A heady brew of stiff competition and NBC's decision to move its Friday night anchor show "Law & Order: SVU" (search) to another night conspired to destroy NBC's once powerful Friday-night ratings.
NBC, which until now had won the night, nabbed a third-place finish last week in the nightly ratings race.
The ratings slump - only a few weeks into the new season - has compelled NBC to yank its critically acclaimed drama "Boomtown" from the schedule and swap the timeslots for "Miss Match" and "Dateline."
NBC's newsmagazine will now air at 8 p.m. and "Miss Match" at 9 p.m.
"Miss Match," which stars Alica Silverstone (search) and follows a lovelorn lawyer turned matchmaker, has gotten crushed in the ratings with its target audience of women 18 to 34 years old by "Joan" since its debut on CBS only two weeks ago.
"Boomtown," network execs say, has been put on "hiatus."
It is believed that NBC will keep "Boomtown" in reserve just in case it decides to yank its new Rob Lowe drama, "Lyon's Den," which was beaten in the ratings last week by ABC's "The Practice."