NBC Pre-Empts ‘ER’ for ‘Trial by Jury’ Debut
The first episode of NBC’s “Law & Order: Trial by Jury” will pre-empt “ER” on two consecutive Thursdays-March 17 and 24-before the series debuts in its regular 10 p.m. Friday time period April 1. The American version of the BBC comedy “The Office” premieres Tuesday, March 22, at 9:30 p.m.
In a program change, the boxing reality series “The Contender” will preview Monday, March 7 (9:30-11 p.m. ET), followed by the season premiere Wednesday, March 9 (8-9 p.m.), in its new regular day and time.
On Sunday, Feb. 20, the network will run the two-hour special “Live From New York: SNL The First Five Years” at 9 p.m.
In addition, Jeffrey Zucker, president of NBC Universal Television Group, announced the company had extended its contract with “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels through 2012.
CBS Announces `Raymond’ Farewell, `Elvis’ Week
CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler announced “Everybody Loves Raymond” will end its nine-year run Monday, May 16, at 9 p.m. (ET). The half-hour finale will be preceded by a one-hour retrospective.
Beginning Monday, Feb. 28, CBS will air the five most popular episodes weekly through March 28. The episodes will be chosen by viewers, who can vote for their favorites at CBS.com from Feb. 13-27.
CBS has scheduled “A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Romance Rescue” for Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m., and the “One Day at a Time Reunion Special” Feb. 22 at 9 p.m.
The seventh season of “Amazing Race” will premiere with a special two-hour episode March 1.
Accompanying the four-hour May miniseries “Elvis,” CBS will run a two-hour special “Elvis by the Presleys” on Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. “Survivor: Palau” will have its two-hour season finale Sunday, May 15, at 8 p.m., followed by a reunion show.
Contradicting some prevailing wisdom on digital video recorders, CBS, in a report released last week, said consumer use of DVRs encourages more TV viewing and better attention to TV commercials.
Despite warnings that DVRs will mean fewer viewers watching specific TV shows and lower value on commercials because of fast-forwarding, CBS found just the opposite, said David Poltrack, executive VP of research and planning. For instance, research revealed viewership of “CSI” to be twice as high among DVR owners as among non-DVR owners. Overall, DVR users watched almost twice as much TV as non-DVR users, according to the research.
UPN Adds More `Model,’ Mum on `Enterprise’
Dawn Ostroff, UPN president of entertainment, announced that the reality series “America’s Next Top Model” is coming back next season for fifth and sixth cycles.
She declined to say what the network’s younger female focus would mean for the network’s “Star Trek” franchise drama “Enterprise,” but said “Amish in the City” will not return for a second season.
Monday, Feb. 14, marks the premiere of the “One on One” spinoff “Cuts” at 8:30 p.m.
Fox: ‘That ’70s Show’ Returning for 8th Season
Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman said “That ’70s Show” is coming back for an eighth season in 2005-06 but with limited appearances from stars Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher.
Ms. Berman also announced that an original sports-themed episode of “The Simpsons” will air Feb. 6 after the Super Bowl, along with a sneak preview of the pilot for “American Dad.” The new animated comedy will premiere Sunday, May 1, at 9:30 p.m. (ET).
Fox’s sitcom “Life on a Stick” is set to premiere Wednesday, March 23, at 9:30 p.m.