Magazine article ADWEEK

Nets' Midseason Schedules in Flux over Fox's 'Behemoth': NBC in Holding Pattern as Fox Decides Where Idol Goes

Magazine article ADWEEK

Nets' Midseason Schedules in Flux over Fox's 'Behemoth': NBC in Holding Pattern as Fox Decides Where Idol Goes

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES With the November sweeps ending this week, broadcasters can fully assess the strength of their fall lineups--and begin to shore up those lineups at midseason. But some are finding their midseason plans hinge on those of one other network: Fox.

Following reports that American Idol may move from Tuesdays and Wednesdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays, other networks--most notably NBC--have put their own plans on hold until they can determine how best to avoid what one executive called "Fox's behemoth."

At issue for NBC is whether or not to move My Name, is Earl from Tuesdays to Thursdays. Putting the freshman comedy up against Idol could prove disastrous. Even without Idol there, NBC execs questioned the switch. "The risk is that you can end up doing worse on both nights involved in the move," said Mitch Metcalf, evp of program planning and scheduling for NBC Universal.

CBS also could suffer from an Idol move--about which Fox executives wouldn't comment at press time. Speculation about the switch has focused on Idol's so-called results show airing at 9 p.m. on Thursdays, because competing against NBC's declining The Apprentice would seem more strategic than going up against CBS' Survivor. But CBS isn't sweating--at least, on the record. "We're No. 1 on Thursdays," said Kelly Kahl, CBS evp of program planning and scheduling. "It's taken a while to get there. And, frankly, everyone can schedule around us."

Of course, there are risks for Fox if it moves idol. …

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