Premiere dates, new "Apprentice," Jerry Seinfeld on "30 Rock," Norman Lear ..
From e-mails of announcements NBC made today ...
NBC has renewed "The Apprentice" for mid-season with a creative twist. In a new celebrity version of the popular series, celebrity contestants will vie for Donald Trump's attention in what will be the highest-profile competition in the groundbreaking series' run, it was announced today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
"It's always good to be in business with Mark Burnett and Donald Trump," said Silverman. "I am so excited to offer viewers what promises to be the most explosive version of 'The Apprentice' that anyone has seen."
"The success of 'The Apprentice' has been a great experience for me,” said Trump. "I look forward to working with Ben, NBC and Mark, the best team in television. I believe that celebrity 'Apprentice' will bring our wonderful show to new heights."
A list of the participating celebrities will be announced at a later date for the series' seventh season. Contestants will be raising money for various charities throughout the competition.
SEINFELD ON "30 ROCK"
Jerry Seinfeld returns to NBC in a rare guest-star turn when he appears as himself in the second-season premiere of NBC's critically acclaimed comedy "30 Rock” on October 4 (Thursday, 8:30-9 p.m. ET), it was announced today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. ...
Although Golden Globe winner Seinfeld will play himself in the episode, viewers can tune-in to see how he shakes things up with the abrasive network executive Jack Donaghy (Baldwin). He joins an impressive array of actors and personalities who have appeared on "30 Rock,” including Paul Reubens, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, John McEnroe, Maury Povich, Ghostface Killah, Elaine Stritch, Sean Hayes, Nathan Lane, Molly Shannon, Will Arnett, Chris Parnell, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis.
Seinfeld's return to his NBC roots will include not only his guest role on "30 Rock,” but he will also create and star in 20 unique live-action comedy "minisodes" (as previously announced), inspired by his experiences creating the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature film "Bee Movie," in theaters November 2. NBC Universal will also have the exclusive U.S. broadcast and cable network rights to the film, which features Seinfeld as the voice of Barry B. Benson, a disillusioned bee. Produced by Seinfeld and DreamWorks, the 20 comedy shorts will give viewers a glimpse at Seinfeld's behind-the-scenes antics during production of the movie. The minisodes will run on NBC's primetime schedule this fall, as well as on NBC.com, on designated days before and after the release of the film.
NBC has signed a series deal with legendary, Emmy Award-winning television producer Norman Lear ("All in the Family”) to join Reveille, Act III Productions, and Universal Media Studios in producing a one-hour dramedy focused on a mother who reenters the work force and is pitted against her late husband's ruthless partner in a money-charged battle of the sexes on Wall Street.
PREMIERE DATES (INCLUDES SOME CHANGES IN PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TIME PERIODS)
"The Biggest Loser” (8-10 p.m.)
"Deal or No Deal” (8-9 p.m.)
"CHUCK” (8-9 p.m.)
"Heroes” (9-10 p.m.)
"JOURNEYMAN” (10-11 p.m.)
"The Singing Bee” (9:30-10 p.m.)
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10-11 p.m.)
"Deal or No Deal” (8-9 p.m.; marks Wednesday debut)
"BIONIC WOMAN” (9-10 p.m.)
"LIFE” (10-11 p.m.)
"My Name Is Earl” (8-9 p.m.)
"The Office” (9-10 p.m.)
"ER” (10-11 p.m.)
"Deal or No Deal” (moves to new day, 8-9 p.m.)
"Las Vegas” (9-11 p.m.)
"30 Rock” (8-8:30 p.m.)
"Friday Night Lights” (9-10 p.m.)
"Scrubs” (9:30-10 p.m.)
EXPLANATIONS AND DETAILS OF SCHEDULE CHANGES
NBC launches its season premieres the week of September 24. The network will adjust its schedule by moving the new comedic spy thriller "Chuck" to Mondays (8-9 p.m. ET) – followed by switching the popular Monday version of "Deal or No Deal" to Fridays (8-9 p.m. ET), and shifting "Friday Night Lights" to an earlier new time of 9-10 p.m. (ET) and " Las Vegas" to 10-11 p.m. (ET).
