I wanted to do a blog entry yesterday on ABC's decision to move "Scrubs" to Wednesday and set up a sitcom bloc on Thursdays from 8 to 9, but I needed to nail down one detail first. Some thoughts on the moves, and also what that says about the state of NBC's once-dominant Thursday sitcoms, coming up after the jump...
As the story I linked to above says, "Scrubs" is going to move to Wednesdays at 8 in mid-March, where it'll be paired with "Better Off Ted," a new comedy from Victor Fresco that's very much in the vein of his Fox show "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (though what I've seen so far isn't as good as "Andy Richter" was). Originally, ABC was going to air new "Scrubs" episodes back-to-back on Tuesdays until they'd run through all 18 from this season, at which point the show was going to give way to the return of "Dancing with the Stars." Instead, tonight's episodes will be the last two originals until the move to Wednesday -- ABC will air "Scrubs" repeats from 9 to 10 until "Dancing" is back -- and obviously only one episode will air per week, along with "Ted." If I've done the math right, there will be 12 episodes of "Scrubs" remaining and only 10 weeks to go in the season when it moves to Wednesdays. But I also don't know how many episodes of "Ted" are being made, and so I suppose "Scrubs" could start doubling up again towards the end.
Now, the other notable development from all this -- and the one that most of the other news stories have emphasized -- is that "Samantha Who?" (which got bumped by these extra-long "Bachelor" episodes) will be moving to Thursdays at 8, followed by "In the Motherhood" (a TV adaptation of a web-com). Ausiello took this as a sign of ABC's displeasure with "Ugly Betty," while James Hibberd was more intrigued with the idea that NBC's 8 p.m. comedies ("My Name Is Earl" and, for now, "Kath & Kim") are vulnerable in a way they haven't been in the past when other networks tried Thursday comedies.
I haven't watched "Ugly Betty" in years and have no opinion on that, but I have to admit that the presence of "Kath & Kim at 8:30 pretty much eliminated any desire I had to watch "Earl" (a show I've always been on the fence about) at 8, the rare instance of a lead-out causing someone to not watch the lead-in, instead of vice versa. When the Amy Poehler/Greg Daniels/Mike Schur comedy -- which was just titled "Public Service" -- debuts in early April, that'll probably change, but "Kath & Kim" is so toxic that I don't even want to put on NBC until 9 p.m. Of course, I was always just as on the fence about "Samantha Who?" (good lead performance in the middle of a show that tries too hard) and haven't seen "In the Motherhood" yet, so I don't know that I'll be watching those, either, or just using the hour for DVR clean-out.
But that's me. How, if at all, are these moves going to affect your own comedy viewing habits?