NBC dumps laffer for month; Eye's 'Love' lapses

The networks continued dancing the pre-sweeps shuffle Tuesday, yanking NBC’s low-rated Brooke Shields starrer “Suddenly Susan” and CBS’ freshman laffer “Love & Money” at least through the duration of November’s ratings contest.

NBC will fill the “Suddenly Susan” gap the first Monday of sweeps by moving part two of its miniseries “Leprechauns” from 9 p.m. to 8 and airing a “Dateline NBC” at 10.

“Susan” will be replaced the final three weeks of sweeps with reruns of fellow Warner Bros. sitcom “Friends” on Mondays at 8 p.m. NBC promises that the sitcom, now in its fourth season, will return on Dec. 6.

Dismal rating

“Susan” has been a nonstarter for NBC’s Monday night lineup so far this fall, averaging a dismal 2.9 Nielsen rating among adults 18-49 — down 44% from a 5.3 rating at this point last year — and a 5.1 rating/8 share among households.

Meanwhile, “Veronica’s Closet,” also a critical target, has improved upon its “Suddenly Susan” lead-in, averaging a 3.5 in adults 18-49 and 5.7/9 in homes at 8:30 p.m. this fall. “Veronica’s” will air during sweeps, and may even benefit from its “Friends” lead-in.

NBC already substituted a “Friends” rerun for “Susan” this past Monday, earning the time period’s best rating among adults 18-49 (4.4) since last March. “Veronica’s” benefited slightly, improving to a 6.1/9 in homes from the previous week’s 5.8/9.

An original “Susan” will air next Monday, however, before sweeps begin.

‘Candid’ replacement

Over at CBS, the network will replace the 8:30 p.m. sitcom “Love & Money” with “Candid Camera” beginning this Friday, sources said. “Candid Camera,” no stranger to that time period, already had a full-season order at the network.

“Love & Money” is expected to return sometime in January, most likely on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. (after “Cosby”). The slot was previously inhabited by “Work With Me,” which CBS killed last week.

Paramount and CBS co-produce “Love & Money,” which has averaged a 5.7/10 in homes and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 after three airings.

Meanwhile, NBC execs will wait until after Friday night’s performance of the dramedy “Cold Feet” before deciding whether to pull it during sweeps. The NBC Studios/Granada series has averaged a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49, and a 5.4/10 household number.

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