NBC has moved up the premiere of Jennifer Lopez police drama “Shades of Blue” to Jan. 7, the network confirmed Monday after featuring the new date in promos during last night’s “Sunday Night Football” game.
Rather than launching with an expanded two-hour premiere (9-11 p.m.) on Jan. 14 as originally planned, “Shades of Blue” will now bow in its regularly scheduled 10 p.m. timeslot one week earlier. It will follow original episodes of current Thursday 8-10 p.m. dramas “Heroes Reborn” and “The Blacklist,” with the latter back two weeks earlier weeks than expected.
There was no official reason given by NBC for the earlier premiere date, but it’s likely related to the competition. ABC was expected to keep its Shonda Rhimes dramas off the air for most of the Thursdays in January, so starting Jan. 7 instead of Jan. 14 would give “Shades of Blue” one extra week without having to face “How to Get Away With Murder.” Also, Fox hasn’t announced its premiere date or schedule plans for “American Idol,” but NBC may hot have wanted the first hour of the Lopez drama going up against Lopez herself as she returns as a judge for the music competition’s final season.
The Jan. 14 premiere would have allowed NBC to promote “Shades of Blue” during its coverage of the NFL playoffs on Jan. 9 and Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 10. But the earlier Jan. 7 date may allow it to take better advantage of promotion during the network’s dramas, as it’s believed the first three-show crossover storyline involving the “Chicago” triology of “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Med” will take place in the days leading up to the “Blue” premiere.