Maybe ''Miss Match'' producers asked timeslot competitor ''Joan of Arcadia'' to put in a good word for them with the big guy upstairs. The Alicia Silverstone series has scored its very own Christmas miracle: NBC has agreed to bring back the ratings-challenged show on a new night this spring for four episodes.
The decision comes as a surprise, given that the show has lured in a dismal average of 6.4 million viewers since its debut. Cancellation seemed even more likely when NBC pulled ''Match'' during November sweeps to replace it with the underperforming romantic comedy ''Ed.''
While ''Match'' was one of the most highly anticipated new shows of the fall season thanks to Silverstone and producer Darren Star (''Sex and the City,'' ''Beverly Hills 90210''), the series couldn't compete with breakout hit ''Arcadia'' on CBS. Most critics praised the show (EW gave it a B+ while dismissing ''Joan'' with a C+). Blame the damned time slot: The young, single women most likely to watch ''Match'' were too busy painting the town red on Friday nights to tune in.
As NBC entertainment chief Jeff Zucker admitted to Daily Variety, ''Friday night is not the best night for it... [But] we're committed to letting it continue to find its audience.'' Hopefully that audience will turn up on Monday nights, when ''Match'' takes over ''Average Joe'''s old time slot. To ensure ''Joe'' fans tune in, one of Melana's rejects, Tareq, will guest star. What, hottie winner Jason wasn't available? Looks like it's time to ask Joan for another favor...