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More ''Earl,'' ''Office,'' Goodbye, ''West Wing''

By RD Heldenfels Published: January 22, 2006

It's a regular Sunday in most of the world, including the House of Heldenfels. But out west, the TV critics' press tour goes on, and today NBC had a mixed bag of announcements for the folks there, and those of us getting the network's e-mail.
The good news: ''My Name Is Earl'' and ''The Office'' have been renewed for 2006-07. ''Earl'' has been one of the delights of the current season. ''The Office'' has been very good, too, though a bit uneven and more ratings-challenged. But NBC is apparently happy with ''The Office's'' performance on Thursdays, and so picked it up.

Could this mean the return of a Thursday-night comedy block on NBC next season? A lot will depend on whether it has two other comedies that can do well on the night. Yes, two. ''Will & Grace'' is in its last season, and NBC officially announced plans for a big send-off on May 18.

So where's the mixed news? Well, ''The West Wing'' will be done after this season, so we'll never know how the next presidential adminstration might have gone. The finale will be on May 14, with a retrospective special at 7 and the last episode at 8.

That's a Sunday night, which shows that NBC is just shoving the show off. Even for those of us who like the show, remembering that ''West Wing'' is on Sunday has been a nightmare.

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