CW Takes Back Its Sunday Nights, Sets ‘Jericho’ Reruns

Nov 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The CW has decided to take back control of its Sunday night lineup from independent studio Media Rights Capital.
Starting Nov. 30, the network will replace its super low-rated MRC shows with a quirky combination of repeats and a movie package. Among the series getting windows on CW’s new Sunday schedule: The CBS cult favorite “Jericho” and Warner Bros. Television’s “The Drew Carey Show.”
Pre-prime-time hours will feature comedies from 5 to 7 p.m. “Jericho” will air at 7 p.m., with the movies running from 8-10 p.m.
CW Chief Operating Officer John Maatta announced the shakeup in a letter to affiliates sent today. Mr. Maatta was blunt in his assessment of the Sunday schedule, saying that the “MRC shows are simply not working.”
MRC’s deal with the CW gave the network the right to make changes after 13 weeks, but apparently both sides agreed it was in their respective best interest to pull the plug even sooner.
While the MRC series—which included retro-sounding titles such as “Valentine” and “Easy Money”—generated some decent reviews, ratings were beyond abysmal, sometimes coming close to barely registering on Nielsen’s meters.
The full text of Mr. Maatta’s letter follows:
November 20, 2008
Dear Affiliate:
We are now two and a half months into our new season and some terrific progress has been made.
Our strategy this year was to focus on Monday-Friday, particularly the early part of the week. Clearly that strategy has worked, as we are up in our key demographic of women 18-34 by 150% Monday and 41% on Tuesday. “Top Model” continues to shine Wednesdays, winning its time period on a regular basis, while “Smallville” and “Supernatural” continue to keep us in the game on Thursday versus tough competition. Additionally, we have improved our 18-49 demos by 78% Monday and 8% Monday-Thursday.
In the process, we are building a distinct and powerful brand of young-female skewing programming with new shows like “Gossip Girl” and “90210” complementing veteran hits “One Tree Hill” and “Top Model.”
As you know, to focus our efforts on the earlier part of the week, we entered into a time buy agreement with Media Rights Capital to program Sunday night. While this move has clearly paid dividends for the overall schedule, the results on Sunday night have been below expectations. The MRC shows are simply not working.
To that end, we have made a business and programming decision to protect our network and your local interests on Sunday for the remainder of the season.
The programs from Media Rights Capital will have their final airing this Sunday, November 23, 2008. Effective November 30, 2008, The CW will resume programming Sunday nights.
Our plan is to program Sunday with distinctive, first-rate programming that can quickly stabilize the night. We will work with you to promote and market this new night, with a lineup that will include quality scripted series and contemporary theatrical titles. Here is the lineup:
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.: EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS/THE GAME
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.: THE DREW CAREY SHOW
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.: JERICHO
8:00 – 10:00 p.m.: MOVIE
Our Affiliate Relations and Affiliate Marketing teams will be in immediate touch with your personnel regarding this important schedule change.
We will continue to work diligently and find success via the best means possible and move quickly to shore up troubled timeslots. We will continue to invest in new programming that will evolve into valued primetime assets for you, our affiliates, and our parent companies, CBS and Warner Bros.
We appreciate the partnership we have with you, our affiliates, and we will continue to work closely to take our success to the next level.
Sincerely,
John D. Maatta

124 Comments

  1. Smart move by the CW it’s Sunday night is going to be flooded with Jericho fans.
    The fight for season three continues on the Universal HD board. Also watch for the fan made Save Jericho commercial to air Nationally this month on Universal HD.
    Go Rangers!

  2. Jericho has more lives than Lazarus!
    C.

  3. Hope they bring Jerico back. Still a great show. I wonder if CW have the money to produce the show. CBS do something.

  4. Thank you CW for airing Jericho reruns!! My family will be there on Sundays!!

  5. I know what channel I’m going to be watching on Sunday nights! Awesome!!

  6. Do any of you know what channel the cw is on?

  7. Fantastic news about Jericho!!! Thanks so much for covering it!
    Arwen

  8. If the CW were *really* smart, they’d program a run of “Moonlight”, and riff off the “Twilight” buzz.
    Of course, the dunderheads at CBS could have riffed off all this “Twilight” buzz with “Moonlight”, but they chose to pull the plug back in May.
    No wonder CBS ad revenue is off as much as it is!

  9. Wow this is so wonerful I am at a loss for words.

  10. The ship is sinking quickly. Reruns of 90s shows and a rarely watched cult show? Jericho is likely to leave Universal HD soon, too.

