Midseason schedule loaded with non-scripted TV
NBC will go heavy on reality immediately after the New Year.Net revealed more of its midseason plans Thursday, announcing time slots for newcomer “American Gladiators” and returnees “The Biggest Loser” and “1 vs. 100.” “Gladiators” bows on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m. with a two-hour premiere; show then moves to its regular Monday 8 p.m. slot — replacing growing hit “Chuck” — the following night. (“Chuck” has been given a full-season order but will have depleted its supply of pre-writers strike episodes at that point). The fifth cycle of “The Biggest Loser” ushers in the new year on Jan. 1 (in its normal Tuesday 8 p.m. slot) with a two-hour episode. Gamer “1 vs. 100” returns to take over the Friday 8 p.m. spot (currently home to “Deal or No Deal”) starting Jan. 4. NBC had previously announced that another new entry, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” would run Thursdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 3 (in “The Apprentice’s” former slot). Updating the early 1990s franchise, the new “American Gladiators” (from Reveille and MGM) pits eight larger-than-life warriors against everyday folk. The fifth edition of “Loser” (from Reveille, 25/7 Prods. and 3Ball) will feature teams of two competing against each other for the first time. And the new season of “1 vs. 100” (from Endemol USA) has added a new prize ladder. Still on the docket for later in midseason: alternative entries “Amnesia,” “The Baby Borrowers” and “My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad.” Meanwhile, NBC also announced this week that “Lipstick Jungle” will now bow Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10 p.m. Show will fill the timeslot vacated by “ER,” which will go on hiatus after its pre-strike episodes run out. “Lipstick Jungle” was originally slated to air Sundays at 10 p.m. in midseason (as announced at the May upfront presentation). But with “ER” heading into repeats, NBC decided to give it a more prominent showcase. Scheduling is the latest salvo in the rivalry between “Jungle” and ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia,” which boast similar concepts. “Cashmere” was originally slated to bow this month, beating “Jungle” to the punch, but once the strike began, the Alphabet decided to hold the show back in order to have original series episodes later in the year. Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price star in “Jungle,” which comes from Universal Media Studios and exec producers Oliver Goldstick, Timothy Busfield and Candace Bushnell.