This article was updated at 6:54 p.m.
NBC is shaking up its Friday sked, benching “Boomtown” and moving “Miss Match” to a later timeslot.
Peacock, which last season ruled Fridays, has slipped to third place on the night this fall following its decision to move “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” to a more financially lucrative Tuesday slot. Net is now averaging a 2.6/8 in adults 18-49 for the night — a disturbing 32% decline vs. the first two weeks of last season.
As a result of the slippage, starting this week, “Miss Match” will air Fridays at 9 p.m., with repeats of “SVU” filling the 10 p.m. “Boomtown” slot for at least two weeks. In a bit of an experiment, NBC will try out two different potential 8 p.m. lead-ins for “Miss Match”: a repeat of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” this week and a new “Dateline” Oct. 17.
Though network insiders insist no decision has been made about “Boomtown’s” fate, the benching isn’t good news for the critically hailed skein. It now seems unlikely the show will return to Fridays at 10, and NBC execs weren’t thrilled with the show’s perf last season Sundays at 10.
Taking “Boomtown” off Friday this week seems designed to protect the show from what’s expected to be a high-rated baseball playoff game on Fox. NBC may also want to ensure “Miss Match” has a solid ratings lead-out at 10 p.m.
What’s more, shifting “SVU” repeats to 10 p.m. could slow any momentum for CBS drama “The Handler,” which has been solid in the slot (though not spectacular with younger viewers).
“Boomtown” went on hiatus last month for what was supposed to be a two-week break (Daily Variety, Sept. 15). Hiatus is now expected to last a month. Because NBC produces “Boomtown” (with Peacock-based DreamWorks), it wouldn’t be difficult for the net to trim the show’s production order back.
“Crossing Jordan” is on the bench as a midseason backup and could easily slide into a Friday slot. Still, a strong contingent within NBC believes the network should remain patient and allow “Boomtown” to find an audience.
Latter skein’s fate could hinge on how the rest of NBC’s sked performs. Net execs are no doubt unhappy by the early numbers for Sunday drama “The Lyon’s Den,” though it’s likely Peacock suits will be patient with the high-profile Rob Lowe starrer.
Meanwhile, there had been speculation that Fox might shake up its Friday lineup. While the net will air some previously skedded movies on the night during the November sweep, insiders said no other major changes are in the works as of now.