As we reported earlier, CBS has announced that it has decided to bring back "Star Search" for another nine episode run -- starting February 19th. Why should "Amazing Race" fans care about this news -- because as a result of the extended run for "Star Search," "The Amazing Race 4" might find itself without an available timeslot until late Spring 2003!
While "Race" has traditionally aired in the Wednesday 9PM timeslot, its 8PM "60 Minutes II" lead-in had been shifted to the 9PM timeslot during the initial "Star Search" run. And with "Star Search" continuing in the 8PM timeslot, CBS now faces a few options... move "60 Minutes II" to yet another timeslot, move "The Amazing Race" to another timeslot, or delay "Race 4" until "Star Search" completes its second run.
All and all, this might turn out to be a good move for the series. While "Race" has been a steadly performer for CBS, it's never been a timeslot winner. During seasons 1 and 2 the series suffered from competition from NBC's "West Wing," and during the third edition the situation got worse as ABC's "The Bachelor" joined the fray. And with "Bachelor 3" returning in March and "West Wing" trotting out new episodes for both the February and May sweeps, the move to either another timeslot or a late Spring/early Summer run might be the best thing that ever happened to the seies.
As of yet, there is no official word from CBS as to which scheduling option they are planning to execute, but as soon as we hear anything more, we'll let you know.