Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MSNBC puts new show plans on hold

For the past few months, MSNBC has been toying with the idea of building on their prime time lineup, possibly by adding a new show in the 10P ET hour following "The Rachel Maddow Show", in place of a rerun of Keith Olbermann's highly-rated "Countdown". But don't look for it anytime soon.

MSNBC will continue airing "Countdown" twice each weeknight in prime time, with the possibility of adding a new show put on "indefinite hold." No reason was given, but it could be due to the rough economic climate affecting the media as a whole, and the fact that the Olbermann rerun actually pulls in a respectable audience, considering that rerunning it is a lot cheaper than starting something new.

MSNBC chief executive Phil Griffin suggested earlier this year he was on the lookout for a new show. He never named names, but the potential host most bandied about was Ed Schultz, who had done some fill-in work for the network on various shows. Fans of the online show "The Young Turks" and of Air America's Sam Seder have been lobbying to get MSNBC to consider them.

From Huffington Post:

Fox has 2.1 million viewers, on average, in the time slot in March. Cooper on CNN has 1.2 million and Olbermann has 902,000, according to Nielsen Media Research. On a handful of nights, a rerun of Olbermann has even beaten a live Cooper in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic that MSNBC watches most closely.

MSNBC may give up entirely on the idea of putting a new live show in that time slot, Griffin said.
"We're not going to mess with it until we see where it levels off," he said. "It places the burden, if we are going to put a show there, (for it) to be a big show because the repeat of `Countdown' is doing so well."

Speaking of MSNBC and cable news, CNN is poised to finish March third in the prime-time weeknight ratings behind Fox News Channel and MSNBC, according to the Associated Press. This would be the first time this has ever happened for the channel that pioneered the cable news genre back in the early 1980s.


jfire7887 said...

Apparently Ed Schultz has been given the 6pm slot on MSNBC:


Cat Chew said...

I prefer the Mr. Ed show.

FSL said...

Not "any time soon?"

I guess "soon" is less than 24 hours. That's about how long after this item was posted MSNBC announced they had signed Big Ed.

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