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Nov. sweeps land ‘Fly Away’ in new timeslot

Responding to concerns from affiliates, NBC will flop the low-rated 10 p.m. drama “I’ll Fly Away” with its “Perry Mason” movies during the rest of the November sweeps, shooing “Fly” up to 8 p.m.

The change, effective tomorrow, was made to “keep NBC and our affiliates in a very competitive position during this important sweeps period,” NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield said in a statement.

The first “Perry Mason” movie convicted a sharp 12.1 rating, 21 share last Friday but Lorimar TV’s “Fly” then fell to a 7.3/13 in the 10 o’clock hour.

That closing hour is particularly crucial to stations, since it determines what sort of lead-in they’ll have into their late newscasts during sweeps, which are used to determine advertising rates.

The sweeps run through Nov. 25, and NBC has two more “Mason” movies scheduled as well as the Universal theatrical “The Hard Way.”

Like CBS’ fellow sophomore series “Brooklyn Bridge,””I’ll Fly Away” is a critical favorite that has failed to generate much of an audience, though both webs have endeavored to keep the shows on their schedule.

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