While it hasn’t been as quick on the trigger to cancel underperforming new series as its counterparts Fox and ABC, over the past week NBC has been closely monitoring its schedule, which has not performed as well as the network’s executives had hoped. I hear that the intention is to make as fewer scheduling moves as possible, and if things stay stable this week changes might not be implemented. But with the network’s Monday lineup already setting the tone for a 3rd-week declines last night, we could see NBC going for some scheduling tweaks by the end of the week. Most endangered is freshman drama Outlaw, which drew 1.0 in the 18-49 demo and 4.7 million viewers in the Friday 10 PM slot last week. NBC already has new reality series School Pride launching Fridays at 8 PM next week and could slide the two-hour Dateline from 8-10 PM to 9-11 PM if Outlaw is pulled. I’ve also been hearing that The Apprentice could be moved out of the plum Thursday 10 PM slot after slipping to a 1.3 demo rating there last week. One possible scenario has new Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order: Los Angeles, moving to the Thursday 10 PM slot, with Law & Order: SVU sliding to 10 PM on Wednesdays where the second hour of its two-part premiere preformed very well during premiere week, proving once again that the Law & Order franchise works best at 10 PM. It is not clear if The Apprentice could move to the Wednesday 9 PM slot behind low-rated new spy drama Undercovers. While NBC brass seem to be happy creatively with the civilian edition of The Apprentice, the Donald Trump-starring business competition got hurt by its early launch the week before the beginning of the season and never built momentum in the Thursday 10 PM slot where it was dispatched after production on the new NBC dramedy Love Bites was put on hold.
Meanwhile, in a fallout from the recent axing of ABC’s freshman drama My Generation and Fox’s Lone Star, ABC will air Grey’s Anatomy reruns in the Thursday 8 PM time slot for the next few weeks until it comes up with a permanent replacement for My Generation. And Fox will air reruns of Fringe in the Saturday 11 PM slot where it used to run Lone Star repeats.
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