Arrest & Trial takes sked tumbles

In a case of arrested development, Studios USA high-profile rookie Arrest & Trial will be downgraded in the next several weeks from access to late-night homes on top market stations WWOR-TV New York and KCOP-TV Los Angeles.

The Dick Wolf-produced strip has yet to secure renewals in these major cities, deflating chances for another season in syndication. But Studios USA chief Steve Rosenberg says he "will pursue all other opportunities in the coming weeks to keep this series in production for a second season." This could involve exploring the possibility of slotting the show on one of its sister cable outlets like USA.

On KCOP-TV Los Angeles, Arrest & Trial will move to 1:30 a.m. effective April 2, with a third repeat run of Blind Date coming in its place at 7:30 p.m. A source close to the station indicated the decision was a combination of finding a good fit for new acquisition at 7 p.m., Seinfeld (coming from KTLA-TV for its second off-net cycle) and low ratings for Arrest & Trial.

For February sweeps, the show grabbed a 2.7 rating/4 share in the weighted metered markets, which is 31% worse than the station's year-ago time period average, according to Nielsen Media Research. WWOR-TV will bump Arrest & Trial (3.2/5 for February, down 22% from last year's time period average) to 1 a.m., starting March 19, with a station source similarly pointing to low February sweeps ratings as a major factor.

It will replace it with Spin City, moving from 7 p.m. Yet Studios USA points out some growth for Arrest & Trial - on KCOP-TV and WWOR-TV - it jumped 23% and 14% in rating respectively from November to February and out-performed its Spin City lead-in. - Susanne Ault