CBS moves 'Harper's Island' to Saturday

Ratings-challenged drama's finale set for July 11

Saturday night is starting to get pretty popular.

After three episodes, CBS is moving struggling mystery thriller "Harper's Island" from Thursdays to Saturday nights starting May 2. Newsmagazine "48 Hours Mystery" will take the drama's place.

"Harper's" hit a modest note out of the gate, then declined with each episode. The network still plans to air all the remaining "Harper's" episodes, with the finale set for July 11.

The shakeup comes after NBC relocated "Kings" from Sunday to the low-viewed Saturdays, and ABC scheduled "Pushing Daisies," "Eli Stone" and "Dirty Sexy Money" to burn off their remaining episodes on Saturdays this summer. Yet even being relocated to Saturday by no means guarantees a program will continue uninterrupted -- NBC recently pushed "Kings" to summer after the drama came in last place on its new night.

"The preliminary DVR and online streaming data suggest a passionate audience for 'Harper's' outside its current Thursday time-period borders," CBS scheduling head Kelly Kahl said. "This move gives us an opportunity to improve the time period on Thursday while experimenting with more original programming on Saturday and continuing to serve an audience that is clearly engaged in the ongoing 'Harper's Island' story."

Most thought "Harper's" was an inventive idea -- a mystery series where characters were killed off one by one like on a reality show -- that stumbled from less-than-inventive execution. CBS promoted the show well too. Yet NBC's new cop drama "Southland" went head-to-head against the series and has fared better in the slot.
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