NBC Revamps Fall Plans, Delays Series Launches

May 23, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBC has apparently decided against using the Olympics as a launching pad for its new fall lineup.
The Peacock network Friday announced a revised fourth quarter schedule and premiere dates, and contrary to previous published speculation, most of the network’s newcomers will return later in the season rather than earlier.
In addition, NBC has abandoned plans to launch a comedy on Tuesday night and will instead air first-year half-hour “Kath and Kim” on Thursdays with the rest of its comedies.
Some observers had figured NBC would begin premiering shows on Monday, Aug. 25, the day after it airs the closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
Such a plan would have been risky, however, given that most ratings observers consider Olympics viewers to be a borrowed audience that doesn’t necessarily stick around for entertainment programming.
A similar early start in 2004 didn’t provide NBC with any long-lasting boost.
Two other factors may have convinced NBC to stick with a traditional rollout plan.
Fox earlier this month staked out the last week of August and has said it planned to premiere four new and returning shows that week. What’s more, premiering shows early can force a network to air more in-season repeats, bringing down its overall average.
As of now—and all five networks are expected to make multiple changes to their lineups over the summer—NBC plans to begin rolling out scripted programming on Monday, Sept. 22, the first night of the new season. As previously announced, it will relaunch “Heroes” with a clip show and a two-hour episode.
“Chuck” and new drama “My Own Worst Enemy” premiere the following Monday, Sept. 29.
“Law & Order: SVU” begins a new season on Tuesday, Sept. 23, with “America’s Got Talent” as its lead-in. When “The Biggest Loser” returns—in October, according to NBC’s Web site—it will expand to two-hours to make up for the loss of “Kath & Kim” from the night.
Wednesday players “Knight Rider” and “Lipstick Jungle” bow on Sept. 24. After “Talent” ends, NBC will air “Deal or No Deal” at 9 p.m. NBC will supersize its Thursday comedies on premiere week, airing one-hour episodes of “My Name is Earl” and “The Office” on Sept. 25, followed by the final season premiere of “ER.”
“Kath & Kim” won’t premiere until Oct. 9 at 9:30, inheriting the plum timeslot behind “The Office.” The “Saturday Night Live” election specials planned for the slot will shift to 8:30.
NBC is holding some shows back several weeks, including “Life” (Oct. 3), “Crusoe” (Oct. 17) and “30 Rock” (Oct. 30).
On the unscripted front, NBC is shifting newcomer “America’s Toughest Jobs” from summer 2009 to fall 2008. It will air Fridays at 8 starting Sept. 19, then shift to 9 p.m. on Oct. 24.
The move means NBC is getting rid of one of its two weekly runs of “Deal or No Deal,” no surprise given that the Peacock network’s overuse of the show this spring has resulted in a serious ratings slide for the program.
Here’s NBC’s current fall rollout plan, with new shows in all-capital letters:
Series premiere (8-10 p.m.)
Returns on Sept. 19 (8-9 p.m.) for five weeks; then resumes from 9-10 p.m. on October 24
“Heroes” clip show (8-9 p.m.)
Season premiere (9-11 p.m.)
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10-11 p.m.)
“KNIGHT RIDER” (8-9 p.m.)
“Lipstick Jungle (10-11 p.m.)
“My Name Is Earl”—one-hour premiere (8-9 p.m.)
“The Office”—one-hour premiere (9-10 p.m.)
“ER” (10-11 p.m.)
“Chuck” — (8-9 p.m.)
“MY OWN WORST ENEMY”—(10-11 p.m.)
“Life”—(10-11 p.m.)
“KATH & KIM” (9:30-10 p.m.)
“CRUSOE”—two-hour premiere (8-10 p.m.)
“30 Rock”—(8:30-9 p.m.)


  1. I forgot about “Life” – what a great program! I can hardly wait until October 3!!

  2. I cant beleive that there not bringing back Bionic Woman. I’m sorry to say I only watch Chuck, My Name is Earl, Life and the Bionic Woman from NBC. Now they will make it on less show for me to watch. I guess that will help when I have to TIVO. Bummer!!!

  3. I was sad to see Journeyman go.

  4. Dear God! They are broadcasting Knight Rider and Lipstick Jungle while tossing Friday Night Lights to a co-promotion agreement what a bunch of morons! At least they had the common sence to bring back Life

  5. Life was really the best quality show on the network and it was a smart move to keep it around.
    I feel Bionic Woman just needed some changes to the show including the woman playing Bionic Woman. It would’ve been so interesting to see Knight Rider and Bionic Woman back to back on the same night to bring back the feel of 70s and 80s TV, which is what the networks need to go back to.
    Its time for NBC to give up on single-cam comedies and return to multi-cam sitcoms and bring back Must See TV on either Tuesdays or Thursdays. If Kath & Kim was a multi-cam it would’ve been their strongest performing comedy since Friends, but they’re too dumb for that.
    The only thing worth watching on NBC is the improving American Gladiators.

  6. Thank God they are keeping Life. I can’t wait for October 3rd to get here!!

  7. no bionic woman????? how stupid that was your best show…what a dissapointment tv is

  8. heroes ftw.
    bionic woman sucked

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