In American and Canadian television, a mid-season replacement is a television series that premieres in the second half of the traditional television season, usually between January and May. Mid-season replacements usually take place after a show that was in the fall schedule was canceled or put on hiatus, outside factors such as an actor's family emergency or personal illness led to a delay in the program's debut, a program was purposefully scheduled for mid-season (for example, shows NBC airs on Sunday nights after the NFL season ends, as it only takes up the first half of the television season), or a program had a shortened season for some other reason which resulted in a time slot that needed filling. A few shows in American television history have been perennial mid-season replacements; American Idol, for example, from its second season onward, aired from January to May each year, to great ratings success.
An older and related concept is the summer replacement, which debuts between May and August, when a network's fall schedule is on hiatus. Summer replacements tend to be lower-profile shows with either low budgets or minimal prospects for renewal.
Notable mid-season replacement shows
- Parks and Recreation was a mid-season replacement in its first, third, and seventh seasons. It was introduced as a mid-season replacement in the third season, to accommodate Amy Poehler's pregnancy, which was not written into the show. It was used as a mid-season replacement in its season finale to meet contractual obligations.
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- Paul William Tenny (2010-05-14). "CBS 2010 upfronts: Mid-season replacements". Mediapundit.net. Retrieved 2012-01-05.