Hell Freezes Over At MSNBC…

The seemingly unthinkable happened today, despite a chorus of calls going back years for this to happen. Chris Matthews is losing his twice a day airing of Hardball and will now only be seen at 7pm now. Ed Schultz is coming back M-Fr to the 5pm hour. Obvious question: Er…what happened to all that hubbub about Schultz wanting a curtailed schedule when the move was made to put him on weekends only?

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie interviewed Phil Griffin about this long long overdue move…

“Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter.

The latest schedule shift displaces the first airing of Hardball With Chris Matthews. Currently Matthews’ show airs at 5 p.m. with a repeat at 7 p.m.; beginning Aug. 26, Hardball will have one run at 7 p.m. (Hardball’s 7 p.m. show traditionally gets higher ratings than the 5 p.m. premiere). And Griffin expects those numbers to improve after the move. The move makes MSNBC’s primetime lineup all new for the first time since the network’s shift to a political focus. “We’ve grown a lot in the last decade,” said Griffin, adding that Schultz “laughed a little” when he called to ask him to move back to weeknights.

The move, added Griffin, “makes us whole in early prime. Obviously we had to make sure we had the right show. The Ed Show is the right show.”

I would disagree. From a flow standpoint, the right move would have been to put Schultz on at 7pm and have Matthews stay at 5pm. I think Schultz is a better fit with what preceeds and follows the 7pm timeslot.

18 Responses to “Hell Freezes Over At MSNBC…”

  1. Chris Matthews is losing his twice a day airing of Hardball and will now only be seen at 5pm now. Ed Schultz is coming back M-Fr to the 7pm hour.

    Here Spud, let me help you:
    Chris Matthews is losing his twice a day airing of Hardball and will now only be seen at 7pm now. Ed Schultz is coming back M-Fr to the 5pm hour.

  2. bushleaguer Says:

    Finally MSNBC is ditching the Hardball repeat. I thought it would never happen.

    Still doesn’t solve the Chris Hayes issue…..unless moving Schultz back to weekdays is putting him in the position where if Hayes continues to struggle they can just make a switch and move Hayes to 5pm (which probably wouldn’t work either but that’s beside the point).

  3. Griffin and Olbermann need to put their egos aside, bury their shovels and get back to work.

  4. At the end of his show tonight Matthews asked viewers to tune on at 7PM to see his show. He didn’t mention Rd’s new show and didn’t look pleased with what was happening.

    “Finally MSNBC is ditching the Hardball repeat.”

    ^^ Actually they’re losing the original hour so Matthews will now have to stay on until 7 PM to do his show live; if they decide do that.

    Personally I didn’t watch a ‘ED’ at 6 PM; at 8 PM or on the weekend. I won’t be watching him at 5 PM either.

  5. savefarris Says:

    Still doesn’t solve the Chris Hayes issue.

    You know what’ll solve that problem? Replacing the 7P Hardball with the Ezra Klein Show! — Roger Ailes

  6. At the end of his show tonight Matthews asked viewers to tune on at 7PM to see his show. He didn’t mention Rd’s new show and didn’t look pleased with what was happening.

    7pm is past his bedtime. I’d be perfectly fine with Matthews and MSNBC parting company – unless he’d be replaced by Ezra Klein or Alex Wagner.

  7. I would disagree. From a flow standpoint, the right move would have been to put Schultz on at 7pm and have Matthews stay at 5pm. I think Schultz is a better fit with what preceeds and follows the 7pm timeslot.

    Ill have to respectfully disagree with Spud on this point. On a flow standpoint, Ed at 5 is better than at 7… Having Schultz, the big union guy pushing for equal rights on before Sharpton, the polarizing race induced, civil rights activist, works out well because they have similar styles in what kind of news they cover.

    Also, right before Hayes comes on, you have a political savvy junkie in Matthews to lead into the quiet lineup of Hayes, Maddow and LOD. I think it works out perfectly.

    That whole four hour lineup before prime time of Bashir, Schultz, Sharpton, and Matthews, who are all basically polarizing blowhards that like to rant, works well for the crowd who wants to see a nice flow of hosts who are basically always attacking the GOP and coservatives, then you end the night with three hosts that are pretty calm and laid back discussing issues of the day.

  8. bushleaguer Says:

    Kevin – having Matthews at 7pm doesn’t change anything….he’s on at 7pm right now. Granted, it’s a re-run of his 5pm airing but if the show is live I don’t see how that changes things.
    The “quiet lineup,” I think, is part of the problem. Maddow and Hayes are to alike in terms of temperament and presentation…..and thus I’d imagine that people just skip Hayes for Maddow. What’s more, Hayes is damaging Maddow’s show to a small extent by not providing a strong lead-in.

    I won’t be tuning into Ed either but I’m glad to see the network finally get rid of the redundancy at 5 and 7.

  9. bushleaguer Says:

    Oh, forgot to mention that I DVR’d Matthews to see if he would say anything about it and I agree that he didn’t look very happy.

  10. savefarris Says:

    Did you just use the word “Quiet” to describe Lawrence?

    Seriously?

  11. Quiet compared to the1-4pm hours, yes.

  12. As far as Matthews being upset about his live hour being changed, I got three words: suck it up. He’s had that earlier hour pretty much ever since he got to MSNBC, and the network has catered to his needs far too much, plus getting an extra repeat hour, which does better than his live hour. So maybe doing that 7pm show will motivate him to get better ratings. I know it’s probably a lost cause, considering his typical numbers, but why not push someone to do better.

  13. “So maybe doing that 7pm show will motivate him to get better ratings.”

    ^^His ratings should improve somewhat as many those who watch his show at 5 pm will now be watching at 7pm. It will be interesting to see how that is reflected in the ratings.

  14. savefarris Says:

    Kevin, behold Lawrence at his quietest

  15. It’s only Tuesday. We have three days left of Matthews shouting that he’ll be on at 7pm only. Quitcher cryin’, Chrissy..you’ve outlasted Olbermann, Abrams, Tucker, Shuster, Uygur, Rita Cosby, and several attempts to get Ed Schultz to stick in primetime. Be happy.

  16. ^ He’s been on TV solo for what, 20 years? Shut up and act as though you planned it this way.

  17. Christ Hayes is too damn smart for all of you. He’s the sharpest mind on the network, along with Rachel and Melissa Harris Perry. But he doesn’t repeat himself as much. He’s brilliant, quick, and funny. It would be soooo wrong to underestimate him.

  18. He’s definitely too damn smart for people who call him “Christ”, so you have a point.

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