Prime-time broadcast TV is going to be rearranged Wednesday night thanks in part to both Susan Boyle and Barack Obama. The president’s prime-time press conference will occupy the 8 p.m. ET hour on all networks except Fox, which will keep its scheduled two-hour So You Think You Can Dance, which is its 99th episode.
Obama’s plans for a press conference at 9 p.m. was met by resistance from all of the networks except CBS, in part because NBC is airing Susan Boyle’s appearance on America’s Got Talent 4 at 9, which led the press conference to be bumped back to 8 p.m. The Washington Post’s Lisa de Moraes asks if “the president of the United States — leader of the free world — move his Wednesday news conference from 9 to 8 p.m. to get out of the way of ‘America’s Got Talent’?” The answer appears to be yes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which says “NBC demonstrated reluctance to carry Obama’s news conference live” so “the White House moved its start time to 8 p.m.”
Regardless of the president, I find presidents demanding prime-time broadcast coverage at the last minute to be obnoxious–unless, of course, there’s actually some kind of breaking news; there’s no need for networks to give up ad dollars and disrupt their schedules essentially for political reasons, which George Bush did repeatedly, too. Real news? Interrupt prime-time programming all week. But if you want to schedule a prime-time fireside chat, do that in advance.
Anyway, here’s tonight’s modified reality TV schedule, which, incredibly, TV Guide and Yahoo TV and others still aren’t showing:
8 p.m. ET: So You Think You can Dance, Fox
9 p.m. ET: Wipeout, ABC; America’s Got Talent 4, NBC
10 p.m. ET: I Survived a Japanese Game Show, ABC
Most will carry Obama press conference; time shifted after NBC balked [Hollywood Reporter]