ProSieben puts 'Simpsons' in primetime


BERLIN -- German channel ProSieben is putting the long-running animated series "The Simpsons" into primetime for the first time in the territory.

The move is partly designed to capitalize on the success of 20th Century Fox's feature "The Simpsons Movie," which opened at No. 1 last week in Germany, grossing more than €10 million ($13.6 million) in its first weekend. But ProSieben also is desperate for a primetime hit.

"Simpsons" will move into the primetime slot occupied by sci-fi series "The 4400," which has been a ratings flop here. Starting on Monday, and for the next three weeks, ProSieben will air back-to-back "Simpsons" episodes in primetime.

"Simpsons" has been a regular feature on ProSieben since the start of the series. But the cartoon sitcom has always been in daytime slots.

ProSieben managing director Andreas Bartl said he hasn't ruled out keeping the yellow-skinned residents of Springfield in primetime but that a final decision has yet to be made.

ProSieben will unveil its new programming schedule Aug. 27.