The peacock is making some changes around its nest.
NBC has ordered 10 additional episodes of the Bob Saget-hosted game show 1 vs. 100 and six more scripts for the low-rated but critically praised football drama Friday Night Lights.
Lights received the critical "back nine," which brings the show to a full-season order of scripts. Lights will get a special airing after NBC's hit new show Heroes, at 10 p.m. on Monday, October 30. The Lights episode will then be repeated the day after, in its normal 9 p.m. Tuesday slot. The show has averaged less than 7 million viewers a week.
The Lights episode on October 30 will replace a scheduled repeat of the sputtering Aaron Sorkin show Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip.
1 vs. 100 got an additional 10-episode order, bringing its total run to 15 episodes. The show premiered strong to numbers last Friday, helping NBC to its highest rating in the time period in four years.
NBC is keeping 100 where it is, Friday nights at 9 p.m., instead of moving it to the 8 p.m. slot as originally planned. The season premiere of Las Vegas was to air Friday, October 20, at 9 p.m.; now, Deal or No Deal will stay at 8 p.m. and 1 vs. 100 will remain at 9 p.m. until October 27, when Las Vegas will return.
Today, Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal television, told the Associated Press that the network is cutting 700 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, in an effort to save $750 million. The cuts will mainly be in the news departments at NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC, and will include some on-air talent.
Zucker said that the network was going stop scheduling expensive dramas and sitcoms in the 8 p.m. prime-time hour and concentrate on cheap game shows and reality shows such as Deal or The Biggest Loser.
The cost-saving measures come on the heels of earning announcements last week that saw NBC Uni parent GE's profits take a hit due to lower revenue from NBC in the third quarter. The network revenue is expected to increase by 10 percent in the fourth quarter of this year.
NBC has been in damage-control mode for several years now, after dropping from the number-one rated network in the '90s, with hits like Seinfeld and Friends, to the fourth-rated network last season. The network recently wrapped production on the freshman action series Kidnapped. Over the summer, the net downsized the budget of sketch comedy vet Saturday Night Live.