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Bones wins Thursday Night slot for Fox in its New Time!

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  • Bones wins Thursday Night slot for Fox in its New Time!

    I thought I'd share this article with you guys, since it's definitely happy news for Bones fans, even if not so much for fans of UB...

    Fox Has 'Bones' to Pick on Thursdays While ABC Gets Scraps

    By Lisa de Moraes
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009; C07

    Fasten your seat belts: Thursday night's about to get very rough.

    Less than one week after Fox -- traditionally Thursday's most irrelevant broadcaster -- moved its workhorse "Bones" into the night's 8 p.m. hour and thumped the competition, ABC has been pretty much compelled to announce that it's yanking its ratings-anorexic "Ugly Betty" out of that hour come March.

    That's about the time "UB" will run out of original episodes. And, of course, "Ugly Betty" is a serialized drama. Serialized dramas do not repeat. At all. As in, a really ugly 4.5 million viewers watched the most recent "UB" rerun -- a really good "Nip/Tuck" number.

    ABC suits apparently did the math and realized that Fox could run virtually all original episodes of "Bones" in the time slot for the rest of the TV season.
    In place of "Ugly Betty," ABC will take a whack at a two-sitcom block at 8. ABC wisely chose its two chickiest comedies, Christina Applegate-starrer "Samantha Who?" and the new "In the Motherhood."

    "In the Motherhood," based on the popular Web series of the same name, stars "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Cheryl Hines and Megan Mullally. "Motherhood" story lines will be inspired by the experiences of actual moms -- you can share your potty-training, play-date and stretch-mark experiences on the Web site, ABC said in yesterday's announcement. Guys, don't say we didn't warn you. Oh, and the duck-and-cover date: March 26.

    Thursday continues to be one of the most important nights on the TV landscape. It is the big night for anybody who wants people to shop for their product over the weekend: movie studios, automobile makers, retailers.
    For ages, NBC had a lock on the night. Remember Must See TV? If not, ask your parents -- it was huge.

    Then NBC started programming for margins, moved "The Apprentice" into the night, and it was the beginning of the end. CBS moved into the night with "Survivor" and "CSI" and took control. CBS had a stranglehold on the night for several seasons until, smelling that "aging series" smell, ABC made headlines when it relocated "Grey's Anatomy" to Thursday, which became an 800-pound ratings gorilla at 9 on the night. ABC has always been this close to finding the right "Grey's" companion shows at 8 and 10 but never really got there.

    Back in the 2006-07 TV season, and even in '07-08, "Ugly Betty" looked like the network's solution to 8 o'clock.

    But the critically adored "Betty," which, ironically is from Ben Silverman -- now the co-chair of whatever at NBC -- has lost much of its mojo. This season, it's been averaging only 8.5 million viewers -- nearly a million fewer than last season.

    Last Thursday, "Bones" stepped in and clocked nearly 10 million viewers, winning the hour; it also swept the hour among 18-to-49-year-old viewers, who are the hot blond cheerleaders of Madison Avenue. It marked the first time in more than three years that Fox has been able to take that time slot with a scripted show.

    Of course, in that hour, "Bones" was not battling CBS's "Survivor," which is taking a rest between editions. The next round, "Survivor: Tocantins," debuts Feb. 12.

    But the good news for "Samantha Who?" and "Motherhood": They need only do better than "Ugly Betty" repeats in their time slot to be considered a success.

    Meanwhile, ABC is sending "Scrubs" -- along with new sitcom "Better Off Ted" -- to Wednesdays at 8 (starting March 18), where the two shows will be slaughtered by "American Idol." "Ted" is about a successful good guy named Ted who runs research and development at the "morally questionable Veridian Dynamics." And "Ted" is produced for Disney-owned ABC by 20th Century Fox, while "Motherhood" is produced by ABC Studios. Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with the scheduling?
    All I can say is, go Bones! I'm happy that it helped Fox win that time slot for the first time in 3 years, and that it got nearly 10 million viewers! I still remember people saying the show would get canceled after the first season, if not before, so it makes me happy to see it still going strong, or even stronger three years later (even after it's big screwup at the end of season 3 with Zack)....
    Promise that you'll return to me.

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