ABC Switches Wednesday Shows To Protect From 'Idol'

ABC is assuming the bunker position against the Wednesday-night assault by Fox's "American Idol," and is looking to protect some shows for the long term.

First salvo: switch time periods.

"The Knights of Prosperity" and "According to Jim" are swapping their slots. Now its lineup will be "George Lopez" leading off the evening at 8 p.m., followed by "Prosperity" at 8:30 p.m.

Then going into the teeth of the usual 9 p.m. "Idol" effect will be "Jim" at 9 p.m. and new show "In Case of Emergency" at 9:30 p.m.

This past Wednesday night, both "Prosperity" and "Emergency" couldn't even get to a 2.0 rating among 18-49 viewers--all because of "Idol"'s massive numbers.

ABC's shows weren't the only victims; the network prime-time landscape was littered with battered TV shows due to big "Idol" ratings.

But to safeguard "Prosperity" for the future, it's generally exiting the "Idol" way. Although "Idol" does schedule some two-hour Wednesday result shows, its Wednesday schedule is typically only an hour, starting at 9 p.m.

All decisions come after ABC announced it was shifting "Lost" out of the 9 p.m. time slot to 10 p.m. While "Lost" did well in head-to-head match-ups against "Idol" in previous periods, this past fall it dropped some 20% of its audience. That was partly a result of increased competition from CBS' "Criminal Minds."



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