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Chuck vs. the president of the United States -- how much will Obama TV time cost networks?

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February 6th, 2009

This Monday, February 9, president Obama will hold a one hour news conference between 8pm-9pm ET, that will effect most of the broadcast prime-time TV network's schedules. We're getting some questions about this, especially from Chuck fans. My best schedule information, in the case of Chuck was that it wasn't schedule for this Monday, February 9 anyway.  At least not with a new episode.

The NBC press site shows that two hours of Heroes were scheduled between 8p-10pm, but the regular NBC web site is already updated with the Monday news conference.  My DVR program guide lists a repeat of Chuck vs. the Cougars.  But it will be president Obama either way.

The following week, Monday, February 16, Obama is mulling a shorter appearance on the stimulus package, but this isn't firmed up yet. Whether shorter means 15 minutes, a half hour, or whatever I don't know, but if it's in the 15-30 minute range, I imagine the networks would just delay their normal broadcast schedule by 15-30 minutes. It's just a guess Chuck is scheduled for Monday February 16, according to the latest information available as of this writing.

Again, the 8pm-9pm block for this Monday February 9, is firm. But the shorter appearance on Monday February 16 is not firm yet. Additionally, it is expected Obama will take a two hour chunk in primetime on Tuesday, February 24.

Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes suggests all of this adds up to costing the broadcast networks "millions, and millions, and millions of prime-time TV dollars."

 
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