The Upfronts: ABC Moves 'Grey' To Thursday, Realizing NBC's Fears

ABC's deliberate strategy of slowing feeding bored, disenchanted Desperate Housewives viewers to the infant Grey's Anatomy monster has finally come to fruition, as the Nielsen beast is now fully grown and ready to be sent out to wreak havoc on the network's competition. At a press conference this morning, ABC announced that it's moving Grey's to 9 p.m. on Thursday, where it will compete with CBS's CSI and, in a realization of NBC president Kevin Reilly's most career-chilling fears, the fledgling Aaron Sorkin drama Studio 60. Reports Var:

"Certainly, there's not a show that's better on TV. We feel like it's a show that deserves its own night," ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson told reporters at an 8 am press conference Tuesday. "I think there is plenty of room for both ("Grey's" and "C.S.I.")...It establishes another strong place on the schedule for us."

It's a classic demonstration of upfronts gamesmanship by "Purple" Steve McPherson; not only did he claim Thursday night for his show despite the presence of ratings juggernaut CSI, his tactical omission of NBC's new offering slyly reveals his intention to crush his weaker NBC rival with his team of endlessly speechifying doctors. We really hope that ABC's presentation to advertisers later today is a little less subtle, perhaps involving an expensive, gut-churning sketch involving the Grey's cast cutting open flatlining Studio 60 star Matthew Perry, but maybe that's more of a Les Moonves move.