With the network announcing their new fall schedules this week, several prominent shows are on the move to new nights or new timeslots.
Maybe the biggest move is "2 1/2 Men" on CBS, once TV's top-rated comedy and a staple on Mondays at 9 p.m. It'll move to Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. behind "Big Bang Theory," giving that series a stable companion show. It will be replaced by "Two Broke Girls" in "Men's" old timeslot.
The network also is moving "The Mentalist" to Sundays at 10 p.m., replacing "CSI: Miami." "The Mentalist" will be replaced by the new series "Elementary" on Thursdays.
Fox will switch "Glee" from Tuesdays to Thursdays, while NBC looks to start a new comedy block on Fridays by moving "Community" and "Whitney" to the 8-9 timeslot.
ABC's biggest move is switching new hit "Revenge" from Wednesdays at 10 p.m. to Sundays at 9, giving the network the replacement it has sought for "Desperate Housewives." Sitcoms "Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust the B--" have switched to Tuesdays as ABC tries to beef up its comedy offerings on that night.
Switching timeslots is always a tough risk-reward prospect for any series. For a low-rated but well-regarded series like "Community," it means moving out of a competitive timeslot to a lower-rated night, where expectations are lower. It also means the network still wants the show to succeed. But switching means altering viewing habits, meaning a show might lose some of its audience after switching.
That's a bigger risk for a show like "Men," which has been a staple on Mondays for a decade. Some shows, like "The Good Wife," can move to a new night without too much damage; others can get lost in the shuffle.
It's interesting that the networks are taking chances with relatively new shows. "Revenge" has been a surprise hit this season on Wednesdays, but Sundays are more competitive because you have to factor in a lot of cable offerings. So ABC is taking a risk, even though the show's ratings are strong. They feel it's easier to launch a show with an established audience in that timeslot rather than go with a new show, which could get lost among so many other offerings.
For some shows, like "Glee," it's perhaps a chance to stop the loss of bleeding viewers.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Suburgatory" (ABC, 8:30 p.m.) wraps up a fine first season with guest star Alicia Silverstone, while "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Don't Trust" are also new, as is "Revenge."
"Criminal Minds" wraps up its season with a two-hour finale (CBS, 9 p.m.), while Fox airs two hours of "American Idol." NBC has a new "Law & Order: SVU" at 10 p.m.
On cable, it's the second part of the BBC America miniseries "White Heat" at 10 p.m.