Television networks are reacting in real time to the news coming out of Boston, adjusting their schedules to accomodate breaking news, special coverage, and sensitive content that might be inappropriate to air given the nation’s mood. Several adjustments have already been made, and given the turbulent situation, many more could still happen.
FRIDAY, APRIL 19
– CBS has moved tonight’s original episode of Vegas from Friday to Saturday to make way for a special CBS News report on the Boston bombings hosted by Scott Pelley from 9pm to 10pm. Vegas will now air tomorrow, Saturday, April 20, at 8pm. This isn’t a good sign for Vegas, as CBS chose to bump it instead of moving scheduled REPEATS of Undercover Boss and Hawaii Five-0, at 8pm and 10pm respectively.
– Today’s Boston Red Sox game versus the Kansas City Royals has been postponed and will be part of a double-header tomorrow.
[UPDATE 2:44pm Pacific]
– ABC will air live news coverage from Boston tonight. World News with Diane Sawyer will be extended to an hour and air from 6:30pm to 7:30pm Eastern. 20/20 will air from 10pm to 11pm Eastern, as previously scheduled. Nightline will air at 12:35am and summarize the day’s events. Currently, it appears that new episodes of Happy Endings and Shark Tank will still air as planned.
SATURDAY, APRIL 20
– The episode of Vegas previously scheduled for Friday, April 19 will air on CBS at 8pm.
MONDAY, APRIL 22
– ABC has decided to swap the order of the next two Castle episodes. The episode originally scheduled to air April 22 involves a bomb-related plot, which the network has wisely decided to postpone it until April 29. The episode originally scheduled for April 29 will now air on April 22.
THURSDAY, APRIL 26
– NBC is pulling the fourth episode of Hannibal entirely, at creator Bryan Fuller’s request, reports Variety. The episode’s story centers on a group of children who are brainwashed—by guest-star Molly Shannon—into killing other children, and because of the Newtown shootings and the bombings in Boston, Fuller felt “the associations that came with the subject matter … would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode.” The episode isn’t being rescheduled; it’s being canned entirely. The network is planning to post relevant scenes from the episode that explain character development, accompanied by Fuller’s commentary, online at a future date. Hannibal will jump straight into Episode 5, and the first season will be shorted by a week. The show’s season finale will now air on June 20. Though the entire fourth episode is being pulled, NBC insists there will be no continuity issues due to skipping it. Also, it will still air overseas.