It takes great strength to move a mountain, but The WB has already moved freshman drama “The Mountain” twice. In a decision expected by many in the industry, The WB has shifted the critically hailed “Jack & Bobby” to Wednesday nights and shunted the critically reviled “The Mountain” off to Sunday nights.
“Jack & Bobby” is set to make its Wednesday 9 p.m. ET time period premiere on Oct. 27 with the episode “Valentino,” while “The Mountain” will have its first Sunday 9 p.m. episode, titled “Best Laid Plans,” on Oct. 31.
“‘Jack & Bobby’ is a smart family drama with an inherently youthful storyline, and that’s been reflected in its consistent retention of teens and female teens out of ‘Charmed,'” says WB Entertainment President David Janollari. “Patient nurturing has long presaged success for WB dramas, and by pairing ‘Smallville’ with ‘Jack & Bobby’ we think we have two powerful shows with dual audience entry points and strong upscale appeal.”
Given a full season pick-up almost immediately, “Jack & Bobby” has struggled to hold onto its “Charmed” lead-in, averaging a sub-“Tarzan” 3.23 million viewers. This past week, “Jack & Bobby” was the least watched original program on any of the six networks, drawing only 2.25 million viewers. With the stronger “Smallville” as its lead-in, the drama from “Everwood” creator Greg Berlanti may get a boost. Additionally, the new home will have “Jack & Bobby” executive producer Thomas Schlamme facing his old employers on NBC’s “The West Wing.”
The WB originally set “The Mountain” for a Thursday night home, but slid it back to Wednesday after FOX announced that “The O.C.” would try to stake a claim to Thursdays. Although the move to Sundays may seem like a punishment for “The Mountain,” which has only averaged 2.98 million viewers per night, The WB also announced that four additional “Mountain” scripts have been ordered, usually an indication that a network is at least considering a back nine pick-up.
“We believe this show will prove more compatible with a fun show like ‘Charmed,’ which continues to be a major player for the network,” Janollari says of “The Mountain.” “Taken together, we believe this change gives both these new dramas their best chance to succeed on our schedule.”
Both dramas may need to watch their backs, because “Summerland,” already a minor hit in the summer, will be ready to return in January.