CHICAGO–Fox is close to dropping an hour of network programming. It is deep in discussions with its affiliates over handing back the 10 p.m. hour on Sun" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Fox debates turning in earlier on Sundays By Eric Schmuckle

CHICAGO–Fox is close to dropping an hour of network programming. It is deep in discussions with its affiliates over handing back the 10 p.m. hour on Sun

Some affiliates have actually been pushing to get this hour back, as a kind of trade-off for clearing the Chevy Chase Show this fall. Many stations are doing a very nice business with syndicated product at 11:00 p.m. weekdays, frequently winning the time period in their markets, and they will have to give that up for the late-night hopeful.
Said one top affiliate, “There was a desire by affiliates to recapture that time period, and Fox felt that doing seven nights and Chevy was a lot on their plate. I think it’ll be mutually beneficial. There has been a favorable response from Fox.”
The 15-hour weekly limit that exempted Fox from the fin-syn rules is no longer an issue, since that was swept away in the recent rulings from Washington.
The time period has been a problem for Fox. It’s the net’s lowest rated hour (or it was, until Tribeca appeared), limping along with a 7 share. The sacrificial lambs this season have included Flying Blind, the wayunderrated Ben Stiller Show and the cult flop Woops:’
Part of the problem is that several big market affiliates have been running news at 10 and pushing the entertainment shows back into late night. Fox affiliate board chairman Greg Filandrinos of KDNL in St. Louis estimated that perhaps 20 affils are doing that. He said there had been discussions on the time period, but it was not yet a done deal. “We’d love to have it back,” he added. Fox had no comment.
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