Third ‘Dateline’ to Replace ‘Lights’ on Tuesdays

Nov 21, 2006  •  Post A Comment

“Dateline NBC” is getting a third night per week beginning Dec. 26, when 8 p.m. Tuesdays becomes a regular slot for the NBC newsmagazine. “Dateline” has been airing on Saturdays and will return to Sundays after the NFL TV season is over, ending NBC’s Sunday night football franchise.

The magazine will displace “Friday Night Lights” on Tuesdays. There was no immediate word from NBC about where the critically adored but ratings-challenged drama will go, and an NBC spokesperson declined to comment on the schedule change.

NBC recently raised its order for “Friday” to a full season and has repeatedly declared its intention to be patient with the show in hopes it will find an audience.

The good news for “Dateline” illustrates the ironic facts of life for the newsmagazine, which has long expanded or contracted to suit the needs of the entertainment lineup. It was only two weeks ago that 15 to 17 people, including two correspondents, were laid off as part of NBC Universal’s goal to cut 700 jobs and $750 million per year by the end of 2008. “Dateline” took the biggest cuts at NBC News.