The Frog net has decided to take on the Peacock’s Olympic juggernaut — and kick off its new Sunday comedy sked with a Foxx.
As part of a 17-day fall rollout plan to be unveiled today, the WB will announce a rejiggered Sunday lineup that now kicks off at 7 p.m. with “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Eddie Murphy’s toon laffer “The PJs,” a Fox import that had been set to lead off the WB’s Sunday, will now air at 8:30 p.m.
“For Your Love” shifts to 7:30 and “The Steve Harvey Show” is still at 8. New comedies “Hype!” and “Nikki” remain skedded from 9 to 10.
The WB’s fall rollout strategy also includes plans to launch two nights of programming, Tuesday and Friday, opposite NBC’s broadcast of the Summer Olympics — and before the season officially starts Oct. 2.
Frog will leap into the fray Sept. 22 with the premiere of its new Friday lineup of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (8 p.m.), “Gross Pointe” (8:30) and sophomore drama “Popular” (9).
Move of “Sabrina” from ABC to the WB coincides with the skein’s syndie bow the same week. WB affils in four of the nation’s top six markets will be airing the off-net run of “Sabrina,” so network execs are hoping to piggyback on the promotion surrounding the syndie launch.
In another Olympics counterprogramming move, the WB’s not-so “New Tuesday” will return Sept. 26 with original segs of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”
As for the Sunday switcheroo, WB exec VP of programming Jordan Levin said the Frog made the move to avoid putting “The PJs” in competition with animated programming on Fox.
“In recognizing the strengths ‘The PJs’ has shown this summer in repeats on Fox, we thought it was more suitable counterprogramming running against non-animation,” Levin said. “We think ‘The PJs’ has a lot of upside and wanted to give it opportunities to grow as the only animated show in its timeslot.”
The WB will roll out the rest of its lineup during the official premiere week (Oct. 2-8), starting with the Monday tandem of “7th Heaven” and “Roswell” on Oct. 2. “Dawson’s Creek” and “Felicity” begin their new seasons on Wednesday, Oct. 4, while on Thursday, Oct. 5, the WB counters a likely presidential debate with the premiere of new drama “Gilmore Girls” and the return of “Charmed.”
The new Sunday sked will make its bow as a complete unit on Oct. 8, though “The PJs” will move into its Sunday slot on Sept. 10 (following a special Friday sneak on Sept. 8).
Over at NBC, meanwhile, the Peacock has locked in premiere dates for four of its seven nights of programming.
Network will bow its Monday lineup of “Daddio,” “Tucker,” “Deadline” and “Third Watch” on Oct. 2, while the Sunday trio of “Dateline,” “Ed” and a movie will launch Oct. 8.
NBC’s Friday roster of “Providence,” “Dateline” and “Law & Order: SVU” won’t be back until Oct. 20; the net’s new Saturday movie isn’t set to begin until Oct. 21. Blame baseball playoffs for both.
Should a presidential or vice-presidential debate not take place on Thursday, Oct. 5, there’s a good chance NBC will debut a new season of “Must See TV” that night. If the debate happens, it’s likely (though not a sure thing) that “Friends,” “Will & Grace,” “Just Shoot Me,” “ER” and newcomer “Cursed” will pop up on Oct. 12.
Still to be decided: premiere dates for NBC’s Tuesday and Wednesday skeds.