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Monday, May 14, 2007

NBC: Looking For Mass to Add to Class

While presenting to advertisers this morning, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said, “We’ve got the class and next season we’re ready to add some mass.” But will they?

Here’s a look at NBC’s schedule (with an assist from NBC’s official press release), with a reminder that it is subject to change (and probably will)…

8 PM—Deal or No Deal
9 PM—Heroes
10 PM—Journeyman
“Journeyman” is a romantic mystery-drama about a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people’s lives, all the while dealing with the difficulties brought on by his sudden disappearances.

8 PM—The Biggest Loser
9 PM—Chuck
10 PM—Law & Order: SVU
“The Biggest Loser” will get a new host this season—Allison Sweeney (Sami, “Days of Our Lives”). “Chuck” is a one-hour comedic spy thriller from Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.”) and McG about a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as a government secret agent.

8 PM—Deal or No Deal
9 PM—Bionic Woman
10 PM—Life
“Bionic Woman” is an update of the 70s show about a woman who is saved by cutting-edge top secret technology after a devastating car accident. “Life” is a drama about a detective who returns to the force after years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

8 PM—My Name Is Earl
8:30 PM—30 Rock
9 PM—The Office
9:30 PM—Scrubs
10 PM—ER
NBC has ordered 30 half-hours of “The Office,” including five hour-long episodes, and 25 episodes of “My Name Is Earl.” Reilly said he will meet with “ER” Executive Producer John Wells in October to decide if this is the show’s last season.

8 PM—1 vs. 100/The Singing Bee
9 PM—Las Vegas
10 PM—Friday Night Lights
Fridays at 8 will be “Game Night” with a rotation of game shows starting with “1 vs. 100” for eight weeks, followed by six weeks of “The Singing Bee.” “Bee” is a variety-competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs—even when the band stops playing. “Las Vegas” will return without James Caan and with Tom Selleck, although Caan will return for the season premiere.

8 PM—Dateline NBC
9 PM—Drama Series Encores

7 PM—Football Night In America
8 PM—Sunday Night Football

Sunday (January 2008)
7 PM—Dateline NBC
8 PM—Law & Order
9 PM—Medium
10 PM—Lipstick Jungle
“Lipstick Jungle” is a dramedy based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”) about three high-powered friends: an editor of a fashion magazine (Kim Raver), a movie exec (Brooke Shields), and a designer (Lindsay Price).

NBC also picked up “The IT Crowd,” a comedy that goes behind the scenes of an IT department; and “World Moves,” a dance talent competition from Executive Producer Randy Jackson.

There were other announcements as well as NBC announced the creation of “Heroes: Origins,” a six-episode series that will air in “Heroes” timeslot when it takes a hiatus. “Origins” will center on characters not yet seen on the original show. Viewers will be asked to pick their favorite character from “Origins,” who will then join the cast of “Heroes” the following year.

Jerry Seinfeld will return to NBC to create and star in 20 live-action comedy “minisodes” inspired by his experiences creating the upcoming animated feature film “Bee Movie.” The “minisodes” will air in the fall on NBC and before and after the film’s release.

“Crossing Jordan,” “The Black Donnellys,” “Real Wedding Crashers,” “Raines,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and “Andy Barker P.I.” were all cancelled. NBC has until June 1st to decide whether to renew “The Apprentice” (Donald Trump is already saying that another network is interested.).

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: My track record is not so good, considering I picked “Studio 60” last year, but I’ll go with “Chuck,” since I love Josh Schwartz. My original choice was “Lipstick Jungle,” but I’m afraid that ABC’s similar show may hurt it.

Best Shot at a Miss: NBC says that “Journeyman” tested through the roof, which makes me think that it’s going to be bad.

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: So you take a critically acclaimed family oriented show and put it Friday nights at 10? I appreciate the idea of putting “Friday Night Lights” on Friday, but 10 p.m. is too late. I think NBC is taking this whole unscripted hour at 8 thing a little too seriously.

Best Scheduling Move: Leaving Thursday nights intact.

Biggest Disappointments: This whole “Heroes: Origins” thing has got me thinking overkill. And holding out hope for “The Apprentice”? Are you kidding me?

Tuesday, it’s ABC’s turn…