The first piece of the networks’ midseason schedule puzzle was put into place Wednesday when NBC announced that its new Jennifer Lopez police drama “Shades of Blue” would bow on Thursdays in January.

“Shades of Blue” will bow with a two-hour episode on Jan. 14 at 9 p.m., and will begin airing in the 10 o’clock hour the following week when “The Blacklist” returns from its two-month hiatus. The drama, which centers on a NYPD detective-turned-informant who must carefully straddle the line between work and family, will be taking over the timeslot occupied this fall by “The Player,” whose 13-episode order had been trimmed by NBC last week.

Timeslot competition for “Shades of Blue” will include ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” though the Viola Davis drama may still be on its midseason hiatus in mid-January.

“Blue” marks the first foray into dramatic television for Lopez, who will also be returning this winter as a judge for the final season of Fox’s “American Idol.” She is joined in the cast by Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, Dayo Okeniyi, Vincent Laresca, Hampton Fluker and Sarah Jeffery.

The show is executive produced by Jack Orman, Adi Hasak, Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest and Nina Wass. Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, EGTV, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Jack Orman Productions produce.

“From a marketing perspective, the Jan. 14 date takes advantage of both solid ‘Sunday Night Football’ games and strong holiday programming through the first week of January,” said Jeff Bader, President, Program Planning, Strategy and Research. “Also, in one of the most-watched weekends of the year (Jan. 9-10), we have the NFL Wild Card game and Golden Globes, both of which make for great promotional opportunities.”