Showtime Loads Up On Originals

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In a move to draw as many eyeballs as possible to its two new originals, Showtime will replay them each in a one-hour block on alternating weeknights at 10-11, plus more weekend play.

Weeds, a comedy starring Mary-Louise Parker as a suburban mom who sells pot to support her family, will get more than token (or should that be tokin') attention, running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10, then repeated at 10:30. Barbershop, a spin-off from the popular movie franchise, will get the same treatment on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

And on the seventh day they rest? Nope. Sunday, the shows will air back-to-back, with Barbershop at 10 p.m. Both will also be available on Showtime On Demand.

Showtime scheduled a four-day freeview for its last original, Fat Actress, and the show’s premiere was Showtime’s highest ever for a series with 944,000 viewers watching the March 7 cable showing and around 900,000 more downloading it from Yahoo.

But the second week’s episode was on a strict viewership diet, down to 315,000 viewers, and the third only drew 270,000. Huff, the network’s previous series, didn't blow anybody's house down, either, despite, heavy marketing.

Weeds actually begins at 11 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, to capitalize on the lead-in from the Queer as Folk finale. It moves to its official timeslot the next night, with new episodes airing Mondays. Barbershop starts Aug. 14, with new episodes airing Sundays.

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