  11. Awesome that the CW picked up Jericho. One of my favorite shows

  12. I love these quotes from Mr. Maatta’s letter:
    “a lineup that will include quality scripted series…” Jericho is definitely quality!
    “We will continue to invest in new programming that will evolve into valued primetime assets”
    Mr. Maatta, over 6 million fans are waiting for new episodes of Jericho!

  13. Sunday will likely remain a problem child for The CW in the short term. The competition is too well established, and without a break-out hit, The CW can’t make a dent. Jericho was a good show, but it’s over. Reruns of this are no better an idea than scheduling any one-hour syndicated series out there (I really think fans are dreaming if they think it will get new production). The movies are the key move here — probably relatively inexpensive, and an easy way to fill out the night short-term in hopes of a better future. I wish The CW the best of luck, and I fully support the decision to apply a low-cost band-aid to a wound in the schedule. They just need to hang in there. The network IS growing, and making real progress.

  14. CBS has let go of Jericho, closing down boards on old site and it won’t be long before it’s sold, I can feel it. It’s good to see more stations showing interest in the show as the fan base is still growing. KUDOS to CW for changing the lineup in favor of a great show intead of rerunning an old mindless sit-com. I’m spreading the word and now that it’s on a station that more viewers can see (instead of the UHD) the fanbase will grow even stronger. LONG LIVE JERICHO AND ALL THE RANGERS.

  15. DIE JERICHO DIE! CW will never have two nickels to rub together to make new episodes. UHD will be a totally different network in 2009. Move on with your lives, people.

  16. You’re just pissed because they went with the better show, Jericho over VM! Long Live Jericho!

  17. I am a big Jericho fan and will definitely be tuning in Sunday nights. Thank you, Mr. Maatta.

  18. Anyone expecting new episodes of Jericho to result from the airing of the reruns will likely be disappointed. The reasons why no one stepped forward to buy the show when it was cancelled back in March, remain. It just costs too much to make. And the current plotline involving another US civil war would blow the doors off the budget. Unless you made it silly with cheesy CGI effects like the horrible cartoon Star Wars Clone Wars.
    It is good to see Season 1 back – it was some of the best TV ever that only got better as the season went on. Season 2, though, was budget cut crap from the minds of paranoid right and left wing wackos who think the evil US government the thing we need to fear the most rather than people who really are trying to kill us and destroy our society.
    They might get old fans who deserted Season 2 if they scrap the lame Season 2 and get back to Season 1’s greatness – starting with getting Gerald McRaney back on board. Someone once said they could make Season 2 a bad dream Johnston had during surgery. Im all for that. When he died, the show died for millions of Season 1 fans.

  19. There are the past week ratings for CW on Sunday Nights at 7pm.
    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/11/17/sunday-ratings-cbs-wins-with-nfl-and-obama-nbc-with-romo-fox-with-family-guy/8236
    Time Net Show Viewers (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share 18-34 Rating/Share
    7:00 CBS NFL Football Overun 25.34 7.7/21 6.3/20
    ABC NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup 7.37 2.4/7 1.4/5
    NBC Football Night in America 7.31 2.7/8 2.1/7
    FOX King of the Hill (R) 3.83 1.5/4 1.6/5
    CW In Harms Way (R) 0.71 0.2/1 0.3/1
    7:30 CBS 60 Minutes 24.49 6.4/16 4.7/13
    FOX The Simpsons (R) 5.58 2.4/6 2.8/8
    This is the benchmark by which Jericho will be measured. In the past reruns of Jericho have not performed well. SCI-FI ran them for awhile then cancelled the reruns due to low ratings. In Harms Way is a really low bar. Now if Jericho beats reruns of King of the Hill and Simpsons (better measure) then there may be some reason for hope.

  20. Hurray! Finally, Jericho is getting back on the air where it belongs- although only reruns (for now, anyway!) you can bet that the millions of Jericho fans around the world will be watching CW on Sunday night! Thank you, John Maatta!! Thank you, thank you!

  21. It never had millions of viewers. If it lasts four weeks on The CW, I’ll be surprised.

  22. I am also a big Jericho fan and elated that CW is bringing back Jericho reruns. Hopefully this will lead to bigger and better things.
    I would like to see them bring back (back when it was WB). Either Angel or Buffy the Vampire slayer. Though Whedon has made note that the Buffyverse is not dead. It would be great to see CW bring him back with something such as Buffy or Angel spinoffs.

  23. I am a Jericho fan and I am very happy to see Jericho back on! I will definitely be watching the reruns.

  24. Man oh man like a dream come true, I don’t care if it is reruns I know where my bunch will be on Sunday night. Thank you, Thank you for bringing Jericho back Mr. Maatta we love Jericho, jackjudy1

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