Atlanta-based TBS is bringing back “Are We There Yet?” for a third season but not in prime time.
Instead, starting Sept. 17, the family-friendly sitcom starring “Expendables” star Terry Crews will air at noon on weekdays. The show in 2010, after a short test run, was rewarded 90 episodes, a formula created by Tyler Perry. About 34 aired last year. So there are 56 more, so they could potentially air all of them over about 10 weeks.
In the past, this show has been paired with a Perry series targeting African Americans, but this is a different strategy, opting for a day-time crowd. Perry’s two family-friendly series “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne” have ended production, leaving his more adult-oriented “For Better or Worse.”
This move may also indicate a lack of confidence in the ability of “Are We There Yet?” to draw a big audience in prime time, where TBS has been thriving on most nights thanks to repeats of “The Big Bang Theory.” Perry’s sitcoms have been shunted off to Friday nights, generally a night with fewer eyeballs than Monday through Thursday.
“Are We There Yet?” ratings fell off as season two went along last year, which may have contributed to this decision. On Jan. 12, 2011, for instance, the show drew 2.4 to 2.5 million viewers. On March 9, it had fallen to 1.4 to 1.5 million.
I’ll update this if I get an on-the-record response from TBS.