No network has tried a 10pm comedy block since ABC tried it in 1991 with Anything But Love and Good & Evil. I’m guessing that didn’t work out very well, but I like the prospects for NBC. The LA Times’ Joe Flint writes that part of the rationale for not airing 30 minute sitcoms at 10pm is that it makes it easier for people to switch at 10:30, hurting local affiliates’ local news ratings. But one good outcome of leaving The Apprentice on at 10pm is that the bar has been set so low, NBC probably didn’t have any difficulty spinning the maneuver to its affiliates.
I’m in the camp who thinks 30 Rock should work fine at 10pm. And while I’d guess Outsourced will surely take a hit without having The Office as it’s lead-in, NBC is in such a shambles that the bar for success can’t be that high. A low 2.x adults 18-49 average for the hour would be a big win, especially compared to The Apprentice’s 1.4ish adults 18-49 rating.
NBC averaged a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating in prime time last Thursday. It’s hard to imagine the three hour comedy lineup won’t perform at least as well.