"The Office" May Move to 9 p.m.
Variety reports NBC is considering moving its hottest comedy "The Office" into the 9 p.m. timeslot on Thursday nights to face "Grey's Anatomy" and C.S.I. next season. Meanwhile, E! online speculates the network may extend the show to full hour.
Whether or not the rumors about format extension are true, the Peacock network is seriously pondering a move for "The Office" which has consistently delivered the highest 18-49 audience in the comedy line-up at 8:30 p.m. throughout the season.
Currently, the network does very well with the first two comedies of its "Comedy Night Done Right" (including "My Name Is Earl",) but "Scrubs" and "30 Rock" at 9 p.m. have succumbed to competitive pressure.
Recent promos for "Scrubs" seem to indicate NBC is considering ending the show quietly. If so, ABC which produces the laugher may pick it up for its fall schedule, although the cost of production has skyrocketed.
As for moving "The Office", the scenario is more likely if NBC finds a suitable new comedy that would be worthy of the 8:30 slot. If "The Office" remains a half-hour comedy, it could be followed by either the already renewed "30 Rock" or another new comedy.
Back in the days of NBC's winning "Must See TV," the 8:30 slot was frequently home to sitcom underdogs ("Coupling," "Inside Schwartz," etc.) which one by one failed to find an audience despite airing after the blockbuster "Friends."
Currently, the only comedy stronger than "The Office" in the 18-49 demo is the #1 comedy on television "Two an a Half Men" on CBS Mondays.
The move might cause even more DVR use at 9 p.m. on Thursdays, when many people are forced to record either "CSI" or "Grey's Anatomy."
The risky move may also be the first step in NBC's attempt to make its Thursday night comedy line-up a must-see choice again.
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