Rival nets plan on attacking NBC’s Thursday night territory

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For years, Thursday night has been owned by one network: NBC. Since the early 90’s arrival of Seinfeld, Thursday shows like Will and Grace and Friends created a block of programming so powerful that it came to be called ‘Must See TV.’ The other networks were forced to work around it.

Since the end of Friends, however, NBC’s lock on Thursday night has eroded. New shows like Scrubs and Friends spin-off Joey haven’t connected with audiences, while older shows like Will and Grace have seen a decline in ratings.

Now, the other networks are sharpening their knives, preparing for a fall offensive. UPN is bringing Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris to Thursday. Fox moved The O.C. there, and ABC is moving Alias there as well. The WB will move hits Smallville and Everwood to the night starting in the fall.