HOLLYWOOD — With CBS and ABC deciding to join NBC in pushing back fall premieres a week, it now seems likely the TV season won’t officially start until Sept. 24.
As news of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks continued to dominate the airwaves, Eye and Alphabet execs Thursday opted to wait a week before beginning the nets’ annual fall rollout. NBC had made a similar decision Wednesday (Daily Variety, Sept. 13).
With the Big Three pushing back their debuts, it seemed likely Nielsen would follow suit and move the season’s official start date back at least a week.
“Nothing’s been (decided) yet,” Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus said. “We’re talking to everybody.”
The WB also changed its mind about premiering its Friday laffers as planned tonight.
The Frog had previously said it would launch skeins “Maybe It’s Me,” “Reba” and “Raising Dad,” as well as bring back “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” tonight as planned, but that changed after President Bush declared today would be a national day of prayer and remembrance.
Instead, the weblet will air the movie “Sabrina Goes to Rome” tonight. WB execs said they weren’t sure yet whether the sitcoms would instead premiere Sept. 21, given the fluidity of the current situation.
Fox is the only network sticking with most of its original fall rollout plans. “That ’70s Show” and “Undeclared,” along with the delayed premiere of “Love Cruise,” are still set to air Tuesday, while “Dark Angel” will have its second season premiere as planned Sept. 21.
Bow of sudser “Pasadena” has been pushed to Sept. 28 because of production delays on the show’s second episode. Skein shoots in Toronto and producers have been unable to ship dailies to Los Angeles for editing due to restrictions on air travel.
As for CBS, net said it opted for a delay “after full consideration of the events of the past week and discussion with its key affiliates and its owned-and-operated stations.”
Eye will air some original programming next week, starting Wednesday with the second episode of “The Amazing Race” and the series preem of “Wolf Lake.” Latter had always been set to bow a week before the season’s official start.
Reality skein “Big Brother 2” will air its final three episodes Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sept. 20.
Most of the net’s other new and returning shows will premiere starting Sept. 24.
Meanwhile, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences factions were divided over when to reschedule the Primetime Emmy Awards. CBS and academy members met Thursday afternoon to finalize a date, but nothing had been determined yet.
The Emmys were originally slated to air Sunday until the terrorist attacks. Academy officials continue to mull over pushing the ceremony back just a week, to Sept. 23.
Should the show move to Sept. 23, a comic book convention scheduled at the Shrine Auditorium would have to be rebooked, although academy officials don’t think that would pose a problem.
With concerns over security and whether that’s still too soon to throw a celebration, the TV Academy and CBS may also opt to move the Emmys to Oct. 7. But the networks are still pushing for a Sept. 23 date in order to keep the show out of the regular season.