French adventure 'Ushuaia' shakes up sked

NEW YORK — CNBC is shaking up its weekend evening schedule — making room for more entertainment.

The cabler will bow a French adventure series on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m., Daily Variety has learned. Original episodes of the one-hour program will run regularly on Saturdays and Sundays at 8 p.m., with repeats running the following Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m.

The series, “Ushuaia: The Ultimate Adventure” is based on the real-life adventures of French explorer and former war photojournalist Nicholas Hulot. The program is a popular primetime hit on top-rated French network TF1.”Our audience is made up of people who work hard and play hard, and we think they’ll relate well to a program featuring expeditions, extreme sports — things that push the limits,” said CNBC spokesman George Jamison.

The move is expected to push repeats of “Equal Time” and original episodes of “Tim Russert” (both political news talkers) to different slots, as they currently air Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively.

CNBC will most likely cancel “How to Succeed in Business,” which currently airs both Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. These and other scheduling changes could not be confirmed by CNBC.”Ushuaia” is a collaboration between Protecrea (the production arm of TF1) and New York-based Unapix.

CNBC honchos said the decision to add “Ushuaia” to its schedule was made under former VP of programming (and current VP of biz news) Bruno Cohen, and is not the result of any new changes in the works for primetime — now under the purview of NBC News prexy Andrew Lack.

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