ABC’s new lease on ‘Life’

Struggling show gets 'Makeover' timeslot

ABC is giving “Life as We Know It” another shot in a new time period while upping the episode order for a pair of its laffers.

Critically hailed but low-rated “Life” will move to 8 p.m. Thursdays starting Jan. 6, switching timeslots with “Extreme Makeover.” Move is designed to boost “Life,” which has struggled to find an aud opposite CBS’ “CSI” and NBC’s “The Apprentice.”

ABC execs are hoping to take advantage of the fact that CBS Thursday anchor “Survivor” will be on hiatus for at least part of January. On the downside, “Life” will now square off against Fox’s “The OC,” which appeals to the same young aud as ABC’s frosh drama. It also puts “Life” in the same timeslot that, a decade ago, killed ABC drama “My So-Called Life.”

Sked shuffle is also meant to give Diane Sawyer’s “Primetime Live” a more compatible lead-in. “Extreme Makeover” and “Primetime” worked reasonably well 9-11 p.m. Thursdays last season, given the competish.

“Life” has wrapped production on its initial episode order and is awaiting word on an order for additional episodes. Skein has been averaging around a 1.5 ratings in adults 18-49.

Two recent marathons on MTV generated solid sampling for “Life.” Indeed, an episode that aired this Saturday at 10 p.m. was the highest-rated show of the night on cable in female teens.

Meanwhile, ABC has quietly ordered four more episodes of Touchstone Television’s “My Wife and Kids” and “Hope & Faith.” Each laffer will now tape a total of 26 episodes this season, the same episode order given to “According to Jim.”

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