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October 7, 2015

CBS's Sunday flip-flop: Cold Case for Three Rivers

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 17th 2009 11:50AM
cold_case_lilySundays have always been a good night for CBS. It's been a good day for years, thanks to the NFL. Traditionally, the football games bleed right into prime time, which commences at seven o'clock because of 60 Minutes. Even in the days when CBS broadcast Sunday night movies, the network has done well on that night of the week.

However, the advent of the NBC Football Night in America has put a dent in CBS's strength. Also the ABC lineup and Fox's animation domination are no slouches either. So, CBS is going to do something to bolster Sundays. Three Rivers and Cold Case will switch time slots.


Currently, Cold Case suffers as the last show on the schedule, often pushed beyond the 10 o'clock start because of football overruns. The Nielsens have shown that Three Rivers is the weakest show that night, so CBS is going to test the theory by moving Three Rivers to the end of the chain and see if it falls into the ocean, so to speak.

It's also going to see if Cold Case bounces back to 2008 levels when it aired at 9. It's a one-night only switch, but if it shows a significant change in the numbers, it'll probably be made permanent. CBS is reportedly considering an order for additional Three Rivers, but it hasn't decided how many more to ask for -- two or five? The main point is that it's not a full-season pick up.

Cold Case has earned a shot to prove itself. It was on the bubble last season, but was given a seventh season renewal. The fact that it's struggling might be more about the schedule than the quality of the show. I know that personally I'm watching less of Cold Case because of the screwed up times. Even with a DVR, you have all kinds of overlap to get the show recorded. However, since I watch Amazing Race, I will be likely to stick with CBS to watch Cold Case, and if there are others like me, that's good for Cold Case's future. We'll see...

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This is a shame. Three Rivers is an excellent show. The football pushing it as late as 10:30 where I live - and then being up against football on other networks - even the World Series - gave it a bad start. That is such a shame. Most viewers don't watch a show unless they have seen it from the beginning - I know that is how I am - and I have watched Three Rivers from the beginning. It was nominated for a PCA for Best New Drama for a very good reason - it is an amazing show. I hope that CBS works it out. It would be a crime to cancel this awesome new show.

November 19 2009 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MichaelC2B's comment

I'm thrilled to see someone else (two of you, actually) commenting on the very excellent Three Rivers, which is one of the best shows I have ever seen and I've been around for many years. I love this show! It's emotional, well-acted, just incredible, with great stories. This is why Sunday's time slot is just not good for it. It runs opposite Desperate Housewives which I watch while having to tape Three Rivers.

I also love Cold Case. Here in S. California the football doesn't get in the way and the regular CBS shows start right on time. My friend in Florida, though, stopped watching Cold Case because football affected the starting time.

Anyway, I hope Three Rivers isn't dumped because that show deserves a larger audience and compared to the junk on TV most of the time, it's beyond outstanding.

November 23 2009 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's hoping that the switch in time slots will help Cold Case stick around longer, because the show is still going strong. I thought the most recent episode, "Read Between The Lines" was as good as anything they've ever done, and thought Zeb and Donalyn were excellent characters.

I also really liked that they played MC Lyte's "Act Like You Know" when Zeb took Donalyn to her audition - really fit the whole scene (lyrically and musically) well. The scene is on YouTube at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGCNcFKkQp0

November 17 2009 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re the above - Three Rivers is a good show as is Cold Case. The trouble is that there are so many good shows on Sunday night. The networks should move some of these shows around. Put some of them on Friday or Saturday night. There are alot of people (especially seniors) who do not go out on those nights (and if we do, we're home early) and we would certainly enjoy see3ing some of those shows. I have 4 dvr's that are working overtime on Sunday evenings. thank goodness for On Demand for the cable programs.

November 17 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never understood why the networks don't add at least a half hour to football time. They ALWAYS run late! They should probably add an hour. Then our DVRing would also catch the shows.

November 17 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved The Unit sorry to see it go. I also love Cold Case. But it is hard to watch because of football. It never starts on time and always runs late. Hopefully this will help.

November 17 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff N.

Well the Problem here is they took a great show"The Unit" Cancelled it and put a not very good show Three Rivers in it's place. The Unit had very decent ratings. Three Rivers not so much. There was nothing else on Network TV like the Unit, Three Rivers is ho hum.

November 17 2009 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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