After CBS struck ratings gold by airing old episodes of Yellowstone to fill gaps in its Fall lineup from the writer and actor strikes, ABC is pulling a similar move with Only Murders in the Building. The mystery series starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez has been a breakout hit for Hulu, so why not create some of that magic on ABC?
As of now, the plan is to only air Season 1 of Only Murders in two hour blocks consisting of three episodes, with the exception of the finale. Here’s the broadcast schedule:
Episodes 1-3: January 2, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Episodes 4-6: January 9, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Episodes 7-9: January 16, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Episode 10: January 23, 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Both Hulu and ABC are owned by Disney, in case you were curious how any of this works. However, there will be a little bit of finagling to adjust for time slots and network codes.
According to insiders, ABC will follow broadcast standards and practices rules on the episodes, and the network has been working with the show’s producers on edits that need to be made (likely, mostly language that runs afoul of FCC rules). In terms of timing, episodes will not be edited down. To fit the timeslot, credit windows will only air once a night, and recaps will only appear at the top of the night’s first episode after week one.
Of course, CBS only planned on airing the first season of Yellowstone until it became a ratings hit. With entertainment companies leaning back into the older, ad-based broadcast model, there is a chance Only Murders’ next two seasons could air on ABC, too. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing. Network television viewers deserve to see Paul Rudd eat a cookie, too.