CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB is hoping to breathe life into its struggling Thursday and Friday schedules as the network announced today several changes for both nights.
Beginning December 5, current Thursday tentpole "What I Like About You" will move back to Fridays where it will follow "Reba" in the 8:30/7:30c time period. Freshman comedy "Like Family" will then move to 9:30/8:30c that night while "Grounded for Life" will stay put at 9:00/8:00c.
The moves leaves "All About the Andersons" the odd man out as the series will go on hiatus for the month of December. The comedy will then return to the Frog's schedule on January 8 where it will take over the Thursday, 8:30/7:30c slot following "Steve Harvey's Big Time." Current Thursday, 8:30/7:30c time slot holder "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" will then move to 9:00/8:00c that same night with "Run of the House" remaining at 9:30/8:30c.
To review, here's a complete list of the WB's schedule changes:
Fridays beginning December 5
8:00/7:00c - "Reba"
8:30/7:30c - "What I Like About You" (New Time Slot)
9:00/8:00c - "Grounded for Life"
9:30/8:30c - "Like Family" (New Time Slot)
Thursdays beginning January 8
8:00/7:00c - "Steve Harvey's Big Time"
8:30/7:30c - "All About the Andersons" (New Time Slot)
9:00/8:00c - "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (New Time Slot)
9:30/8:30c - "Run of the House"
Through the first seven weeks of the 2003-04 season (9/22/03-11/09/03), the WB's Thursday lineup has averaged 2.5 million viewers, up a modest 5% from the same time frame last season (2.37 million) in which the canceled trio of "Family Affair," "Do Over" and "Off Centre" as well as "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" composed the night. As for Fridays, the Frog is down 15% from last season (3.08 vs. 3.64 million) when "What I Like About You," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Reba" and "Greetings from Tucson" formed the night. Friday's decline however is no doubt tied to the added comedy competition from ABC, which has seen its quartet of "The George Lopez Show," "Married to the Kellys," "Hope & Faith" and "Life With Bonnie" emerge as modest successes.
Meanwhile in other WB news, industry insiders have confirmed that the Frog will not go forward with the drama "Fearless" as part of its midseason schedule. The series, which stars Rachael Leigh Cook as an F.B.I. agent born without the gene for fear, was originally targeted for a fall 2003 start however casting issues and the lack of a showrunner caused the WB to push the series back to midseason. The project however will remain under consideration for the network's fall 2004 schedule.