Well so much for a hiatus week. I’m relaxing, looking at the beautiful world I’m surrounded with, when I make the mistake of looking at my Twitter feed and see that NBC moved “This Is Us” back to Tuesday. Fine, whatever. I actually thought it was a smart move, but what do I know?
What amused me were the arguments for the unscrambling of the egg. Didn’t they know how “TIU” would play out on Thursday BEFORE they made the announcement? Do they really think that “The Good Place” and “Great News” are better off tentpoled by “Will & Grace,” which could easily go the way of other recent TV and movie revivals? “Chicago Fire” is the network’s second highest-rated drama, but it FOLLOWED “TIU.” So moving it to Thursday coming out of “Great News” — well, you do the math.
Look, maybe this is all legit, but there are other possible explanations — none of which I’m saying are true. Just having spent some time in the biz, my spider senses go in certain directions.
One possibility is NBC just freaked out, came back from the upfront and simply panicked. You make big decisions in that scheduling room, and you can talk yourself into some serious s**t. NBC is the No. 1 network in adults 18-49, and they thought a bold move would play well in the room. They sold me on it, and I sang their praises. However, this is a business of fear.
Here’s another possibility: “This Is Us” is not owned by NBC, but rather by 20th Century Fox, and it’s possible the studio freaked and put some pressure on NBC to make the change. After all, they have a two-year order and maybe the studio thought the Thursday move would hurt the show enough to make what looked like a smart investment a bit more risky.
Also, 20th is betting on “The Orville,” which would have aired opposite “This Is Us” in a very competitive timeslot (if those things still matter). As a corollary, perhaps “TIU” creator Dan Fogelman looked at the layout and complained about the difficulty in storytelling with the proposed schedule.
Then there’s this: With the hottest show on in the fall, NBC figured that the Thursday night move would allow them to significantly jack up the CPMs for “This Is Us,” and the advertisers balked. To them, going up against “Scandal” and football and with no “Voice” lead-in — and then going off the air when NBC picks up “Thursday Night Football” — did not justify the increase on Thursday, and NBC blinked. There are things they could have done, but we don’t need to go into the weeds.
Some of all of the above may have been at work. But seriously NBC — do you want to be the Trump administration and come up with the silliest of all the explanations?
Look, it’s their sked and they can change it if they want to change it. I might too if it happened to me.
Now nobody do anything stupid for the rest of the week. Thanx.