Update: WKYC president Brooke Spectorsky explained to The Hollywood Reporter just what prompted the Matlock decision: Matlock sympathy after being snubbed by some fancy folks in Hollywood.
"The Academy did snub Andy Griffith," says Spectorsky. "We thought it would be a nice tribute."
Griffith, who starred as a veteran criminal defense attorney on Matlock from 1986-95, was among the late actors to not make the Oscars' In Memoriam reel Sunday, and his exclusion has been among the most debated.
There ya go. And if you missed it the first time 'round, WKYC will again be airing the Matlock movie this upcoming Thursday, but the Andy Griffith love stops after that. — Grzegorek
Scene received a tweet last night alerting us that Matlock was airing on NBC; Matlock, that Andy Griffith legal drama from the eighties and nineties beloved among folks in their sixties and seventies.
The Thursday 9-11 p.m. lineup on NBC typically features The Office (rerun), 1600 Penn, and Law & Order SVU (rerun). Turns out WKYC dropped the full block for the two-hour 1992 Matlock movie, and the ratings didn't suffer much.
In fact, over the first hour, the ratings were exactly the same as the comedy programming in other markets. Griffith couldn't quite keep pace with SVU though. WKYC might have fared better if they'd preempted the full comedy block from 8-10 and kept SVU before local news.
The primary reason for abandoning a weak network lineup is the premium on local advertising allocations. From ShowBuzzDaily:
A failing network is vulnerable to local preemptions. The network’s own stations decide an old movie or a state high school basketball tournament or a Billy Graham revival special is a better bet than a terrible network line-up: the ratings might be just as low, but at least the local station keeps all the commercial time (10-12 minutes or more per hour) instead of the stingy normal local allocation (2 minutes per hour).
This will become increasingly problematic as more of us watch the majority of our TV on Netflix, unless of course local preemptions inspire a reboot (or full-scale rerun) of the TGIF dream block.