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NBC shifts ‘Ed’ sked

Rookie show to serve as lead-in to 'West Wing'

The Stuckeyville Bowl has switched its hour of operation: Frosh NBC comedy-drama “Ed” moves from Sundays to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. starting next month.

The “Ed” shift was part of a Peacock sked shuffle announced Wednesday. Making room for “Ed,” primetime sudser “Titans” will shift to Mondays at 8 p.m. starting Dec. 4.

In addition, NBC has ordered four more scripts of “Titans.”

“Ed,” which stars Tom Cavanagh as a lawyer who returns to his hometown and opens up a bowling alley, has found critical success for the Peacock but hasn’t found its stride on Sunday nights.

” ‘Ed’ is one of the season’s brightest freshman hits, both from a critical and ratings standpoint,” said NBC Entertainment prexy Garth Ancier.

By scheduling “Ed” as the lead-in to “The West Wing,” NBC hopes to solidify its only weak link on Wednesday nights (which also includes “Law & Order”) while reversing “Ed’s” Sunday night ratings declines.

“Other than ‘Millionaire,’ we don’t see another show that’s really entrenched there,” said NBC West Coast prexy Scott Sassa. “And shows with younger appeal tend to do better (opposite “Millionaire”).”

Taking “Ed” off Sunday nights also moves it out of the way of basketball coverage, which frequently bleeds into primetime starting in the winter.

“We thought the NBA would not allow that to be a great home (for “Ed”) for the rest of the season,” Sassa said.

NBC will most likely start branding Wednesdays as its “quality” night of television.

“This is a show that fits perfectly with ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Law & Order’ and will provide viewers with one of the best nights of television, start-to-finish, on any network in recent memory,” Ancier said.

Sassa said the network was evaluating new marketing campaigns for the night.

“It’s a compelling night of good television,” Sassa said.

Strong start

“Ed” bowed on Oct. 8 with a strong 6.8 Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49, but that rating had fallen to a 4.0 by its fifth episode on Nov. 5. Season to date, the show has averaged a 5.2 rating in the demo — better than the 5.0 rating that “Third Watch” had averaged in the same Sunday night slot last year.

Like “Ed,” NBC moved “Third Watch” off of Sunday nights after it, too, showed early promise but then experienced declines. “Third Watch” has emerged as a strong performer for the Peacock on Monday nights.

Meanwhile, “Titans” fills the hole on Monday nights left by the vacated laffers “Daddio” and “Tucker.” “Titans” will bump “Dateline NBC,” which had been stunting in the slot, to 9 p.m. — taking over for the recently canceled “Deadline.”

“Young women watch television on Monday more than any other night of the week,” Ancier said, “and with the other networks going into repeats in December, we think the Monday 8 to 9 p.m. hour provides a great opportunity for ‘Titans’ to grow and eventually flourish.”

Season-to-date, the Aaron Spelling sudser has averaged a 3.5 rating among adults 18 to 49.

Besides moving “Dateline” on Mondays, NBC is shifting that program an hour later on Sundays to 8 p.m., taking over for “Ed.” With “Dateline” vacating the 7 p.m. hour, NBC will bring back the reality skein “World’s Most Amazing Videos.”

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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