CBS has sent its freshman comedy “How to Be a Gentleman” packing — but not completely off the schedule.
Rather than cancel the show outright, the network has instead moved “Gentleman” to Saturday nights starting Oct. 15. “Rules of Engagement,” which had been scheduled to air on Saturdays, will now have its season premiere behind “The Big Bang Theory” on Thursday, Oct. 20.
In the meantime, a “Big Bang Theory” rerun will air at 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday next week. “Two and a Half Men” reruns will precede “Gentleman” on Saturdays.
“How to Be a Gentleman” debuted to about 9 million viewers last week and fell to 7.8 million on Thursday (Oct. 6). Its adults 18-49 rating went from 2.7 in the premiere to 2.5.
By themselves, they aren’t awful numbers — every NBC Thursday comedy not named “The Office” would be thrilled with those ratings. But “Gentleman” was losing unhealthy amounts of its lead-in audience from “The Big Bang Theory”: It bled about 45 percent of both total viewers and adults 18-49 Thursday.
“How to Be a Gentleman” has also had its order cut from 13 to nine episodes, so after it exhausts those it will likely disappear.
“Rules of Engagement” aired after “The Big Bang Theory” for part of last season and did a somewhat better job at retaining the lead-in audience. It averaged 8.8 million viewers and a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating in 2010-11.