October 28, 2012

The Sked: If Detroit Wins Game 4 Tonight, FOX to Panic

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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If the Detroit Tigers wake up from their offensive slumber (three runs in three games so far) and manage to beat the Giants tonight, a Game 5 becomes necessary.  That game is currently scheduled for Monday night in Detroit, but the National Weather Service is forecasting rain and fairly high winds at that time.  Rain is also very possible Tuesday night (the scheduled travel day, to which Game 5 would normally move) and quite possibly Wednesday night (when an unlikely Game 6 is currently scheduled in San Francisco).

There is a very likely scenario in which MLB would have to decide each afternoon Monday-Wednesday whether Game 5 could be played that evening, forcing FOX into a daily scheduling agony.  The worst case is if Game 5 is played on Tuesday, when Halloween-themed episodes of FOX’s comedies are scheduled.  If the Series ended Tuesday, FOX certainly could move the heavily-promoted Halloween episodes to Wednesday, BUT the ratings would suffer because (a) the shows would not be airing on their normal night and (b) the episodes would be airing on Halloween itself when viewers under 35, the target of those comedies, are much less likely to watch television.

Complete despair would descend on FOX if Detroit managed to win Game 5 on Tuesday, forcing a Game 6 on Wednesday.  In that scenario, the Tuesday comedies would have to play the following week, after the holiday, when such stunts are less effective.

Clearly, FOX is rooting for San Francisco to just get it done tonight and sweep the Tigers in four games.  No more schedule disruptions, and no more lousy ratings.  Until next October.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.