×

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ preempts ‘Boston’

Medical drama checks-in on Sundays; legal skein to return in fall

With “Grey’s Anatomy” doing boffo numbers on Sunday night, ABC has decided to keep TV’s top-rated new drama of the year right where it is.

Medical drama had been skedded for a four-week trial run, with “Boston Legal” set to return to the post- “Desperate Housewives” slot at the end of the month. But with “Grey’s” doing so well — it actually added viewers in its second week — Alphabet schedulers figured it made no sense to mess with a good thing, especially with the ratings race as tight as it is.

As a result, “Boston Legal” fans will wait until next season to see high-profile guest stars such as Heather Locklear and Rupert Everett. Thesps had taped episodes for May sweeps; instead, those segs will give ABC an extra boost when it relaunches “BL” next fall.

“We’re in the enviable position of having two shows that have each performed extremely well for us Sundays at 10 — ‘Boston Legal’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ” ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson said in a statement released by ABC late Friday. “Ultimately we decided that, without having adequate lead time or marketing dollars to devote to moving either show so late in the season, we’d continue to let ‘Grey’s’ build on its tremendous momentum through May.”

Delaying ‘Legal’ has another upside: It will give ABC the “luxury of bringing ‘Boston Legal’ back next season with an unheard-of 27 original episodes,” McPherson added.

In its first two airings, “Grey’s” has averaged 17 million viewers and a 7.4/18 among adults 18-49, easily dominating its timeslot. While “BL” did fine in the timeslot, its numbers didn’t come close to what “Grey” has averaged so far.

No decision has been made as to what night “BL” will air next season. However, if “Gray’s” continues its current success, it seems likely “BL” will move to a new night.

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets

    TV News Roundup: 'Sesame Street' Sets 50th Anniversary Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Sesame Workshop announced a premiere date for “Sesame Street’s Historic 50th Anniversary Celebration” and “Brave New World” adds Sophie McIntosh. CASTING New Zealand actress Sophie McIntosh has been cast in USA Network’s “Brave New World” series, Variety has learned exclusively. She will play the recurring role of Jane, and joins a cast [...]

  • HBO Max Adds Three Execs to

    HBO Max Adds Three Execs to Drama Team

    HBO Max is continuing its spate of executive hires. The nascent WarnerMedia streamer has now tapped Roberto Alcantara, Chika Chukudebelu and Mark Tuohy to all be vice presidents in the drama department. The announcement was made by Joey Chavez, EVP of original drama at HBO Max, to whom they will all report. Chavez and his [...]

  • STRANGER THINGS

    'Stranger Things 3' Is Most-Watched Season to Date, Netflix Says

    The Upside Down delivered upside for Netflix in the third quarter: “Stranger Things” season 3 was the most-watched season of the series to date, according to the streamer. In the first four weeks of release, “Stranger Things” season 3 was watched by 64 million member households, Netflix said in the Q3 letter to shareholders. The [...]

  • HBO Max - WarnerMedia

    HBO Max Orders LGBTQ Movement Docuseries From Scout Productions, Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti

    HBO Max has commissioned a four-part docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement. Titled “Equal,” the series will explore the true stories of leaders and activists of the movement. Each hour-long episode will feature interviews, reenactments, and never before seen footage. The series hails from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. “We are extremely proud to [...]

  • Dead To Me

    Streaming Shows Nearly Doubled in Last Year, Boosting Los Angeles TV Production

    Television production in Los Angeles has received a major boost from streaming shows, according to a new report from the permitting organization FilmLA. The number of new digital projects nearly doubled between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 development cycles, increasing approximately 85.3% in a year. The number of digitally distributed original series in production has increased by [...]

  • Jessica Biel Limetown Premiere

    Why 'Limetown' Star & Producer Jessica Biel Thought the Show Was Based on a True Story

    In a world of increasingly outlandish headlines, the story behind “Limetown” — in which an entire community in rural Tennessee disappears overnight — seems plausible. Even Jessica Biel, who executive produces and stars in the Facebook Watch television adaptation of the hit 2015 podcast, was initially convinced that it was real. “I just thought I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content