NBC to Change Thursday Night Schedule

Dec 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Starting in January NBC is moving its Tuesday night comedies “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office” to Thursday while benching current Thursday night players “Joey” and “The Apprentice” until after the Winter Olympics in February.

As part of its Thursday reshuffle, “Will & Grace” will move up a half-hour to 8 p.m. (ET) Jan. 5, with the midseason debut of “Four Kings” scheduled for 8:30 p.m. “Earl” takes over at 9 p.m. and “Office” fills the 9:30 p.m. slot. “ER” remains in the 10 p.m. hour.

“We have the pieces in place to fulfill one of our goals-to bring back a block of quality comedy to Thursday nights,” Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, said in a release Thursday.

On Tuesdays during the 9 p.m. hour, NBC will begin running back-to-back original episodes of the returning comedy “Scrubs,” starting Jan. 3. At 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, “Fear Factor” replaces the most recent edition of “The Biggest Loser,” whose run finished with big ratings this past Tuesday.

The changes will not be limited to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Starting Jan. 4, a series of “The Biggest Loser: Special Edition” self-contained specials will appear on Wednesdays at 9 p.m., replacing “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” which completes its run in December.

On Friday, Jan. 6, the former special “Most Outrageous TV Moments” gets full series treatment at 8 p.m. The midseason drama “Book of Daniel” begins with back-to-back episodes Jan. 6 starting at 9 p.m., with a move to 10 p.m. the following Friday as a limited series until Feb. 3, when it makes room for NBC’s Olympics coverage.

Starting Jan. 13, the veteran newsmagazine “Dateline” returns to the 9 p.m. Friday hour.