CBS planned to make one of the bolder moves of the new TV season, one that could have set in motion at least a partial strategic shift in the industry. Now, effectively the experiment is over before it started.
In a move that runs counter to current conventional TV-industry wisdom,CBS this fall will air first-run episodes of the venerable sitcom Rules of Engagement at 8 p.m. on Saturdays — the first time it has attempted such a feat since playing a slate of Saturday dramas (Hack and The District) in the 2004-05 season. CBS held on to the night longer than most; recognizing the evening’s dwindling audience, NBC and ABC have run nothing but movies or repeats on Saturdays since, respectively, the fall of 2000 and the fall of 1999. Ad buyers are expressing mild optimism.