NBC Stokes More 'Folks'
22 minutes ago
By Josef Adalian
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Saturday night's once again all right for original programming on NBC.
The network has scheduled the second season of reality hit "Meet My Folks" for 10 p.m. Saturdays, starting Jan. 25. Two hours of "Law & Order" repeats will serve as the dating game's lead-in from 8-10 p.m.
The move marks a subtle shift away from NBC's recent strategy of avoiding firstrun series fare on the night in favor of burning off its large inventory of theatricals.
NBC will probably return to airing movies this spring, but entertainment president Jeff Zucker has stated a desire to bring series fare back to the night no later than fall 2004.
"I think we've all said that if you program Saturday night, (viewers) will come," Zucker told Daily Variety. "We're dipping our toes back in the water here." "Folks" will actually get a two-hour, two-episode premiere from 9-11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 20. The episode, which features eight women competing for the chance to go on a European vacation with one man, will form part of a three-part arc that will conclude with the Jan. 25 time slot bow.
NBC is tweaking "Folks" for its second season. In addition to the show's first three-part episode, the network is planning a "Meet My Kids" installment in which teenage offspring have to select a date for their mom or dad. Also planned is an episode in which parents choose a date for their son from a set of twins.
NBC, along with ABC, has been avoiding firstrun series fare on Saturday nights after having tried in vain to halt years of disastrous viewer declines on the night. Fox generally wins the night in adults 18-49 with stalwarts "Cops" and "America's Most Wanted," while CBS is holding its own with action-oriented fare.