ABC is doubling up its efforts to turn new John Stamos laffer “Jake in Progress” into a hit.
The good news for the show: It will premiere Sunday, March 13, with two episodes airing back-to-back in the 9 p.m. timeslot normally occupied by “Desperate Housewives.” Its lead-in will be an original seg of blockbuster unscripted skein “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
After that, however, things get a bit tougher for “Jake,” which is already building buzz as one of ABC’s best sitcom efforts in years.
Skein’s regular timeslot, starting March 17, will be on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m. — a slot that’s meant death to a long list of Alphabet skeins. Two original segs will air back-to-back.
ABC is doing all it can to give “Jake” a break, however.
Its first two Thursday showings will be on nights when “Survivor” is pre-empted by CBS in favor of NCAA basketball. It’s also very likely NBC’s “Joey” will be in repeats for much of March, though NBC hasn’t announced its sked for the month just yet.
“Jake” will also get a big push during ABC’s Oscarcast.
ABC’s skedheads had a tough task figuring out what to do with “Jake.”
Sophisticated laffer doesn’t mesh with any of the net’s lineup of family laffers, making it tough to find a companion for the show.
What’s more, a Monday or Tuesday slot meant potentially putting “Jake” against any renegade episodes of “American Idol” Fox might air in March or April.
Interestingly, Alphabet mulled the idea of 10 p.m. Sundays, giving the show the best possible lead-in (“Desperate Housewives”). However, that might have meant risking aud tune-out at 10:30, hurting affil newscasts.
Another positive about Thursday: Expectations for “Jake” will be far lower, perhaps making it easier for the skein to merit a renewal.
“Jake,” from 20th and Brad Grey TV, was created by Austin Winsberg and is exec produced by Winsberg, Jeffrey Richman (“Frasier”), Grey and Peter Traugott.