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NBC Revamps Thursday Nights with Single-Camera Comedy Block

I can't even tell you how thrilled I was yesterday to learn that NBC was going to revamp its Thursday night lineup, mere days after the Peacock announced that it was effectively going to destroy its 8 pm timeslot by filling it with cheap-to-produce reality fare like Deal or No Deal.

Fortunately, Kevin Reilly didn't budge on keeping single-cam comedies My Name is Earl and The Office right where they are and shifting Tina Fey's 30 Rock to Thursdays and (finally!) bringing Scrubs back the schedule. Combined, these four series display the possibilities of the single camera format and I've been pleading with the networks to combine them into one single night of fantastic comedic TV.

While CBS has its Monday night comedy lineup and CW its urban-themed laughers on the same night, there hasn't been one-stop shopping for single cam mirth until now. Sadly, I've been calling for this arrangement since the days of the dearly departed Arrested Development, but I'll take what I can get. It's a risky proposition going smack against Grey's Anatomy in the 9 pm hour, but it's also somewhat heartening to see struggling NBC willing to take a risk and try to resuscitate Must-See-TV Thursdays with an all comedy lineup. And it's only fitting that in 2006 those comedies would be of the single-cam variety.

The newly revamped lineup is scheduled to launch on November 30th (which can't come quickly enough) and will consist of:

8 pm: My Name is Earl.

8:30 pm: The Office.

9 pm: Scrubs.

9:30 pm: 30 Rock.

I am surprised that NBC would wait until then to launch the new Thursday schedule. But then again, they might want to launch it after November sweeps has ended, giving them a little bit more of a comfort zone to take a chance (and not go up against a sweeps-powered Grey's in the first week of November). No mention was given to struggling sitcom 20 Good Years, so it's safe to assume it's off the schedule come the end of November.

Additionally, prior to the revamp, My Name is Earl, The Office, and 30 Rock will present super-sized 40-minute episodes on November 16th in a two-hour block. (NBC did something similar last season with Earl, The Office, and Will & Grace.) Look for the Peacock to use this scheme once more before the end of the calendar year.

As for me, I'm just happy that I now have a two-hour block of funny on Thursdays and that it's actually comprised of shows that I love to watch. Imagine that: NBC actually making viewers happy for once!


Anonymous said…
that is a potentially great lineup (I recorded last night's 30 rock, but haven't watched it, haven't seen an ep since the revamped pilot, so still on the fence). I am very happy about it.
I'm very excited about the new lineup. I think it's definitely a step in the right direction to breathing a little comedic life back into the network.
Rincey said…
This sounds great except this means that these great comedies are going against Supernatural, one of my favorite shows!

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