NBC Peppers Fall Lineup With New Shows

May 16, 2005  •  Post A Comment

NBC announced its fall 2005 schedule Monday, putting three new series in the 8 p.m. (ET) hour, a chronic problem area for the network over the past season.

Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, said in a conference call with reporters from New York’s Radio City Music Hall the network will air the alien drama “Fathom” from NBC Universal Television Studios in the Monday, 8 p.m. (ET) time slot, and will hold the reality performer “Fear Factor” for midseason.

“The key driver of putting this [schedule] together was to attack that 8 o’clock hour,” said Jeffrey Zucker, president of NBC Universal Television Group. “It’s really where we fell down this year. The ability at 9 p.m. to self-start was just impossible.”

On Tuesday at 9 p.m., NBC is scheduling Twentieth Television’s comedy “My Name is Earl,” a single-camera half-hour that profiles the life of a former criminal who is looking to turn his life around after winning the lottery. The midseason single-camera comedy “The Office,” which has struggled in the ratings this spring, is a go for next season.

The Martha Stewart edition of “The Apprentice,” which is currently in production, will open up NBC’s Wednesday night lineup at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, the Bruckheimer/Warner Bros. Pentagon drama “The E-Ring” replaces “The West Wing,” which is moving to Sundays at 8 p.m.

The Thursday night schedule of “Joey,” “Will & Grace,” “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump and “ER” will remain the same.

On Fridays, the Amy Grant-hosted feel-good reality series “Three Wishes” takes over at 8 p.m., with “Dateline” following at 9 p.m. The Touchstone Television drama “Inconceivable,” which Mr. Reilly described as a “fun soap,” rounds out the female-skewing night at 10 p.m.

On Saturdays the network is eschewing this season’s strategy of running procedural repeats and will go with a movie package.

Sundays remain the same except for “West Wing” at 8 p.m.

In addition to “Fear Factor,” the medical comedy “Scrubs” will be back in midseason.

Canceled shows include the first-year dramas “Medical Investigation” and “Law & Order: Trial By Jury,” as well as rookie reality boxing show “The Contender.” Veterans “Third Watch,” which aired its series finale early this May sweeps, and the period family drama “American Dreams” will not return next season.

NBC also picked up two new midseason comedies: NBC Universal/Broadway Video’s “Thick & Thin” and Warner Bros.’ “Four Kings.”

The new fall schedule is as follows:

  • Monday: “Fathom,” “Las Vegas,” “Medium”

  • Tuesday: “The Biggest Loser,” “My Name is Earl,” “The Office,” “Law & Order: SVU”

  • Wednesday: “The Apprentice” (with Martha Stewart), “E-Ring,” “Law & Order”

  • Thursday: “Joey,” “Will & Grace,” “The Apprentice” (with Donald Trump), “ER”

  • Friday: “Three Wishes,” “Dateline,” “Inconceivable”

  • Saturday: Movies

  • Sunday: “Dateline,” “The West Wing,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Crossing Jordan”