Crafting its most aggressive fall schedule in years, NBC will announce a slate today that will likely include changes on every night except Sunday.
The Peacock net, which has preached the status quo when unveiling its fall lineup in recent years, will take a decidedly less stable approach in September as it launches three dramas and four comedies. Details on the specifics of the new sked were hard to come by late Sunday, as the net kept a tight lid on its scheduling moves.
One shift that seemed likely: Critically hailed frosh hour “Boomtown” will be back for a second season, but in a new slot: Fridays at 10 p.m. “Law & Order: SVU,” which dominates the hour, will shift to Tuesdays at 10 p.m.
As for pickups, NBC’s latest attempt at developing laffers for a post-“Friends” and “Frasier” era comes down to the domestic version of U.K. import “Coupling,” as well as newcomers “Whoopi,” “The Tracy Morgan Show” and “Happy Family.”
New drama entries include legal-minded skeins “Miss/Match” and “Lyon’s Den,” as well as the action entry “Las Vegas.”
‘Coupling’ in good spot
“Coupling” seems likely to land the plum spot Thursday at 9:30 p.m., between “Will & Grace” and “ER.”
And three shows previously on the bubble — aforementioned “Boomtown,” “Ed” and “Good Morning, Miami” — have all been renewed for next season. Heather Locklear is mulling an offer to join “Miami.”
And the Peacock has ordered additional scripts of the Tim Doyle-penned domestic laffer “Stuck in the Middle With You.”
NBC execs were still finalizing their sked as of late Sunday, so it’s possible some key details could change before the net meets advertisers this afternoon.
But it’s expected the net’s biggest changes will come on Tuesday, where the other three new non-“Coupling” laffers will air. Friday could also be in for a shakeup, with “Miss/Match” and/or “Ed” headed for the night, which will now include “Boomtown.”
2 segs of ‘Dateline’
The three-hour skein lineup knocks out an edition of “Dateline NBC,” bringing the once-ubiquitous newsmag down to one or two segs, including Sundays at 7.
Also, NBC is poised to return original scripted series to Saturday nights for the first time in several seasons, possibly moving “Crossing Jordan” to 10 p.m. following an abbreviated two-hour movie. The net had aired a mix of three-hour theatricals and “Law & Order” franchise repeats on the night. Another possibility for “Jordan” is shifting to midseason.
And just one reality skein makes the fall cut: “Fear Factor.”
Here’s a night-by-night look at NBC’s possible fall sked:
- Monday: “Fear Factor” stays at 8 p.m., perhaps leading into new drama “Las Vegas” and returning entry “Third Watch,” which moves from 9 to 10 p.m. A longshot scenario has “Law & Order: SVU” relocating here to take on the Eye’s “CSI: Miami.”
“Las Vegas,” from NBC Studios and DreamWorks TV, revolves around the life of a surveillance expert in the gambling mecca.
James Caan stars, with Gary Scott Thompson and Scott Steindorff, as well as DreamWorks’ Justin Falvey and Daryl Frank, exec producing.
- Tuesday’s almost-all-new sitcom block will likely open with “Whoopi,” followed by “Tracy Morgan,” “Frasier” and either “Happy Family” or “Miami.” “SVU” rounds out the night at 10.
“Whoopi,” from Carsey-Werner-Mandabach and NBC Studios, stars Oscar winner and former center square Whoopi Goldberg as a washed-up singing sensation who now owns a boutique hotel.
Bonnie and Terry Turner wrote and exec produce “Whoopi,” while Goldberg, Carsey, Werner and Mandabach will also exec produce.
Also from C-W-M, “Saturday Night Live” player Tracy Morgan makes it to primetime in his eponymous sitcom.
“The Tracy Morgan Show” stars Morgan as a family man who dreams big but owns a small mechanics’ shop in New York. In addition to C-W-M, NBC Studios and SNL Studios produce. The lengthy roster of exec producers includes Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner, Caryn Mandabach, Lorne Michaels, David Miner, Dave Becky and Michael Rotenberg, as well as scribes David Israel and Jim O’Doherty.
Then there’s “Happy Family,” from NBC Studios and exec producers David Guarascio and Moses Port.
Laffer stars sitcom vets John Larroquette and Christine Baranski as an empty-nester couple whose grown children suddenly move back home.
- Wednesday could kick off with new drama “Lyon’s Den,” followed by the sans-Aaron Sorkin “The West Wing” and Peacock workhorse “Law & Order.”
“Lyon’s Den,” from 20th Century Fox TV and Brad Grey Television, takes a new stab at the legal drama franchise, focusing on both the paralegals and the attorneys at a 100-year-old law firm. Rob Lowe stars as an idealistic attorney whose father is a prominent senator.
Drama is exec produced by Remi Aubuchon, Brad Grey and Bernie Brillstein, as well as Lowe.
- NBC knows not to mess with Thursday, keeping “Friends,” “Scrubs” and “Will & Grace” in their normal slots, followed most likely by “Coupling” at 9:30 p.m. and “ER” at 10.
“Coupling,” from NBC Studios, Universal TV and Reveille, revolves around six sex-obsessed thirtysomethings in Chicago.
Laffer is based on the British series of the same name created by Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue. Phoef Sutton, Ben Silverman, Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue and Moffat exec produce.
- Fridays will likely feature new drama “Miss/Match” and “Ed,” with “Boomtown” at 10.
The Alicia Silverstone vehicle “Miss/Match” comes from 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV. Silverstone stars as a divorce lawyer by day and accidental matchmaker by night.
“Miss/Match,” from exec producers Darren Star and Jeff Rake, is based on the life of real New York attorney Samantha Daniels. Cast also includes Ryan O’Neal, who plays Silverstone’s estranged father.
Besides Star and Rake, “Miss/Match” is exec produced by Imagine’s David Nevins and Brian Grazer.
- Saturdays feature a theatrical movie at 8 p.m., possible followed by 10 p.m. entry “Crossing Jordan,” which moves from Mondays.
- Sundays continue to kick off with “Dateline NBC” at 7 p.m., followed by “American Dreams” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” It’s possible NBC could pit Lowe’s new legal eagle franchise opposite ABC’s “The Practice” and shift either “Ed” or “Miss/Match” to Wednesdays at 8 p.m.