December 19, 2013

THE SKED: Midseason News for How I Met Your Mother, Hannibal and More


The broadcast networks continue to finalize their midseason plans, and today CBS and NBC presented some of their decisions.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER will bring its 9 year run to a close with a 1-hour finale on Monday, March 31.  It will be followed that night with a special premiere of the new FRIENDS WITH BETTER LIVES, a sitcom that will try to hold onto HIMYM‘s young rom-com audience.  The following Monday, April 7, is the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, which CBS will precede with a BIG BANG THEORY rerun and then a run of Friends With Better Lives in what will become its regular 8:30PM timeslot.  The new Monday fully falls into place on April 14, with 2 BROKE GIRLS taking over at 8PM and then Friends at 8:30PM.

The decision to end HIMYM in March is interesting, presumably made so that reruns and preemptions can be minimized through the rest of its run, and also so CBS can get a real look at the Monday 8-9PM hour before making its Upfronts decisions.  In particular, the network needs to know just how well 2 Broke Girls can work as the 8PM anchor show after it underwhelmed at 9PM, and whether the new Friends can remind anyone of that other sitcom whose title featured that word.

Meanwhile, in a less high-profile part of the schedule, NBC announced that HANNIBAL will return to the line-up in the Friday 10PM slot on February 28 (the first Friday after the end of the Winter Olympics), at which point DRACULA will probably be out of episodes.  Hannibal makes sense as a companion piece for GRIMM, and Dracula isn’t exactly setting a high bar for the ratings in that slot (plus Hannibal, like Dracula, is a low-cost international co-production that can survive with below-par numbers–and unlike Dracula, it’s one that’s gotten critical acclaim).  Hannibal is unlikely to improve things much on Fridays, but with it, NBC shouldn’t lose any ground, either.

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."