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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Knight Rider, Saturday Night Live on Thursdays and a New School Bourne Identity: NBC's 52-Week Schedule Takes Serious Risks

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April

Bensilverman Here's why entertainment writers like me love NBC entertainment honcho Ben Silverman: he's a flashy guy with a great pitch who seems bent on kicking over network TV's hoary old way of doing business.

About an hour ago, Silverman revealed to journalists NBC's new programming schedule for the next 60-plus weeks, stretching from fall 2008 to the end of summer 2009. Everybody listening to Silverman's high octane conference call presentation today knew one thing: there is no way this schedule is airing in its entirety the way its being presented.

There's too much competition, viewers are too unpredictable and some shows -- notably their new school Bourne Identity-style action series with Christian Slater and the Americanized version of the Australian comedy Kath and Kim -- won't even have a pilot episode made before cranking out series episodes.

Here's the highlights:

Kitt_rider *The success of the Knight Rider TV movie has prompted its return as a series in fall, complete with Val Kilmer as the voice of the smart car KITT.

*Saturday Night Live will create three half-hour Thursday night specials in October playing off the approaching November election.

*The network will air a spin off of The Office developed by the guy currently running the show, Greg Daniels. Exactly which characters will appear and where they might be were not revealed.

*Low watched, critically acclaimed football drama Friday Night Lights returns in February 2009 with 13 episodes, airing first on DirectTV.Jungklecast

*Brooke Shields' comedy Lipstick Jungle returns in the fall, mostly because it has an upscale audience

*New series include My Own Worst Enemy, featuring Slater as a middle class suburbanite who is also, Slaterchristianphotochristianslater unwittingly, a spy; Kath and Kim, an americanized version of an Australian series starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair; an unnamed spinoff of The Office under development by the guy running the mothership, Greg Daniels; a series retelling the Robinson Crusoe story faithful to the period and a retelling of the King Arthur legend with Arthur and sorcerer Merlin as young men.

*Law & Order returns for a 19th season with 13 episodes; ER returns for its final season with 19 episodes; Robin Williams will star in Law & Order SVU's 200th episode; Life returns in the fall, Chuck returns in the fall and Celebrity Apprentice returns after ER's series finale.Bionic2nbc1105_468x355

*Canceled series include Bionic Woman, Journeyman and Las Vegas; Singing Bee and One vs. 100 are  not on any schedule but may still return.

*And the network is implementing a time period strategy in which 8 p.m. is reserved for family shows, 9 p.m. features blockbuster series and 10 p.m. is for adult-focused fare. Which means NBC is defining My Name is Earl (Thursday's episode features a woman placing a man's hands on her breasts to wake him from a coma) and 30 Rock as family fare. Interesting.

Here's the fall 2008 schedule:

*New programs in UPPER CASE (with the exception of "ER")Heroescopy_2

MONDAY
8-9 p.m.           "Chuck"            
9-10 p.m.         "Heroes"
10-11 p.m.       "MY OWN WORST ENEMY"

TUESDAY
8- 9:30 p.m.     "The Biggest Loser: Families"
9:30-10 p.m.    "KATH & KIM"
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"    Knightriderforweb_2

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m.           "KNIGHT RIDER"
9-10 p.m.         "Deal or No Deal"       
10-11 p.m.       "Lipstick Jungle"

THURSDAY
8- 8:30 p.m.      "My Name Is Earl"      
8:30-9 p.m.       "30 Rock"
9- 9:30 p.m.      "The Office"
9:30-10 p.m.     "The Office"/ "SNL THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE"Life_2
10-11 p.m.        "ER"

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m.           "CRUSOE"
9-10 p.m.         "Deal or No Deal"         
10-11 p.m.       "Life"

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m.           "Dateline NBC"
9-10 p.m.         "KNIGHT RIDER" (Encores)
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Encores)

SUNDAY       
7- 8:20 p.m.     "Football Night in America"      
8:20-11 p.m.    "NBC Sunday Night Football"

See the winter and summer 2009 schedule by clicking below:    

NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR WINTER 2009

*New programs in UPPER CASE (with the exception of "ER")Heroescopy

MONDAY
8- 9 p.m.    "Chuck"             
9-10 p.m.    "Heroes"
10-11 p.m.   "THE PHILANTHROPIST"

TUESDAY
8- 9:30 p.m.     "The Biggest Loser: Couples"
9:30-10 p.m.    "KATH & KIM"
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"   

WEDNESDAYKnightriderforweb
8-9 p.m.           "KNIGHT RIDER"
9-10 p.m.         "Deal or No Deal"         
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order"

THURSDAY
8- 8:30 p.m.      "My Name Is Earl"      
8:30-9 p.m.       "30 Rock"
9- 9:30 p.m.      "The Office"
9:30-10 p.m.     "THE OFFICE" SPINOFFLife
10-11 p.m.        "ER"/"The Celebrity Apprentice"

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m.           "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m.         "Friday Night Lights"    
10-11 p.m.       "Life"

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m.            "Dateline NBC"
9-10 p.m.          "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Encores)
10-11 p.m.        "Law & Order" (Encores)

SUNDAY       
7-8 p.m.            Specials/"Dateline NBC"
8-9 p.m.            Specials/"MERLIN"
9-10 p.m.          Specials/"Medium"
10-11 p.m.        Specials/"KINGS"

NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR SUMMER 2009

*New programs in UPPER CASE

MONDAY
8-9 p.m.           "American Gladiators"             
9-10 p.m.         "AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS"
10-11 p.m.       "Dateline NBC"

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m.           "Most Outrageous Moments"
9-10 p.m.         "America's Got Talent"
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Encores)   

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m.           "SHARK TAGGERS"
9-10 p.m.         "America's Got Talent" (Results Show)
10-11 p.m.       "Law & Order" (Encores)

THURSDAY
8- 8:30 p.m.     "The Office" (Encores)
8:30- 9 p.m.    "THE OFFICE" SPINOFF (Encores)      
9-10 p.m.        "Last Comic Standing"
10-11 p.m.       "THE LISTENER"

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m.           "CHOPPING BLOCK"
9-11 p.m.         "Dateline NBC"

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m.           Drama Encores
9-10 p.m.         Drama Encores
10-11 p.m.       Drama Encores

SUNDAY       
7-8 p.m.           "Dateline NBC"
8-9 p.m.           "Monk"
9-10 p.m.         "Nashville Star"
10-11 p.m.        "KINGS" (Encores)

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:45pm]

    

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