NBC is reshuffling its planned Tuesday night lineup for the upcoming season, moving its big gun sitcoms “Just Shoot Me” and “Will & Grace” into anchor slots at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.
With “Will & Grace” reruns showing an uptick in the Nielsens this summer, Peacock programmers are hoping the Tuesday sked reshuffle will bolster the web’s fortunes against ABC’s strong Tuesday lineup. NBC lost the Tuesday Nielsen demographic rating crown to ABC last season after winning the night in 1997-98.
The sked the Peacock unveiled to Madison Avenue in May had Tuesdays leading off with “3rd Rock from the Sun” at 8 p.m., followed by the frosh “Mike O’Malley Show,” while “Just Shoot Me” and “Will & Grace” were slotted from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The revamped lineup will lead with “Just Shoot Me,” followed by “3rd Rock,” “Will & Grace” and “Mike O’Malley.” That arrangement will find “Just Shoot Me” and “Will & Grace” going toe-to-toe with ABC’s formidable hits “Spin City” and “Dharma & Greg.”
“We think this lineup will help us regain the first-place position on Tuesday night that we had in the 1997-98 season,” said an NBC spokeswoman.
The 10 p.m. Tuesday installment of “Dateline” is unaffected by the sitcom shuffle. The new Tuesday lineup will bow Sept. 21 during NBC’s premiere week. Starting Aug. 17, NBC will shift “Just Shoot Me” to 8 p.m., followed by “3rd Rock” at 8:30 p.m. and back-to-back segs of “Will & Grace” from 10-11 p.m.
“Will & Grace,” heading into its sophomore year, has been a high priority for the Peacock, which produces the show through its NBC Studios arm. The show bowed last season on Monday at 9:30 p.m., but it quickly shifted to the 9:30 p.m. Tuesday slot behind “Just Shoot Me.” In April, “Will” moved into the plum post-“Friends” 8:30 p.m. Thursday slot before returning to Tuesdays for post-season play.