LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- HBO is pulling the plug on its Monday experiment as the pay channel confirmed over the weekend "Six Feet Under" will move its first-run airings back to Sundays at 9:00/8:00c next month.
The news comes after three weeks of struggling in its new Monday, 9:00/8:00c slot this summer where the series has lost nearly 40% of its audience from last year. The show's fifth and final season opened to just 2.62 million viewers on June 6, a significant drop from its fourth season debut (4.2 million on 6/13/04). And in its most recent installment (June 20), "Six Feet Under's" viewership fell even further to 2.1 million viewers.
New episodes of "Six Feet Under" will continue to air on Mondays tonight and on July 4 with the switch to Sundays at 9:00/8:00c coming on July 10. The move will push "Entourage" and "The Comeback" to 10:00/9:00c and 10:30/9:30c respectively that same night.
The decision to retreat from Mondays throws a wrench in the network's plans to extend its original programming brand beyond its signature Sunday night offerings. With the rise of "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy," HBO had hoped to avoid pitting some of its upcoming projects such as "Rome" and "Big Love" against the ABC powerhouses by adding a second night of original programming.
With "Six Feet Under" retreating to Sunday nights then it appears HBO will simply have to dig its heels into the night despite the increased competition. As always however, HBO's numerous replays continue to serve as second chances to those who choose not to watch the original Sunday airings.
To review, here's a breakdown of HBO's upcoming Sunday and Monday schedules:
Sunday, July 3
9:00/8:00c - "Entourage: Neighbors" (New Episode)
9:30/8:30c - "The Comeback: Pilot" (Repeat)
10:00/9:00c - "Six Feet Under: Time Flies" (Repeat)
Monday, July 4
9:00/8:00c - "Six Feet Under: Eat a Peach" (New Episode)
10:00/9:00c - "The Comeback: Valerie Triumphs at the Upfronts" (Repeat)
10:30/9:30c - "Entourage: Neighbors" (Repeat)
Sunday, July 10
9:00/8:00c - "Six Feet Under: The Rainbow of Her Reasons" (New Episode)
10:00/9:00c - "Entourage: Chinatown" (New Episode)
10:30/9:30c - "The Comeback: TBA" (New Episode)
Monday, July 11
9:00/8:00c - "The Comeback: TBA" (Repeat)
9:30/8:30c - "Entourage: Chinatown" (Repeat)
10:00/9:00c - "Six Feet Under: The Rainbow of Her Reasons" (Repeat)