CBS returning ‘Heat’ to old Wednesday hour

CBS will reportedly move “In the Heat of the Night” into its vacant 9 p.m. Wednesday hour starting Jan. 12, replacing the venerable MGM TV drama with “How’d They Do That?” Thursdays at 8.

The move returns “Heat” to the time period the show occupied last fall — an hour that has been filled with specials and stunt programming since CBS pulled the plug on “South of Sunset” after one airing Oct. 27.

A reality hour from LMNO Prods., Telepictures and Warner Bros. TV, “How’d They Do That?” joins the lineup Jan. 13, with five episodes to air consecutively until the Winter Olympics take over CBS’ primetime schedule in mid-February.

“How’d They Do That?” has been a relatively steady performer for CBS, airing at 8 p.m. either Wednesday or Friday.

“In the Heat of the Night,” meanwhile, averaged an 11.8 rating, 18 share at 9 p.m. Wednesday last year, providing a fairly compatible lead-in to the newsmagazine “48 Hours.” The show is averaging an 11.0/18 season to date.

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