ABC has countered FOX's expansion of the "American Idol" results show, moving the comedy "Notes from the Underbelly" to a place where "Idol" will never air.
The show, a single-camera comedy about a couple (Peter Cambor and Jennifer Westfeldt) expecting their first child, is now set to premiere at 10 p.m. ET Thursday, April 12. That's a day later than ABC had previously planned, but then ABC didn't know until yesterday that FOX would stretch out the "Idol" results.
As it stands now, then, "Notes" will air back-to-back episodes in the post-"Grey's Anatomy" timeslot through at least the end of April. Since FOX ends its prime-time schedule at 10, ABC can be assured that the new show will never have to square off against "Idol."
With "Notes" moving into the 10 p.m. slot, that means a return date for "Men in Trees" is still undetermined, though fans of that show need not worry about its fate; it's one of the series that ABC has already picked up for next season.
The move also creates the little-seen phenomenon of a broadcast network airing a first-run, half-hour comedy in the 10 o'clock hour. The last time that happened was in the early '90s, when FOX programmed the 10 p.m. hour on Sunday nights.
And, since "Notes from the Underbelly" is moving to Thursdays, ABC will keep "In Case of Emergency" in its 9:30 Wednesday spot for a couple more weeks. Its season finale will air April 18 instead of April 4.
In addition to Westfeldt ("Kissing Jessica Stein") and Cambor, "Notes" also stars Rachael Harris ("The Daily Show"), Melanie Paxson ("Happy Family"), Sunkrish Bala (Showtime's "Barbershop") and Michael Weaver ("The Mullets"). Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men in Black," "RV") directed the pilot.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times