NBC will re-shape its mid-season program lineup following the planned departure of "Sunday Night Football" in January with the debut of the new reality series "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (8-9 p.m. ET) on Sunday, January 7 (8-9 p.m. ET) and the season premiere of the Emmy Award-nominated "The Apprentice" (9-10 p.m. ET) - followed two weeks later by the return of the popular drama "Crossing Jordan" on Sunday, January 21 (10-11 p.m. ET).
In addition, starting on Wednesday, January 3, NBC's Wednesday-night lineup will have a new look with the popular game show "Deal or No Deal" shifting to the 9-10 p.m. (ET) slot. Likewise, on Wednesday, January 10, Friday Night Lights - the critically acclaimed freshman drama that recently received a full-season order -- will now be broadcast from 8-9 p.m. (ET) starting that night. Both programs will precede "Medium," which continues at 10-11 p.m. (ET).
As a result, "Dateline NBC" will replace Friday Night Lights on Tuesdays (8-9 p.m. ET) beginning December 26 and will eventually add an additional night on Sundays (7-8 p.m. ET) beginning February 11.
In addition, new mid-season dramas "Raines" and "The Black Donnellys" will also join the NBC schedule in Spring 2007 on a date and time period to be announced later.
The announcements were made by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.
"It's already been a terrific Fall for NBC, our re-build is in motion and we're looking to maintain that momentum through the Spring," said Reilly. "Although the second half of the season will get tougher, we think the quality of our mid-season series will continue to fuel NBC's year-to-year story of ratings growth."
The following includes NBC's new mid-season schedule (all times ET):
8-9 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal"
9-10 p.m. -- "Heroes"
10-11 p.m. -- "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"
8-9 p.m.-- "Dateline NBC" (beginning December 26)
9-10 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
8-9 p.m. -- Friday Night Lights (January 10)
9-10 p.m. -- "Deal or No Deal" (January 3)
10-11 p.m. -- "Medium"
8-9 p.m. -- "My Name Is Earl"
8:30-9 p.m. -- "The Office"
9-9:30 p.m. -- "Scrubs"
9:30-10 p.m. -- "30 Rock"
10-11 p.m. -- "ER"
8-9 p.m. -- "1 VS 100"
9-10 p.m. -- "Las Vegas"
10-11 p.m. -- "Law & Order"
8-9 p.m. - "Dateline NBC" (repeats)
9-11 p.m. -- Drama repeats
7-8 p.m. -- "Dateline NBC" (February 11)
8-9 p.m. -- "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (January 7; first two weeks will run from 8-9:30 p.m.)
9-10 p.m. -- "The Apprentice" (January 7; first two weeks will run from 9:30-11 p.m.)
10-11 p.m. -- "Crossing Jordan" (January 21)
The fifth cycle of "The Apprentice" last season averaged a 4.0 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers overall, and ranked as one of the most upscale shows on television. The fifth cycle peaked with its June 5 finale (4.4/12 in 18-49, 11.2 million viewers overall), which scored primetime's #2 non-sports rating of that week in adults 18-49.
Friday Night Lights is averaging a 2.5 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall on Tuesday nights this season. The "FNL" audience has been impressively young and upscale, with the third-lowest median age for a primetime NBC series and strong concentrations of key upscale households in its viewership.
For the 2005-06 season, "Crossing Jordan" averaged a 3.3 rating, 8 share in adults 18-49 and 10.9 million viewers overall. Last season, "Crossing Jordan" consistently built on its adult 18-49 lead-in from "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" despite airing opposite ABC's "Grey's Anatomy."
The most powerful people in musical theater are on a mission in "Grease: You're the One That I Want" (Sundays, 8-9 p.m. ET, starting January 7 with a special premiere from 8 -9:30 p.m. ET). They have the stage, the lights, the money, the music, the cast and the costumes. But they're missing one thing -- the leads. NBC will search for the next Sandy and Danny in the new talent competition series from BBC Worldwide Productions as America will ultimately get to choose the two leads for a new Broadway production of Grease. The new production of Grease will open on Broadway in June 2007 and will be directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall ("The Pajama Game"), who will also be a judge on the TV series along with Jim Jacobs, the co-creator of Grease and renowned theater producer David Ian. Billy Bush ("Access Hollywood") and Denise Van Outen (Chicago) on Broadway serve as host and co-host.
"The Apprentice" (Sundays, 9-10 p.m. ET beginning January 7 with a special premiere from 9:30-11 p.m. ET) moves to Southern California for season six of the unscripted series -- leaving Manhattan for the first time in the history of the show. Series star Donald Trump will once again do the firing -- and the hiring -- as 18 enterprising candidates vie for the coveted title of "The Apprentice" and the career opportunity of a lifetime working for the legendary business tycoon. Along with the new Southern California backdrop comes a whole new series of surprising twists and turns that will make this the liveliest and most challenging competition yet among candidates eager to become the next "Apprentice."
Expanding on the hit feature film Friday Night Lights, this poignant series (Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET beginning January 10) centers on the small rural town of Dillon, Texas, where the coveted state football championship rings are held in the highest regard. Dillon's promising high school team and newly appointed head coach, Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler, King Kong, "Grey's Anatomy") feel the mounting pressure of the town's pride and honor riding on their shoulders as the season progresses.
The cast also includes: Scott Porter ("The Bedford Diaries") as rehabilitating team captain and first-string quarterback, Jason Street; Gaius Charles ("Book of Daniel") as feared running back Brian "Smash" Williams; Taylor Kitsch ("Kyle XY") as running back Tim Riggins; Connie Britton ("The Brothers McMullen," "24") as Taylor's supportive wife, Tami; