Boston Legal fans won't be able to watch any new episodes of the ABC drama until next fall, when the network plans to run an unprecedented 27 hours.
The culprit is Grey's Anatomy, a midseason entry that's been declared a hit after just two weeks on the air.
When Grey's debuted on March 27, ABC put it in Boston Legal's regular Sunday 10 p.m.slot, which follows the mega hit Desperate Housewives.
The network planned to keep Grey's in that time period for just four weeks (during which it would have otherwise run repeats of Boston Legal), then move the medical show to another night.
After just two episodes, though, Grey's has averaged an audience of 17 million viewers, well above Legal's 12.5 million average for the full season.
Grey's is doing so well that ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson decided to keep it in the post-Desperate hour. "We're in the enviable position of having two shows that have each performed extremely well for us Sundays at 10," says McPherson. "Ultimately we decided that, without having adequate lead time or marketing dollars to devote to moving either show so late in the season, we'd continue to let Grey's build on its tremendous momentum through May."
New episodes of Boston Legal are already in the can since they were originally scheduled to run this spring.
When added to what ABC has already ordered for next season, the network will be able to run 27 new episodes of the show next season.
Among the key 18-49 demo, Grey's has chalked up a lofty 7.4 average rating, ranking it No. 7 among 189 prime time shows that Nielsen has tracked this season.
Legal has an average season rating of 4.9 rating, which puts it in 23rd place, tied with Fox's The Simple Life.
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