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CBS moving 'Survivor' to new Wednesday night time period this fall


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/19/2010 

Survivor's Thursday night time period ratings dominance has apparently come to an end.

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CBS has announced that Survivor: Nicaragua -- the long-running reality series' 21st edition -- will air on Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT this fall.

CBS' Survivor move is part of an aggressive scheduling shuffle in which the network will shift several other other established shows -- including CSI: Miami and CSI: NY -- to new nights and time periods.

"With this move, we're going to get better at 8 right out of the box," CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl told reporters at a Wednesday morning presentation in which the network unveiled its 2010-2011 primetime programming schedule, The Washington Post reported.

Survivor has aired in the Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT timeslot since its Spring 2001 second season, when CBS moved the Summer 2000 phenomenon -- along with CSI, which had debuted the previous fall and been airing on Friday nights -- to Thursday nights in a now-legendary attack on Friends and NBC's then-dominant "Must See TV" lineup. 

Survivor's traditional Thursday timeslot will be filled in the fall with The Big Bang Theory at 8PM ET/PT and William Shatner's new $#*! My Dad Says sitcom at 8:30PM ET/PT.  The Big Bang Theory -- which has emerged as the top-rated television sitcom among the Adults 18-49 ratings demographic this season -- currently airs as part of CBS' Monday night sitcom block.

Ironically, Survivor's new time period is the same one that the show aired in during its initial Summer 2000 season.  In addition, it has also served as Survivor's temporary time period when it has been pre-empted by CBS' annual NCAA men's basketball playoff tournament broadcasts in March.

Kahl acknowledged CBS has "struggled a bit" in the ratings on Wednesdays -- which has featured now-canceled sitcoms in the 8-9PM ET/PT time period -- and said the network feels the Survivor shift will help it sure-up the night's programming lineup.

"The thinking is that they will follow those shows where they go," Kahl told reporters about the network's decision to move multiple returning programs, The New York Times reported.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains -- Survivor's just-concluded 20th edition -- averaged 13.51 million total viewers through its first twelve episodes and currently ranks 17th in the 2009-2010 season's overall viewership ratings rankings.  Last fall's Survivor: Samoa edition averaged 13.45 million viewers and currently ranks just behind Heroes vs. Villains in 18th place.  After trading ratings blows with Friends for several years, Survivor has regularly won its Thursday time period since the NBC sitcom ended in 2004.

Although either network's schedule could change by then, the new Wednesday time period means next spring's 22th Survivor edition is tentatively set to go head-to-head with American Idol's tenth-season results shows -- which Fox announced earlier this week will air Wednesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT. 

In addition, Survivor will also likely now go up against The CW's America's Next Top Model, which currently airs in the Wednesday time period.  The CW will announce its 2010-2011 schedule on Thursday.

CBS also announced on Wednesday that The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss will remain in their existing Sundays at 8PM ET/PT and 9PM ET/PT timeslots, respectively, as part of the fall programming lineup.



(Photo credit CBS)


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