New Sorkin drama set for Thursday at 9; Lithgow-Tambor sitcom on Wednesday at 9, followed by Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. NFL returns in fall with hour long pregame show Sundays at 7-8.
NBC’s 2006-07 primetime schedule features six new dramas and four new comedies in addition to its new weekend showpiece, Sunday Night Football.
The annual program announcement was made today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, before the advertising community, affiliate stations and press at Radio City Music Hall.
“The face of NBC is changing,” said Reilly. “We took the first step this season with Thursday hits My Name Is Earl and The Office. Next season we’ll add momentum and excitement with the addition of Sunday Night Football and establish a foundation of quality across the week by standing behind shows that each say something about who we are.”
Highlights of the Fall 2006-07 season include two previously announced new dramas: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (Thursdays, 9-10 p.m. ET), Emmy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s (NBC’s The West Wing) insider’s take on the backstage drama of a late-night comedy sketch show, with an all-star cast that includes Matthew Perry (“Friends”), Amanda Peet (“Syriana”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”); and “Kidnapped” (Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET), a high-stakes, serialized thriller about a teenaged boy’s kidnapping, starring Jeremy Sisto (“Six Feet Under”) and Delroy Lindo (“The Core”).
Also new to fall are the dramas “Friday Night Lights” (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET)—inspired by the hit feature film about the passion and expectations of a small Texas town for its top-ranked football team and stars Kyle Chandler (“King Kong”)—as well as “Heroes” (Mondays, 9-10 p.m. ET), an epic drama centering on the radically changed lives of several ordinary people who find they possess extraordinary powers.
The two new comedies are “20 Good Years” Wednesdays, (9-9:30 p.m. ET) and “30 Rock” (Wednesdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET). “20 Good Years” stars Emmy winner John Lithgow (“3rd Rock from the Sun”) and Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) as mismatched buddies who realize that life doesn’t last forever. “30 Rock” stars Emmy winner Tina Fey (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” “Mean Girls”) as the head writer of a frenetic late-night television variety show (Fey is also the writer and an executive producer with Lorne Michaels). Alec Baldwin (“The Aviator,” The Cooler”) and Tracy Morgan (NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”) also star.
NBC’s autumn will see the return of the National Football League to NBC with “Sunday Night Football” (8-11 p.m. ET), anchored by Al Michaels and John Madden, and preceded by “Football Night in America” (7-8 p.m. ET), an hour-long primetime pre-game show.
January will see the arrival of the previously announced drama “The Black Donnellys”—from Oscar winners Paul Haggis (“Crash”) and Bobby Moresco (“Crash”). The series is “a gritty saga about four working-class Irish brothers’ exploits in organized crime,” according to NBC. It will debut on Thursdays (10-11 p.m. ET) and continue with consecutive original episodes. As a result, “ER” will premiere in its 13th season on Thursdays (10-11 p.m. ET) and will run with virtually continuous original episodes until its cliffhanger in December. It will resume after “The Black Donnellys” completes its first season.
After the NFL season concludes in January 2007, NBC will return to entertainment programs with a new Sunday-night lineup featuring “America’s Got Talent” (8-9 p.m. ET) with newly announced host Regis Philbin presiding over a national talent contest produced by Simon Cowell (“American Idol”). “The Apprentice” (9-10 p.m. ET), with Donald Trump, returns with a new edition based in Los Angeles. The reality series is followed by the new drama “Raines,” starring Jeff Goldblum (“The Lost World: Jurassic Park”) as an eccentric police detective in an inventive crime drama from Emmy-winning writer-producer Graham Yost (“Band of Brothers”) and director-writer-producer Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption”).
Also for mid-season, NBC can draw upon such new comedies as “The Singles Table,” depicting a group of “witty and single strangers who meet, console and befriend each other at a wedding,” and “Andy Barker, P.I.,” starring Andy Richter, who re-teams with co-writer and executive producer Conan O’Brien (NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”) as an earnest CPA who embraces the unlikely chance to become a private detective.
“Crossing Jordan” and “Scrubs” will return to the NBC schedule at some point later in the season.
Additional fall schedule changes include the move of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” from Sundays (9-10 p.m. ET)—due to the premiere of “Sunday Night Football”—to Fridays (10-11 p.m. ET). Likewise, “My Name Is Earl” (8-8:30 p.m. ET) and “The Office” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) each move up one hour on Thursday nights.
Following is NBC’s primetime series schedule for fall 2006-07. Nightly strategy and show descriptions follow (all times are Eastern).
NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2006-07
*New programs in CAPS (with the exception of “ER”)
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “HEROES”
10-11 p.m. “Medium”
8-9 p.m. “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS”
9-10 p.m. “KIDNAPPED”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
8-9 p.m. “The Biggest Loser”
9-9:30 p.m. “20 GOOD YEARS”
9:30-10 p.m. “30 ROCK”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order”
8-8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl” (new time)
8:30-9 p.m. “The Office” (new time)
9-10 p.m. “STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP”
10-11 p.m. “ER”/(“THE BLACK DONNELLYS” in January 2007)
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “Las Vegas”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (new day and time)
8-9 p.m. “Dateline Saturday”
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores
7-8 p.m. “FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA”
8-11 p.m. “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL”