NBC Moves ‘The Contender’ Again

NBC has once again blinked in the reality battle with Fox, moving last fall’s ‘The Contender’ from the previously announced Tuesday slot opposite ‘American Idol’ starting March 1st to a Wednesday night slot beginning March 9th. Surprisingly large ratings for ‘American Idol’ are to blame. ‘The Contender’, produced by Mark Burnett (‘Survivor’/’The Apprentice’) and featuring Sylvester Stallone was announced last summer as a boxing-themed reality program, and quickly became the most expensive reality show ever produced. However, when Fox rushed their hackjob ‘The Next Great Champ’ to air, and then promptly failed, NBC grew scared and quickly moved to distance their show from the Fox knock-off. The decision to attack ‘American Idol’ head-on had been made after a similar decision with ‘The Apprentice’ had seen surprising results against TV’s highest rated drama, ‘CSI’. Those interested in ‘The Contender’ will want to schedule Monday, March 7th for the special premiere episode, at which point it will settle into its regular Wednesday slot.