Trends In Fox's Sunday Night Schedule ~ Random Waves of Insight
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Monday, March 3, 2008

Trends In Fox's Sunday Night Schedule

A few weeks ago, I was psyched to watch new episodes of "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," and "American Dad," broadcast between 8 and 10pm Sunday night. I was disappointed to find that at 8:05pm, a sporting event was running over its allotted time, and obscuring the promised programming. So I waited.

And waited.

Finally, at 9:30pm, the new episode of "The Simpsons" aired. It was followed directly by Fox News at 10. So the hour and a half of other shows were obliterated. Gee whiz...

So is there a precedent there, a rule that can be counted on for next time? Will Fox News always air at 10 no matter what, even if it must cut off the originally promised programming? Maybe...

Last night, Nascar ran over again. But this time, it wrapped itself up at 8:30pm, at which point "The Simpsons" aired. Then at 9, half an hour late, "King of the Hill" aired. Then at 9:30, half an hour late, "Family Guy" aired. Then at 9:58pm, Fox began broadcasting the pilot episode for a new series, as promised in the advertising, though scheduled for 9:30. I thought, "Wait, won't the News come on at 10?" Fox then displayed an info bar at the bottom of the screen with a textual message saying Fox News would immediately follow the end of the show. The News aired at 10:30, half an hour late.

So a few weeks ago, Fox cut off the extra hour and a half they'd pushed aside. Last night, they extended the programming by 30 minutes.

What's the lesson?

If the delay is only 30 minutes, Fox will push the news from 10 to 10:30 and allow the final promised program to air? But not for a 90-minute delay...

Or...

They'll only push the News back for a pilot episode...?

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