NBC Picks up More ‘Talent’

Jul 21, 2006  •  Post A Comment

NBC is picking up additional installments of reality contest series “America’s Got Talent” and “Last Comic Standing” as it tries to attract a larger audience and lift its ranking in the ratings.

Among the a slew of announcements Friday morning at NBC’s opening day on the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif., was news that the fourth-ranked network for the last two prime-time seasons will air a Madonna concert special in November. NBC’s summer fare has improved the network’s ranking to No. 2 this summer among 18- to 49-year olds.

The twice-a-week “Talent” will return to the NBC schedule for midseason, possibly with an airing on Sundays, while “Last Comic Standing” will return next summer.

This summer, NBC will air two episodes of the new drama “Pysch” that recently premiered on sister cable network USA Network. “Pysch,” which tells the story of a Santa Barbara slacker who is pulling off the scam of being a psychic so he can start a police consulting service, will re-air on Monday, Aug. 7 and Monday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. (ET).

NBC’s veteran hospital drama “ER” will continue its tradition of high-profile guest stars with a six-episode arc for former “Homicide” star Andre Braugher. “Frasier” series regular John Mahoney will also appear on “ER”, portraying a drag queen who wants to assume legal authority for his dying partner’s medical care.

Sally Field is reprising her Emmy-winning guest role of Dr. Abby Lockhart’s mother in the show’s second episode this season, and John Stamos is joining the “ER” cast as a series regular after a guest spot last season.

Game show “Deal or No Deal,” will return for the week of Sept. 18 with four airings. Viewers will have a chance to win $1 million with the interactive “Play at Home Lucky Case Game.” The series will kick off with a special two-hour premiere on Monday, Sept. 18 and air that Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Beginning Sept. 18, the top prize in the first game will be $1 million and will escalate by an additional $1 million as each game progresses throughout the week, culminating with a $6 million game, the highest ever top prize offered on “Deal.”

In November, NBC will broadcast the two-hour concert special “Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live,” which will be taped this summer at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

The concert is from Madonna’s sold-out 25-city world “Confessions Tour” and marks the first-ever broadcast network performance by the singer.

The concert will be edited for broadcast television. Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said NBC would not trim songs, but may edit out specific numbers. The special will also feature clips from earlier in Madonna’s career.