NBC has announced its midseason schedule, which will begin Tuesday, December 26, when Dateline replaces
Friday Night Lights, which moves to Wednesday at 8 p.m.
The net isn't messing with a good thing, so Mondays--a night NBC has won almost every week this season--are staying intact. Thursday will be the previously announced comedy block, and Sundays will feature the premiere of the Grease reality show--a Broadway American Idol--and the new time-slot for Donald Trump and his sagging Apprentice. For the first two week, both reality shows will run two-hours, the better to go up against ABC's powerhouse Desperate Housewives and solid new Brothers & Sisters.
Midseason dramas Raines, starring Jeff Goldblum as a tough cop who talks to dead people, and The Black Donnellys, from Crash writer Paul Haggis, will also join the schedule in the spring.
Before all that, the peacock is prepping Christmas and holiday-themed episodes of its shows. The annual tree-lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center takes place tonight at 8 p.m., and Christmas will feature in the plots of shows up until December 25, when Deal Or No Deal and 1 Vs 100 both work the holiday into their games.
Among the holiday gifts will be John Goodman in The Year Without Christmas, in which Goodman is a demoralized Saint Nick who gives up the ghost after he figures no one believes in him anymore. The Office clocks in with "A Benihana Christmas," directed by comedy legend Harold Ramis.
The network also announced it expects to record a ratings bump for sweeps this year, earning 12 percent higher ratings in 18-49s than in November 2005.
Beginning in January, NBC's midseason schedule looks like this:
8-9 p.m.--Deal or No Deal
10-11 p.m.--Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
8-9 p.m.--Dateline NBC (beginning December 26)
9-10 p.m.--Law & Order: Criminal Intent
10-11 p.m.--Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8-9 p.m.--Friday Night Lights (January 10) 9-10 p.m.--Deal or No Deal (January 3) 10-11 p.m.--Medium
8-9 p.m.--My Name Is Earl
8:30-9 p.m.--The Office
9:30-10 p.m.--30 Rock
8-9 p.m.--1 VS 100
9-10 p.m.--Las Vegas
10-11 p.m.--Law & Order
8-9 p.m.--Dateline NBC (repeats)
9-11 p.m.--TBA Drama repeats
7-8 p.m.--Dateline NBC (February 11)
8-9 p.m.--Grease: You're the One That I Want (January 7; first two weeks will run from 8-9:30 p.m.)
9-10 p.m.--The Apprentice (January 7; first two weeks will run from 9:30-11 p.m.)
10-11 p.m.--Crossing Jordan (January 21)