News

NBC rivals to bob and weave during Olympics

Gail Pennington
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MCT)

The Winter Olympics dominate prime time for the next two weeks, but "Lost" isn't going anywhere. And "American Idol" certainly won't get out of the way of bobsled and luge.

With the games opening Friday night in Vancouver, British Columbia (7:30 p.m. on NBC), competing broadcast networks will side-step, benching some (but not all) shows for the duration.

CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler defines her network's strategy as "sort of a mixed bag between new shows and repeats," adding that the plan is "putting the shows out there, letting the fans come to the shows as they see fit, and whoever is going to watch the Olympics is going to watch them anyway."

Comedies especially are likely to go into reruns, even though February is a ratings sweeps month. Viewers will watch comedy repeats, the networks have learned, so CBS' Monday night sitcoms and ABC's Wednesday comedy lineup will be what the networks like to call "encores" for the next two weeks.

So-called procedural dramas, like the various editions of "CSI" and "NCIS" on CBS, will mostly be in reruns during the Olympics.

But ABC will air new episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" next Thursday, opposite the men's figure skating finale. "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers and Sisters" will be first-run on two Sundays, Feb. 21 and 28, and "The Deep End" will be new through what ABC bills as its "finale" (not season finale) on Feb. 25.

"Lost," which began its final season Feb. 2 on ABC, will air straight through, Olympics or not, with a repeat of the previous week's episode scheduled at 8 p.m. Tuesday. With a "Lost" lead-in, ABC will also keep "The Forgotten" on the schedule this month, although possibly the goal is simply to burn off episodes.

Even though the Winter Olympics are heavy on figure skating, popular with young female viewers, the CW will air new episodes of "One Tree Hill" and "Life Unexpected" both Mondays during the Olympics. "Smallville" will also be new on Fridays.

Fox is a special case. "American Idol" is just now getting up to speed, and analysts expect the talent competition to beat the Olympics on at least a couple of nights.

"Idol" will reveal its Top 24 on Wednesday, with the first live performance show Feb. 23 followed by the first live results show Feb. 25. During the two weeks of the Olympics, "Idol" will fill eight of Fox's 20 hours of Monday-Friday prime time.

"Bones" and "Fringe" have already aired "winter finales" on Fox (both return April 1), and "House" will be in reruns during the Olympics. But time won't stop for "24," which began its new day on Jan. 17 and will air straight through. The new dramas "Human Target" and "Past Life" will also air first-run episodes.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

9
Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.