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ABC Slots Comedies ‘Motherhood,’ ‘Samantha’ on Thursday Night

Jan 26, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Perhaps sensing weakness at NBC, ABC has decided to launch a one-hour comedy block on Thursday nights this spring.
Starting March 26, the network will air new half-hour “In the Motherhood” and sophomore sitcom “Samantha Who?” Thursdays at 8 and 8:30 p.m., respectively. That will pit the shows against NBC’s veteran half-hour “My Name Is Earl” and the new untitled Amy Poehler comedy due to premiere this spring.
ABC, as expected, also has decided to pair new comedy “Better Off Ted” with “Scrubs.” However, both shows now will air on Wednesdays starting March 18. “Scrubs” will air at 8, followed by “Ted” at 8:30. (The “Dancing with the Stars” results shows takes over Tuesdays in March).
As for the Thursday move, ABC’s decision means “Ugly Betty,” which currently airs Thursdays at 8, will go on hiatus for at least a few weeks. Announcing the scheduling change Monday, ABC said “Betty” will return to Thursdays when “Motherhood” and “Samantha” end their runs.
Despite plenty of success with one-hour dramas, ABC has struggled to launch comedies in recent years. “Samantha” has done OK, but has received a big boost from its “Dancing With the Stars” lead-in.
One of the big problems for ABC has been finding slots in which to air comedies. During the spring, “Dancing” takes up much of ABC’s Monday and Tuesday lineup, while Fox’s “American Idol” juggernaut makes it difficult to premiere new shows on Tuesday and Wednesday.
ABC schedulers likely figured that since “Ugly Betty” plays somewhat like a comedy, two female-skewing half-hours might fit in well in “Betty’s” current Thursday slot.
Thursdays at 8 have recently been soft for both ABC and NBC. “Betty” has declined notably in the last year—hurt in part by the WGA strike—while NBC’s “Earl,” after a strong start a few years ago, has never recaptured its early ratings buzz.

6 Comments

  1. So ABC is taking a successful show that gets the second-highest ratings in its timespot and replace it with a show that’s doing so-so? Are they kidding themselves? Another reason why CBS is number one.

  2. hey charles, here’s the ugly betty blurb.

  3. I stopped watching Ugly Betty about a year ago. The writing just went south. Maybe it got better, but I just lost interest.

  4. UGLY BETTY IS MY FAVORITE TV SHOW!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT ABC IS DOING THIS!! I LOVE WATCHING UGLY BETTY! WHY CANT THEY JUST CHANGE UGlY BETTY’s SLOT TIME TO a DIFFERENT DAY?

  5. I want Ugly Betty back on, on Thursday night! I’m really irritated that it’s not on, I really like that show. What gives?

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