NBC's 'Friends' To Be Expanded To 40 Minutes In Anti-Survivor Strategy...
By Reality TV World staff, 01/17/2001
NBC has declared war on Survivor's attempt to establish a Thursday night beach head for CBS, announcing that TV's top comedy will be expanded to 40 minutes in an attempt to battle Survivor. New NBC Entertainment prosident Jeff Zucker says NBC is "not going to roll over and die" against the Survivor juggernaut.
In an unusual move, NBC plans to pad (with I think 'pad' being the key word here, it should be fun trying to watch these episodes as 30 minute re-runs later) episodes of Friends by 10 minutes, expanding the show to 8:40 p.m. for four weeks beginning Feb. 1. For at least two weeks, Saturday Night Live will air new sketches, performed live, from 8:40 p.m. to 9 p.m.
New Survivor episodes air from 8 to 9 on CBS in February.
NBC's tactic, aimed at preserving its eight-year Thursday dominance and attendant millions in ad revenue, is the first salvo by new NBC entertainment President (and former Today producer) Zucker.
Anyone else feel this tactic smells of desperation? ...I predict 'Friends' is about to take a Titanic-sized hit -- Survivor being on Thursdays is going to make Friends viewers realize that the show isn't nearly as good as it used to be and viewers have merely been going through the motions of continuing to watch it out of habit. I know which one my VCR will be taping...