The one-week (for now) arrangement will move “Cold Case” to the 9 p.m. ET spot, where it aired last season to much bigger audiences than it’s had so far this fall. “Three Rivers,” the only new show this season whose future is still up in the air, will air at 10 p.m.
(In reality, both shows will likely start a little later than their announced times. CBS has the national NFL doubleheader on Sunday, and the late-afternoon games typically bleed into primetime and bump the regular schedule back.)
The changeup comes at the tail end of November sweeps and toward the end of “Three Rivers'” initial order. Seven episodes have aired, and a couple more have finished filming, which means if the network does want more episodes, it has to make a decision soon to avoid a shutdown of the production.
Neither show has put up especially good ratings so far this fall. “Three Rivers” is averaging 8.34 million viewers a week this season, well off what “Cold Case” was doing in the time period at this time last season (12.15 million). “Cold Case” (9.45 million) is below both its own numbers last year and those of “The Unit” (10.04 million), the previous occupant of the 10 o’clock Sunday spot.
Both shows are last in their time period in the adults 18-49 demographic, with “Three Rivers” averaging a 1.9 rating and “Cold Case” a 2.0.
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