Poor NBC. It's been a really weird week for them. First, the former jewel in their morning news crown is beaten in the ratings by a lowly local show in the New York City market, and now a Cleveland station is bumping their primetime lineup for Matlock: The Legacy. Yes, the people over at WKYC-TV think people would rather watch some ancient two-hour special of Matlock than a new episode of 1600 Penn or repeats of The Office or Law & Order: SVU, The Hollywood Reporter, er, reported.
According to WKYC's president and GM Brooke Spectorsky the move was intended in part as a tribute to Andy Griffith, who was one of the many notable actors snubbed in the In Memoriam tribute at this year's Oscars. But it's really coming off as more of an insult to the struggling NBC, even though the network did apparently approve the decision. The episodes that got bumped to make way for Matlock were all repeats save for the new comedy 1600 Penn. The primetime lineup is being moved to the "late night Saturday/early Sunday morning" lineup and will now air at 1:30 a.m., as Deadline points out.
And guess what? Next week when yet another new episode of 1600 Penn is supposed to air, WKYC viewers will get a chance to remember the richness of Matlock: The Heist. Though Spectorsky told James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly that this wasn't a ratings ploy (once again, we reiterate, Matlock), Hibberd explains that you know NBC is in the pits when "Matlock's ratings are not much different than the regular shows." And running reruns of classic shows is not such a bad idea, according to Vulture's Josef Adalian, who was brainstorming on ways NBC could help itself. We bet NBC doesn't want to think about what might have happened if the station aired some episodes of Friends or Seinfeld.