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NBC picks ‘Viper’ slot

NBC has scheduled the Paramount Network TV action hour “Viper” for Fridays at 8 p.m. starting Jan. 7, following a two-hour Jan. 2 premiere in the web’s Sunday movie slot.

The network also has rescheduled “The Jackson Family Honors” special to tape Feb. 5 in Las Vegas, after delaying a Dec. 11 date in Atlantic City (Daily Variety, Nov. 19).

The delay comes on the heels of Michael Jackson’s latest troubles, most notably his retreat to an undisclosed location in Europe for what he described as treatment for drug addiction.

The “Family Honors” show was postponed “in keeping with the Jacksonfamily’s wish for (the special) to be an event in which the entire family has the opportunity to participate,” according to NBC, which has yet to set a new airdate for the program. The show originally was to air Jan. 10.

The futuristic “Viper,” featuring a high-tech transformable car, comes from producers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo (the tandem behind “The Flash” and “The Rocketeer”) and stars Dorian Harewood, James McCaffrey and Joe Nipote.

The show bumps “Against the Grain,” which is currently on hiatus and will have its final two airings in the 8 p.m. slot Dec. 17 and 24 (Daily Variety, Nov. 19).

NBC said the small-town drama, which has completed production on its initial eight-episode order, remains under consideration for an additional-episode pickup to return later in the season. The producers have aggressively lobbied the network for either another time period or stunt airings in a different slot.

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