ABC is performing some emergency surgery on Friday night, pulling this week’s planned broadcast of "Wife Swap" to make room for a repeat of "Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution."
That’s according to the network’s media website, which now lists an encore of last Friday’s "Food Revolution" in the 8 p.m. Friday slot normally occupied by "Wife Swap." The latter series just began its new season last week.
The reason for the change is pretty basic: When ABC aired back-to-back "Food Revolution" episodes two weeks ago, the 9 p.m. edition did very, very well. (A same-day boost from an "Oprah" appearance certainly helped).
But when "Wife Swap" served as a lead-in to "Food Revolution," the Oliver show saw its numbers decline. The Easter weekend holiday and stronger competition no doubt played a part, but ABC clearly isn’t taking any chances.
Networks have increasingly turned to two-hour reality blocks as effective programming ("The Celebrity Apprentice," "Dancing with the Stars.")
ABC’s media website currently has "Wife Swap" set to return on April 16 — but if "Food Revolution" gets a boost from the repeat-original play, don’t be surprised if "Wife Swap" remains on hiatus until "Food Revolution" wraps its first season.
Meanwhile, NBC is using a similar double-down strategy on Mondays, according to an e-mail sent to affiliates. It’s decided to air "Law & Order" repeats at 9 p.m. on Monday, May 3 and May 10, with originals remaining at 10 p.m.
That means "Trauma" will have its season (almost certainly series) finale on April 26.
We didn’t reach out to NBC to confirm this because it’s "Trauma": We long ago stopped caring whether the show lived or died (sorry, "Trauma" creators and fans; nothing personal). The Futon Critic, did reach out, however, and says the Peacock confirmed the move.