Chalk up another victory for “Snoops.”
A week after the David E. Kelley series received a back nine pickup, ABC confirmed what many TV observers had doubted: “Snoops” will be preempted only twice during sweeps.
That means the final episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which last summer attracted the gameshow’s largest audience, will lead into the return of “Snoops” on Nov. 21. That could give the drama a huge boost. Season to date, it has averaged a 7.2 Nielsen household rating/11 share.
“Snoops” originally looked like the big loser when ABC decided to bring “Millionaire” back for 15 days during November sweeps, including three consecutive Sundays. Despite ABC’s best spin, almost everyone translated that into a three-week hiatus for “Snoops” — not a good sign for any new show.
The Gina Gershon-Paula Marshall vehicle will still be preempted on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14, but the series will air in its normal 9 p.m. timeslot on Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 after all.
Instead, “Wonderful World of Disney” will be preempted on Nov. 21. Original episodes of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Boy Meets World” will air at 7 p.m., followed by the final episode of “Millionaire” at 8 p.m. That’s the first time ABC has aired a sitcom on Sunday night since 1994.
The Arnold Schwarzenegger theatrical “Jingle All the Way,” originally slated for “Disney’s” Nov. 21 slot, will air in place of “TGIF” on Nov. 26 instead. The movie will air without the “Wonderful World of Disney” banner, but could still serve as a test to gauge whether the struggling movie franchise may work as a replacement for ABC’s declining “TGIF” banner.
Meanwhile, ABC as expected has pulled laffers “SportsNight,” “It’s like, you know…” and “Oh, Grow Up” for the entire November sweeps (Daily Variety, Oct. 19.)
On Tuesday nights, ABC plans to fill “SportsNight’s” 9:30 p.m. slot with “Spin City” repeats. At 8:30 p.m., “It’s like…” will be bumped by “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for two weeks and repeats of “Dharma & Greg” for the other two weeks of sweeps.
Starting next week, “Norm” will move to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday for the entire sweep. Its 8:30 p.m. slot will be filled by a combination of “Millionaire” and “Whose Line is it Anyway.”
ABC insiders said all three bumped laffers will return in December.