The CW will try to shore up its Sunday-night schedule later this month with a show that, for some time last spring, looked like it wouldn't be back: "Reba."
The sitcom starring Reba McEntire will make its return to TV on Sunday, Nov. 19 with back-to-back episodes starting at 7 p.m. Beginning the following week, the network will air a repeat of the show at 7 p.m., followed by an original at 7:30 that will lead into "7th Heaven."
That's the second big change the new network has made to Sundays in the past month. The CW switched its Sunday and Monday lineups in early October, sending the long-running "7th Heaven" and the soon-to-be-cancelled "Runaway" to Sundays and moving its comedy block anchored by "Everybody Hates Chris" and "Girlfriends" to Mondays.
The move worked out well for the comedies, whose ratings have improved some since the change, and less so for "7th Heaven," which has seen its audience fall by about a million viewers. Adding "Reba" to the night will create a family-friendly block of programming from 7 to 9 p.m., although with the likes of "Sunday Night Football," "The Amazing Race" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" as competition, a big ratings bump doesn't seem likely.
"Reba" was The WB's highest-rated sitcom for virtually all of the five seasons it aired there. The CW, though, initially seemed to be leaning toward dropping the series, which would have meant paying an eight-figure kill fee to producer 20th Century Fox TV left the show. The network decided to renew it after all, holding it in reserve for after the fall launch.
The CW ran a repeat "Supernatural" at 7 p.m. last Sunday and will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks.