October 18, 2012

THE SKED: Baseball Beans FOX


Last night’s intermittent rain delay in the St. Louis/San Francisco NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFFS game caused a potential 2-night disaster for FOX (but an unexpected opportunity for ABC).

The game had started at 4PM East Coast time, and was supposed to end before primetime, when FOX would air THE X FACTOR.  But the rain delay struck in the 7th inning.  Initially, FOX hoped the game would resume quickly, so the network put on a rerun of BEN & KATE that could be pulled off the air when the game was ready.  But then the network got word that the game wouldn’t resume until after 10PM on the East Coast, so it decided to air the originally scheduled X Factor episode.  That lasted about an hour, when FOX was notified the game would start imminently.  So the network pulled X Factor… but then the game didn’t restart after all.  FOX put on a rerun of NEW GIRL and called it a night.  To make matters worse, though, an unrelated technical error caused the X Factor episode to run for the same hour on the West Coast when it was airing back east, even though that was pre-primetime in the west (roughly 5:40PM-6:40PM) .

With the baseball game finally in the books (St. Louis won, taking the lead in the series 2-1, and don’t ask anyone from FOX today how they’re going to feel if they end up with a St. Louis vs. Detroit World Series), what was supposed to be last night’s full X Factor episode has been rescheduled for Tuesday.  But:  (a) the East Coast has already seen half of this episode, (b) some viewers on the West Coast have seen the same half, and (c) this means that New Girl and THE MINDY PROJECT, which were preempted by the Presidential Debate last Tuesday and will be preempted for the World Series on Oct 30 and then again for election coverage on Nov. 6, will go without airing for a full month, not to be seen again until Nov. 13.  Not the way to establish early-season momentum, especially for the struggling Mindy.

The potential winner in all this?  ABC, which debuts its sitcom pair of HAPPY ENDINGS and DON’T TRUST THE B– IN APT 23 next Tuesday, where instead of airing against the hit New Girl, they’ll air against an X Factor that much of the country has already seen in part.  That could give the ABC pair a lift on a crucial night.

PS:  The American League NY vs. Detroit game was also affected by rain on Wednesday, but the announcement that the game would instead be postponed to Thursday was made before the game was scheduled to start on Wednesday, which made rescheduling a far easier matter for TBS.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."