It hasn’t been the best week for NBC, which just found out that for the first time in network history it finished fifth behind Spanish-language Univision in the just completed February sweep. Even Jay Leno bashed his network during his Tonight Show monologue last night, rattling off a string of jokes at his bosses’ expense (example: “NBC is doing so badly we don’t have reruns anymore because nobody saw the shows the first time”). Now comes word that the network’s Cleveland affiliate WKYC-TV bumped last night’s scheduled repeats of The Office and Law & Order: SVU, as well as a new 1600 Penn (ouch), for a two-hour Matlock movie that originally aired in 1992. It’s doing it again to the struggling Thursday lineup on March 7 for another Matlock movie.
Station president/general manager Brooke Spectorsky told Broadcasting & Cable that the move was “about maximizing station inventory” and had nothing to do with NBC’s primetime performance, and that originally the station thought 1600 Penn was going to be a repeat. WKYC, which has played the Matlock card before, is banishing NBC’s primetime lineup to a 1 AM Saturday start both weekends.
For the record, last night’s freshman comedy 1600 Penn continued its slide nationally, drawing a 0.9/2, down a tenth from last week to a series low. And Matlock, starring the recently Oscar In Memoriam-snubbed Andy Griffith, for karma topped a repeat of ABC’s post-Oscar Jimmy Kimmel special in the men 25-54 demo in Cleveland, B&C said.