after it burns off the two soaps. He is pursuing lower-cost reality programming to fill the bill.

The schedule changes start April 24 with the Hawaiian Tropic International Beauty Pageant and Ujena Bikini Jam.

By choosing to alter its Tuesday night schedule, MNT can use its young male-targeted IFL Battleground platform on Monday to promote the shows, along with other similar fare throughout the month.

The following Tuesday, MNT offers America’s Trashiest Weddings and Body Doubles: International Twins Search, with a two-hour Hooters Dream Girl Challenge scheduled for May 8.

Entertainment specials slated include Night of a Million Laughs, Comics Unleashed, featuring Chris Rock, Chris Tucker and Martin Lawrence; a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Eddie Murphy’s Delirious; and encore presentations of Happy Birthday Elton and The World Music Awards.

During the week of May 14, MNT will air Lethal Weapon 4 and Chain Reaction.