ABC will double the current number of sitcoms on its schedule — from two to four — in March by pairing Scrubs and Samantha Who? with a pair of new shows.
The network will also stake out some new territory for its newly created comedy blocks. Starting March 18, Scrubs will move to Wednesday nights, where it will be paired with Better Off Ted at 8 p.m. ET. Samantha Who? will move to 8 p.m. Thursdays beginning March 26, where it will lead into In the Motherhood.
The new Thursday block will take the place Ugly Betty for a while, but ABC says Betty will return when the comedy block finishes its run.
Still awaiting a place in ABC’s lineup is The Goode Family, an animated comedy from the King of the Hill team. A network spokesperson says ABC is still figuring out where to put the show.
The changes will move both Samantha and Scrubs off their respective Monday and Tuesday islands. Samantha Who? aired on Mondays following Dancing with the Stars in the fall and was slated for that same spot following The Bachelor, until ABC decided to air two-hour episodes of that show for the remainder of its run this winter.
Scrubs, meanwhile, has been running in two-episode blocks on Tuesdays, sandwiched between the unscripted series Homeland Security USA and Primetime: What Would You Do? It will stay there, and continue its doubled-up schedule, through next month.
Both comedy blocks will be facing some pretty serious competition. Scrubs and Better Off Ted, which stars Jay Harrington as the good-hearted head of research and development for an amoral conglomerate, will have to compete with FOX’s American Idol-fueled lineup.
The Thursday field is a bit more wide open than it’s been in the past, but Samantha Who? and In the Motherhood, which stars Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and Jessica St. Clair as moms with very different parenting styles, will still have to compete with the newest edition of Survivor on CBS and FOX’s Bones, in addition to an established comedy block on NBC.