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Volume 21 No. 22
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‘Thursday night’ shake-up

NFL bumps Fox shows

My favorite part of the broadcast upfront selling season is seeing the effect sports programming has on entertainment schedules.

This year, Fox cited the presence of “Thursday Night Football” as one reason why it canceled the cult hit “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

“We just didn’t have room for it,” Dana Walden, chairman and CEO of the Fox Television Group, said on a conference call last week. “With ‘Thursday Night Football’ going into the fall, there were two fewer hours to program.”

Gary Newman, chairman and CEO of the Fox Television Group, also cited “Thursday Night Football” as a reason for canceling “Lucifer” and “The Exorcist.” Said Newman, “We have ‘Thursday Night Football’ taking up two hours, so there was a pretty high bar on our schedule this year.”

Ironically, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was picked up by NBC, which lost “Thursday Night Football” to Fox and, presumably, had more space on its schedule.