NBC unveils fall premiere schedule

By Colin Mahan

Jul 22, 2006


LOS ANGELES--Check the rearview mirror, eye. Get crazy, Fox. Spell relief, alphabet. The peacock is mounting an attack.

NBC president Kevin Reilly, speaking today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, California, said his network won't end next season bringing up the rear.

"We've been sweating like pigs trying to get out of a stiff headwind," Reilly said. "But I gotta tell you: I feel a shift in the winds coming, and I think our ill-fated three-hour tour is about to come to an end."

NBC, once the home of "must-see TV" and perennial number one network, has suffered a severe downturn in its fortunes since the 2003-2004 season, when Friends went off the air. Since then, the net has fallen to fourth place and has seen its ad revenue, which stood at $2.9 billion, dip to $1.9 billion in each of the past two years.

Reilly says that's going to change.

"Our fall is going to look pretty potent. We have six new shows that all could break out. Our ratings will definitely be better," he predicted. "We will not be mired in fourth week after week. We will be a challenger in many time periods."

Reilly hinted that stalwart sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, which saw ratings slump this season, might get some revamping.

"You'll see a tightening of the cast," he suggested. "[It will] a be new show for a new generation."

NBC has two new shows parodying SNL--Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, and 30 Rock, from SNL writer Tina Fey. Sorkin, speaking separately at the TCA, said his show would differ from Fey's.

"I'm going to take Tina's idea and add twice as many words to it," he said to laughter.

Sorkin, who in 2001 pled guilty to possession of crack cocaine and other drugs, cracked wise about his feelings on TV's unhealthy influence in society.

"I think it's [like] bad crack in the school yard," he quipped. "Why did I use that line?"

NBC's schedule follows; new shows are in caps, aside from ER.

September 18
Deal or No Deal (special two-hour edition, 8-10 p.m.)

September 19
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9-10 p.m.)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (10-11 p.m.)

September 20
The Biggest Loser (8-10 p.m.)
KIDNAPPED (10-11 p.m.)

September 21
My Name Is Earl (8-8:30 p.m.)
The Office (8:30-9 p.m.)
Deal or No Deal (9-10 p.m.)
ER (10-11 p.m.)

September 22
Law & Order (10-11 p.m.)

September 25
HEROES (9-10 p.m.)

October 3

October 4
TWENTY GOOD YEARS (8-8:30 p.m. and 8:30-9 p.m.)

October 11
30 ROCK (8:30-9 p.m.)

October 20
Crossing Jordan (8-9 p.m.)
Las Vegas (9-10 p.m.)

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  • Water78 Nov 22, 2006


  • darquesyde Aug 01, 2006

    SNL change? Never heard of :)

    Still angry about the L&O; change....bad stuff is gonna happen at NBC this year...bad stuff.

  • CSIfan498 Jul 26, 2006

    Law & Order CI and SVU on the same night? sweet!

  • LincolnBurrows Jul 24, 2006

    A/K/A a bunch of new shows that NBC will cancel and never give a fair chance to.

  • buildrich Jul 24, 2006

    30 Rock will be worth sampling if only for the presence of Tina Fey.

    With Kidnapped, it seems like NBC's first new and innovative, non-fantasy, serialized drama in the post-Friends era. Their envy over the success of shows like Prison Break, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and 24 has finally gotten them to take the plunge. I hope they give this show more of a chance than did ABC with Night Stalker and Fox with Reunion.

    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is probably doomed from the start by being too inside to be of any interest to most viewers; and it will probably get more of a chance than it deserves for the same reason! This one might be the all-time "most inside" show because of its autobigraphical nature, mimicking NBC'S struggles in trying to rework SNL. Try looking outside the building for programming ideas, folks!

    On the other hand, Friday Night Lights might turn out to be a sleeper because of the broad appeal of HS football nationwide. Wonder if they considered giving it a 13-week run, then hiatus until fall 2007? Assuming a good following, of course. Sopranos seems to have done OK with limited runs and long absences. Wouldn't it make sense to broadcast a show when interest in the subject is at its greatest?

    And finally, shame on you NBC for throwing three of your most steady and quality shows on the Friday junkpile -- Crossing Jordan, Las Vegas, and Law and Order. It's just like NBC to squander some of their best assets in the quest for new hits that realistically have only an outside chance of making it beyond the end of 2006.

  • danezter925 Jul 24, 2006

    Law and order and deal or No deal are the only good things on NBC

  • PerfectDark0Fan Jul 24, 2006

    Except for Law & Order SVU & CI, I find NBC boring. I don't really like them much after cancelling Third Watch.

  • zhaglo76 Jul 24, 2006

    What about Scrubs? Never heard about a cancellation? Did anybody hear something?

  • GameGuy08 Jul 24, 2006

    The only reason I'm watching Heroes is because Hayden Panetierre is in it...


  • KIELW93 Jul 24, 2006

    Their new shows just look boring, the only thing that looks even slightly interesting on that front is Heroes, which mostly looks like a live-action X-men ripoff to me. Surface was the only show on their line-up last season that truly captivated me. My Name Is Earl and The Office are decent returning shows though.

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