Net makes moves to bolster tentpole comedy 'New Girl'

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Fox is making moves to strengthen its Tuesday by pulling “Ben & Kate” and eventually asking “Hell’s Kitchen” to lead off the night and serve as a lead-in to “New Girl.”

“Ben & Kate,” which has aired 13 episodes in its rookie season, will return at a later time, Fox says. But in the short-term, the net will air back-to-back originals of “Raising Hope” in Tuesday’s opening hour, which should provide a stronger lead-in for “New Girl,” which has seen its ratings slide this season behind the low-rated “Ben & Kate.”

And starting March 12, the 11th season of “Hell’s Kitchen” will take over Tuesdays at 8. And while it’s expected to perform better than the combo of “Raising Hope” and “Ben & Kate,” it will be airing in a crowded timeslot for reality shows. ABC is airing “The Taste” in the hour and will eventually transition to “Celebrity Diving,” and NBC will have “The Voice” there starting in late March.

“Raising Hope,” which has done decently kicking off the night and is a contender to return next season, will wrap its second season with a special one-hour finale on Thursday, March 28 — behind the result-show edition of “American Idol.”

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