'Gladiators', 'Talent' lead up to Olympics
The Peacock is waving the red, white and blue this summer, dubbing its off-season programming strategy “NBC’s All-American Summer.”Patriotic theme, derived from two of NBC’s summer plays — “American Gladiators” and “America’s Got Talent” — will spur the build-up to the Olympic Games in August. Sked also features the new thriller anthology “Fear Itself,” frosh entries “The Baby Borrowers” and “Celebrity Circus” and the NBC bow of “Nashville Stars.” Net’s summer plans include a mostly original Thursday-night lineup, as well as an all-reality Monday night and nonscripted tentpoles Tuesday and Wednesday nights as well. Lineup kicks off with the return of “American Gladiators” on Monday, May 12, in a two-hour premiere. The following week, on May 19, the show settles into its 90-minute berth at 8 p.m. On June 9, the revamped “Nashville Star” — now hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus — airs from 9:30 to 11 p.m. On May 22, a new season of the 90-minute competish “Last Comic Standing” joins the Thursday lineup, for one week at 9:30 p.m., before moving to 8 the following Thursday, May 29. Also that night, “Fear Itself” bows at 10. Wednesdays get a revamp starting June 11, when newcomer “Celebrity Circus” debuts with a two-hour seg, before settling into its regular 9 p.m. hour the following week. On June 25, “The Baby Borrowers” — originally slated for an in-season run — joins the Wednesday sked at 8 p.m. Finally, NBC summer staple “America’s Got Talent” returns June 24 at 9 p.m. with a two-hour bow (followed by another two-hour seg the following week). On July 8, the show downsizes to an hour at 9 p.m. “America’s Got Talent” will take a break during the Olympics but returns on Aug. 26 with performance episodes; shows will air at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays starting Aug. 27.