Too few see Jane, so NBC takes Pauley off the air

October 14, 1991|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

So much for America's love affair with Jane Pauley.

NBC has pulled "Real Life With Jane Pauley" and "Expose" from its primetime schedule and will replace them with "Matlock" starting Friday at 8 on WMAR-TV (Channel 2).

The network, which has gotten off to a bad start in the ratings race, tried to put the best face on the move by announcing that Pauley will return in March as co-host of a new show. NBC said that show will be a combination of "Real Life" and "Expose," though, the format has yet to be established.

"Our ongoing research substantiates the popularity of Jane Pauley," Don Browne, an executive vice president of NBC News, said in a statement. "Jane will be co-anchor and a have a major presence on the show."

"Real Life" and "Expose," which are produced by the network's news division, have been among the lowest rated shows on all of primetime TV. NBC's move pulls them and Pauley out of the lineup for the key "sweeps" ratings periods in November and February.

Indicative of the confusion at NBC these days, it added "Matlock" will be pre-empted Nov. 1 for one last installment of "Real Life," featuring an interview with Candice Bergen, star of the CBS show, "Murphy Brown."

NBC also announced that anchorman Tom Brokaw will anchor a series of primetime specials during the year. Unlike CBS and ABC, NBC no longer has a regular news presence in its primetime schedule.

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