[11/19/03 - 12:00 AM] FOX Pulls Tonight's 'Stan Hooper' By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)
CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- In a last-minute programming move, FOX has yanked tonight's planned episode of "A Minute With Stan Hooper" in favor of a repeat of "That '70s Show" ("Misty Mountain Hop").
No explanation was given nor is it clear if next week's scheduled episode of "Hooper" will be yanked as well. FOX had previously announced "Hooper" will be pre-empted on December 3 in favor of a new episode of the upcoming reality series "The Simple Life" (read the story) meaning the freshman comedy will be absent from the network's schedule for at least two of the next three weeks.
"Hooper's" future gets even murkier come 2004 as FOX plans to air "American Idol's" half-hour results show in "Hooper's" Wednesday, 8:30/7:30c time slot beginning January 21 (read the story). For its three airings this season, the Norm Macdonald-led comedy is averaging 6.0 million viewers. Last week's episode snagged 5.8 million viewers, an increase of 12% over its previous airing (5.2 million). Nevertheless, "Hooper" is off 21% in year-to-year comparisons for the same three-week stretch when "Cedric the Entertainer Presents" held the slot (7.6 million). Making matters worse is that lead-in "That '70s Show" is actually up 6% compared year-to-year with last year's initial Wednesday, 8:00/7:00c time slot holder "The Bernie Mac Show" (8.6 million vs. 8.1 million).