NBC is shaking up its Sunday-night schedule in a move that could be a last-gasp attempt to prevent the network from having to fire “The Apprentice.”
The net is shifting the one-time phenomenon to the 10 p.m. Sunday slot, where its chances of trumping the competition may improve. Currently at 9 p.m., its ratings are dwarfed by ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”
In order to give “Apprentice” a potentially strong lead-in, the schedule revamp–effective March 4–includes inserting hit game show “Deal or No Deal” in the Sunday 9 p.m. slot.
At 10 p.m., current ratings-challenged and third-place “Crossing Jordan” is heading to Wednesdays at 9 p.m., where it could complement fellow drama “Medium,” which follows it.
NBC stays with “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” at 8 p.m., although its ratings are lackluster. Its Sunday 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. block will now be all-reality.
Not only has “Desperate Housewives” stung “The Apprentice” with 58% higher ratings in the 18-to-49 demo, but head-to-head competitor CBS’ “Cold Case” also beats it handily. The Donald Trump-fronted show continues to experience ratings declines, making it likely that NBC will pull the plug come May.
In its coming 10 p.m. slot, Trump’s reality-competition might fare better against ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” and CBS’ “Without a Trace,” although their ratings are also substantially higher.