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Prime-Time Adjustments for Football Doubleheaders
September 12, 2012  | By Ed Bark  | 1 comment

Do you and your DVR (or other preferred recording device) get the blues on NFL football Sundays?

CBS in particular wants to help, in large part because all four of its Sunday prime-time shows are one hour in length. So it's not as easy as preempting a mere half-hour cartoon on Fox's "Animation Domination" lineup.

A two-pronged attack was announced Tuesday for those alternating Sundays in which CBS has the second "doubleheader" game. The initiative also is in response to later 4:25 p.m ET starting times for those second games.

For one, CBS is moving its entire lineup back to a 7:30 p.m. start time when it has a double helping of NFL games. Specifically, those dates are Sept. 16 and 23; Oct. 7 and 21; Nov. 14 and 18; and Dec. 2, 16 and 30. The lineup, as it now stands, is 60 Minutes, Big Brother 14 (to be replaced on Sept. 30 by The Amazing Race), The Good Wife and The Mentalist. The latter now will stretch until at least 11:30 p.m. on those dates.

CBS also is upgrading its "Eye-lert" system in case there are further delays from football run-overs. Which surely there will be. Confused viewers who have no interest in the NFL can go here to sign up for various updates on when CBS' prime-time programming actually will start.

The network also promises to "aggressively use on-air graphics" to further alert inert viewers of re-adjusted start times.

This is of no small concern during the NFL season. Football may be king, but it also can throw CBS' Sunday prime-time schedule for big losses. Overtime games in particular are the devil's work for those who only want to watch the network's prime-time attractions. And there's no telling how many ratings points this may subtract during the key early stages of a prime-time season.

So there you have it. Synchronize your watches accordingly, beginning this Sunday. CBS doesn't want you throwing things when up pops a Big Brother vote-off or a finishing kick on Amazing Race instead of the scripted lawyerly intrigue on Good Wife.

Read more by Ed Bark at unclebarky.com

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Jarod Parker
I'm so tired of it. I never watch football or basketball or golf of one of a myriad of sports CBS puts on too late in the afternoon on sunday. I do like watching the shows CBS has condemed to sunday nights. WOO HOO they have on screen alerts and will even let you know when there going to start. How does that help anyone not watching the football game. You can't set your dvr because CBS has sent the providers times they already know are wrong.

Simple solutions:

) Stop putting the best shows in the worst possible timeslot.
) Show a shortened version of 60 Minutes. (Its already segmented) That's what they used to do.
) Start the games earlier? (Why after 70 years, is CBS still surprised when a 3 hour event runs over a 2 hour time slot)
) End the games on time and inform the those interested with a crawl at the bottom of the screen? (yeah sure)
) Make an alternate network feed available with programming starting on time. Don't complain about pirates if your show isn't available
Sep 13, 2012   |  Reply
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