CBS sacrifices sweeps ratings to take shot at NBC's 'Contender' debut
UPI News Service, 02/22/2005
NBC's "The Contender" will have tough competition from two established CBS hits when it premieres next month, Daily Variety said Tuesday.
The paper said the boxing-themed reality show will be up against "Two and a Half Men" and "CSI: Miami" when it premieres March 7 at 9:30 p.m.
To put those two hit shows on its Monday night schedule that week, CBS is taking the highly unusual step of programming an entire night of reruns Feb. 28, the final Monday of the February ratings sweeps. Variety noted that as a rule, networks load up sweeps months with as much new programming as they can to help their affiliates achieve the highest possible ratings.
ABC is also adjusting its schedule to compete with "The Contender," with plans calling for a two-hour edition of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on March 13 -- the night "The Contender" is to move to a permanent slot at 8 p.m. on Sunday. The expanded version of "Home Edition" is also being used to create a strong lead-in to the new ABC comedy "Jake in Progress," starring John Stamos.
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