Fox moves 'O.C.' to Wed., axes 2 rookies

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Fox Broadcasting Co. is taking "The O.C." back to its old turf on Wednesday following a dismal Season 4 premiere last week.

Amid a schedule overhaul for Wednesday and Thursday nights, Fox also has axed its rookie comedy "Happy Hour" and the reality show "The Rich List," which was DOA in its premiere in the 9 p.m. Wednesday slot last week.

In other Fox news, the network is developing a U.S. version of the Canadian comedy series "The Tournament," with Thomas Schlamme on board as executive producer.

This week, Fox intends to run a double dose of "O.C." at 9 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Thursday. But it is understood that Fox is hoping "O.C." will take root in the Wednesday slot so it can open up 9-10 p.m. Thursday for a block of animation repeats that would turn the night into all-comedy for Fox.

"O.C." previously ran on Wednesday during its first full season in 2003-04, but this time around it will face tougher competition from ABC's "Lost" and CBS' "Criminal Minds," though Fox is banking on "O.C." being good counterprogramming to the older-skewing dramas.

On Thursday, Fox will double-run the comedy " 'Til Death" in the 8 p.m. hour, with a repeat airing at 8:30 p.m., where "Happy Hour" once resided, followed at 9 p.m. by another fresh installment of "O.C."

Last week, "O.C." bowed to an anemic 3.4 million viewers and a 1.5 rating/3 share in the adults 18-49 demographic.

"Tournament," from Warner Bros. TV and Schlamme's Shoe Money Prods., is based on the CBC series of the same name. The Fox series will follow a Little League baseball team through the course of one season as they compete to win their league's championship tournament. The project has received a script commitment.

The creative team behind the original series, Howard Busgang, Howard Nemetz and Marty Putz, are on board to pen the script and executive produce with Schlamme.

Schlamme is repped by Endeavor. Busgang and Nemetz are repped by APA. Putz is repped by Howard Lapides and Andrew Lear at the Core.
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