Share this article

print logo

FAMILY DRAMA 'CLUBHOUSE' FACES A TOUGHER SCHEDULE

This is what I'm thinking:

It looks like CBS is giving up on "Clubhouse," the excellent family drama with a baseball setting.

On Nov. 6, it is sending the Tuesday series off to 8 p.m. Saturday, which these days is the TV equivalent of sending a player down to the minors.

Networks try to avoid wasting money on Saturdays, preferring to repeat episodes of popular series or carry movies. "Clubhouse," which first had a Sunday night pitch and immediately struggled in the ratings, will be the only regular network series with new episodes on Saturdays.

It is a terrific family drama, which are tough audience sells. And sports-themed shows always have two strikes against them. It's unfortunate that CBS didn't give "Clubhouse" more time to find a Tuesday audience, but that's the network game these days.

The demotion of "Clubhouse" wasn't unexpected. It is being replaced on Tuesdays by the sixth edition of "The Amazing Race," the summer's most-watched reality series. "Amazing" got even more cache in September when it won its second straight Emmy to Donald Trump's dismay.

"Amazing," which originally was slotted to run on Saturdays, will premiere with a two-hour episode Nov. 16 and stay in the 9 p.m. Tuesday slot.

"Clubhouse" isn't the only quality family drama getting a new home. WB's "Jack & Bobby," the excellent series about the childhood of a future president that parents and their children can enjoy together, is being moved from 9 p.m. Sundays to 9 p.m. Wednesdays starting next week. That moves it away from this season's biggest hit, ABC's "Desperate Housewives." But unfortunately, it means it will now air at the same time another excellent political series airs, NBC's "The West Wing."

Fortunately, "Jack & Bobby" also will repeat at 6 p.m. Sunday. "The Mountain," a low-rated WB soap, now gets the pleasure of competing with "Housewives" at 9 p.m. Sundays.

CBS smartly made a quick schedule change Wednesday to avoid having the season premiere of "King of Queens" and a lame new John Goodman comedy, "Center of the Universe," face Boston's historic Game 7 victory over the New York Yankees in the American League championship on Fox. The two comedies will now premiere next Wednesday, with many expecting "Universe" to end after only a few weeks.

The season premiere of "The West Wing" had the double misfortune of airing opposite Game 7 and the PBS series, "Broadway: The American Musical." John Wells, the executive producer of the NBC drama, said in a conference call that ratings for "West Wing" typically are hurt opposite strong PBS specials. In Buffalo, the game had about a 23 rating, "West Wing" a 9.2. "Broadway" had a healthy 3.6 rating.

Remember when Buffalo State College graduate and television producer Deborah Oppenheimer ("The Drew Carey Show") was hoping to sell ABC a series set in Buffalo about Bath native Dan Finnerty of the Dan Band? The network passed. Cable's Bravo has signed Finnerty and the Dan Band, a cult favorite group that performs songs made famous by females, for a one-hour concert special to air in 2005.

Chad Michael Murray, who played some football at Clarence High before he became the star of WB's "One Tree Hill" and movies, is getting behind the charity started by one of Buffalo's most famous football stars, Jim Kelly. Murray has organized a charity football game to be played Saturday in Wilmington, N.C., to raise money for Hunter's Hope and the Coastal Pop Warner League. Hunter's Hope is named for Kelly's son, who was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, an inherited and fatal nervous system disease.

Cheers to the Empire Sports Network, which has a found a way to carry the University at Buffalo's football game with Marshall University at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Now, let's just hope UB, a huge underdog, makes a game of it.

e-mail: apergament@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment