People started tolling the last rites for MyNetwork TV a year ago, when the network forsook original programming, save for WWE Friday Night Smackdown, in favor of off-network repeats and movies. With Smackdown leaving for cable's SyFy after the Sept. 24 episode, MNTV is preparing for life without original programming. For starters, they've reached a deal with USA, home of Monday Night Raw, to acquire reruns of two of their series, Burn Notice, which replaces the former CBS series, The Unit, on Wednesdays, and Monk, which will replace Smackdown as of October 1. There won't be any more movies, either, it seems, as repeats of CBS' Without a Trace, which currently has reruns airing on Ion, will air Thursdays. Tuesdays remain game night, with the newly syndicated Don't Forget the Lyrics, a former Fox series, replacing Deal or No Deal. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? will return.
The fact that MNTV even has this schedule in place speaks volumes of the desperation of network suits to keep it on the air, rather than turn over the night time block to affiliates. The local affiliate in my market buries a lot of quality, off-network programming in late night for whatever reason, and would probably have welcomed independent status, IMPO. People are still counting the days until MNTV finally taps out. And that day is coming.