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KCBS to flop ‘Life,’ ‘Star’ on Monday

KCBS-TV will flip-flop its low-rated access entries on Monday, with Carsey-Werner Distribution’s “You Bet Your Life” moving from the second half-hour into the 7 p.m. post as a lead-in to Television Program Enterprises’ “Star Search.”

The O&O has gone from first to worst in the 7-8 p.m. hour since “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” jumped to KABC-TV last month.

In the October sweeps, which began Sept. 24, “Star Search” has been dead last at 7 p.m. with a 3.0 rating/5 share in Nielsen and a 2.9/5 in Arbitron.

At 7:30 p.m., the Bill Cosby-hosted comedy gameshow has averaged a 4.8/8 in Nielsen (sixth out of seventh behind KCAL-TV’s “Love Connection” at a 4.5/8) and a last-place 4.0/7 in Arbitron.

A year ago in Nielsen, KCBS was pulling an 8.9 rating at 7 p.m. with “Wheel” and a 10.9 with “Jeopardy!”

KCBS general manager Steve Gigliotti said yesterday that he is hopeful the “test,” which leaves the stronger of the two syndie strips as the lead-in, will improve the “competitive chances” of both.

Because of the baseball playoffs, the shows will only air next Monday and Friday and twice the following week in their new rotation before November sweeps begin.

Gigliotti, who suggested the test could extend into November, said he has invested “a lot of time and money” into ensuring the success of both shows and the time-period switch “may be all that is needed.”

Prior to the fall season, KCBS licensed All American Television’s “Family Feud,” a gameshow that is currently sitting on the shelf. Other programming is also available in the event that it is needed.

The October sweeps will provide the first gauge of how well the syndie shows perform in key demographics leading into the critical November book. The prognosis appears worse for “Search” than “Life,” according to station reps.

“You don’t find household failures that are demo successes, but shows with moderate household ratings (like “Life”) can do well in the selling demos,” a rep said.

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