The Great “Rules of Engagement” To Saturdays Experiment of 2011 is over after zero episodes.
After two disappointing performances on Thursday at 8:30, the freshman comedy “How To Be a Gentleman” has been shipped off to a Saturday demise, while “Rules of Engagement” is moving back to the Thursday home it occupied last spring.
“How To Be a Gentleman,” which has effectively been canned, will shift to Saturday nights starting on October 15, where it will air in the 8:30 slot after repeats of “Two and a Half Men.” The comedy’s series order has also been trimmed.
For Thursday, October 13, CBS will air a “Big Bang Theory” repeat in the 8:30 half-hour, with “Rules of Engagement” making its triumphant return on Thursday, October 20.
Many observers were surprised in May when CBS elected to renew “Rules of Engagement” for a sixth season while also programming it in the hinterland of Saturday, a night networks abandoned for original scripted programming years ago. At the time, CBS executives discussed it as a high class problem and explained that the network just had more comedies than it had time slots.
But “How To Be a Gentleman” had a soft premiere last week and CBS promptly delayed the premiere of “Rules of Engagement” by a week in what now looks like a clear wait-and-see move. “Gentleman” slipped to only 7.8 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 in its second airing, dismal numbers when your lead-in is “Big Bang Theory.”
CBS knows that “Rules of Engagement” may not do huge numbers on Thursday, but that it will retain at the same respectable rate it has retained airing after either “BBT” or “How I Met Your Mother” on Mondays.