NBC Is Cramming in the Comedies on Thursday

If you're a fan of NBC's brand of humor, be sure to cancel all of your Thursday-night appointments in early 2011. The network has revealed its midseason schedule (with solid dates to be announced) and answered the pesky question of what to do with all its sitcoms vying for the same time slots.

NBC will break network television molds with a three-hour comedy block on Thursdays, starting at 8pm with Community and ending at 11pm with the conclusion of new series Outsourced. The decision allows NBC to bring back Parks and Recreation (at 9:30pm) without kicking anyone out of the block party, while also throwing in a new show for good measure (the latest Friends copy, Perfect Couples at 8:30pm). This means 30 Rock slides to 10pm, but don't feel too bad for it. NBC has also given the Emmy-winning comedy an early sixth season renewal.

Will you stick around for three hours' worth of sitcoms, or will Thursday nights simply become even more of a DVR scheduling problem? Networks have largely avoided the 10pm hour for laughers, so the new schedule is a bit risky. But what does NBC have to lose at this point?

Also announced today were premiere details for superhero show The Cape: The show will partner up with Chuck on Monday nights, airing a 2-hour pilot episode on Sunday, January 9) and settling into the 9pm time slot on January 17. This will bump The Event from TV for almost a month and a half; the show will return in late February.

And because you've been waiting on pins and needles for news of its return, The Marriage Ref will be back on March 6.

Check out NBC's midseason schedule below; it will go in effect in early 2011 (dates subject to change, new shows in CAPS).

9-10pm—THE CAPE (Premieres with a two-hour episode on Sunday, January 9 from 9-11pm. New episodes will air in the show's regular 9pm time slot beginning on January 17.)
10-11pm—HARRY’S LAW (Beginning January 17)
9-10pm—The Event (Returns on February 28 with a two-hour episode airing from 9-11pm; resumes its regular time slot on March 7.)
10-11pm—Parenthood (Debuts in this time slot on March 7.)

8-10pm—The Biggest Loser: Couples (Begins January 4)
10-11pm—Parenthood (Beginning January 4, for four episodes.)
10-11pm—Law & Order: Los Angeles (Beginning February 8)

8-9pm—Minute to Win It (Beginning January 5)
9-10pm—Chase (Beginning January 12)
10-11pm—Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (New episodes return January 5 with a two-hour episode from 9-11pm.)
9-10pm—AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT (Beginning March 16)

THURSDAYS (All beginning January 20)
9-9:30pm—The Office
9:30-10pm—Parks and Recreation
10-10:30pm—30 Rock

8-9pm—Who Do You Think You Are? (Beginning January 21)
9-11pm—Dateline NBC (Beginning January 7)

7-8pm—Dateline NBC
8-9pm—The Marriage Ref (Beginning March 6)
9-11pm—The Celebrity Apprentice (Beginning March 6)

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