While most networks defer to the ratings juggernaut of the Super Bowl, Showtime plans a night of counter-programming with new episodes of “Shameless,” “House of Lies” and “Episodes.”
The network announced the scheduling changes Friday, nine days ahead of the game. Other networks often run reruns on Super Bowl Sunday, ceding the night because the Super Bowl is inevitably the most-watched program of the year. It also provides huge boosts to the shows that follow it.
“The strength and performance of our three winter shows has been remarkable,” said Kim Lemon, executive vice president of Program Planning, Scheduling and Research for Showtime Networks Inc. “We’ve looked at the competitive landscape, and we have an opportunity to be one of the few scripted alternatives on Super Bowl Sunday.”
Lemon allowed for the possibility that some football fans might opt to go to the tape: “If the 100 million plus viewers who watch the Super Bowl prefer to watch a replay of our series after the game or later in the week, On Demand or on Showtime Anytime, then that’s totally fine with us,” he said.
Fox, which is airing the Super Bowl, says the game could move to another day if severe weather hits New Jersey on Feb. 2, the day of the Super Bowl. The game is outdoors in a cold weather climate this year, for the first time.
But that might be especially good news for Showtime, which might then suddenly find itself as one of the only networks offering anything new Sunday night.
The Denver Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks in the game, which begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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