In addition, NBC will expand "The Biggest Loser" to 90 minutes on Tuesdays (8-9:30 p.m. ET) and will have a special two-hour premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Summer's newest hit, "The Singing Bee" (which premiered earlier this month), will have its Fall premiere on Tuesday, September 25 (9:30-10 p.m. ET).
NBC's premiere week will also feature one-hour episodes each of "My Name Is Earl" (8-9 p.m. ET) and "The Office" (9-10 p.m. ET) on Thursday, September 27 and a two-hour episode premiere of "Las Vegas" on Friday, September 28 (9-11 p.m. ET).
The announcements were made by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and Marc Graboff, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
"We can't wait for the new season to begin and we believe that these programming changes will allow for a powerhouse Monday night with 'Chuck,' 'Heroes' and 'Journeyman,'" said Silverman. "On Tuesdays, the 90-minute 'The Biggest Loser' has always performed well and will fit perfectly with our new summer hit 'The Singing Bee.' On Fridays, we can hammock 'Friday Night Lights' between two proven hits – 'Deal or No Deal' and 'Las Vegas,' with new cast member Tom Selleck."
Said Graboff: "We like that we can start our season off strong with hour-long episodes of such comedy favorites as 'Earl' and 'The Office.' Coupled with the dynamo of 'Sunday Night Football,' we will have a very potent fall lineup and these schedule adjustments will only make us stronger."
All of NBC's primetime entertainment series will bow during the week of September 24 with the exception of "The Biggest Loser" (Tuesday, September 11), "30 Rock" (Thursday, October 4), "Friday Night Lights" (Friday, October 5) and "Scrubs" (Thursday, October 25).
In addition, "Deal or No Deal" will premiere on Monday, September 17 (8-9 p.m. ET) -- one final time in its previously announced day and time before moving to Fridays (8-9 p.m. ET) on September 28.
Likewise, "Friday Night Lights" was previously scheduled for Fridays (10-11 p.m. ET) and "Las Vegas" (9-10 p.m. ET) on the same night before swapping time periods.
On September 24, NBC tees up its new season on Mondays (8-9 p.m. ET) with "Chuck," a new hour-long series from executive producer Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") and executive producer-director McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall"), who deliver a comedic spy thriller about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, "Less Than Perfect") -- a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent. Then comes the much-anticipated second-season debut of "Heroes" (9-10 p.m. ET) as the epic ensemble drama centers on several ordinary people who possess extraordinary abilities.
Monday, September 24 will also serve as the premiere of the new drama "Journeyman" (10-11 p.m. ET). From Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Kevin Falls ("The West Wing") and Emmy Award-winning director-producer Alex Graves ("The West Wing"), "Journeyman" is a romantic mystery-drama about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, "Rome"), a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives.
Tuesdays mark the beginning of a new season of "The Biggest Loser" (8-10 p.m. ET) starting September 11 as the popular competitive weight-loss series boasts a few new twists. "The Singing Bee," introduced earlier this month, is hosted by Joey Fatone (*NSYNC) as it challenges contestants to not only sing a song – but compels them to sing the words correctly. The variety-competition series will join the fall lineup on September 25.
The perennial favorite "Deal or No Deal" (8-9 p.m.) jump-starts Wednesdays beginning September 25 with host Howie Mandel, whose provocative series title question: "Deal – or no deal?" – has become a national catchphrase. The new "Bionic Woman" (9-10 p.m. ET) stars Michelle Ryan ("EastEnders") as a young woman whose life is radically altered and empowered after a car crash as it debuts on September 25. Also on the same night, the new drama "Life" (10-11 p.m. ET) features a complex police detective (Damian Lewis, "Band of Brothers") who's given a second chance on the force after serving years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
"My Name Is Earl" (8-9 p.m. ET) and the Emmy Award-winning "The Office" (9-10 p.m. ET) will break out of the gate in a big way on Thursday, September 27 as each premieres with an hour-long episode. The 14th season debut of "ER" follows (10-11 p.m. ET).
The two-hour premiere of "Las Vegas" (9-11 p.m. ET) will follow the new Friday-night "Deal or No Deal" (8-9 p.m. ET) on September 28.
As it did during last fall, "Football Night in America" (7-8 p.m. ET) and "Sunday Night Football" (8-11 p.m. ET) will dominate on autumn Sundays.