ABC Doubles Up on 'Big Day'

ABC is quitting its comedic therapy, opting instead to make its "Big Day" a little bigger on Tuesday nights.

Starting next week, the network will run back-to-back episodes of "Big Day," its first-year comedy about a young couple's (Marla Sokoloff, Josh Cooke) wedding day that's told more or less in real time. That spells the end of the line for "Help Me Help You," in which Ted Danson's therapist oversees the therapy of a motley group of neurotics.

The word from ABC is that "Help Me," which has taken a big ratings tumble without the lead-in of "Dancing with the Stars," is "on hiatus, effective immediately." Nine of the show's 13 episodes have aired; there's no word on whether the remaining four will see the light of day.

Through its first three airings, "Big Day," which also stars Wendie Malick, Kurt Fuller and Miriam Shor, has averaged about 6.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. Those are hardly inspiring numbers, but they're at least better than "Help Me's" 4.5 million viewers and sub-2.0 demo rating.

That's a precipitous drop from early in the season, when thanks to the "Dancing" lead-in "Help Me Help You" drew better than 10 million viewers in a week (which, admittedly, was only a little more than half what "DWTS" did).

With double airings scheduled for each of the next five weeks, "Big Day" will reach the end of its initial 13-episode order by mid-January. There's no word on what ABC will do with the 9 p.m. Tuesday timeslot after that.

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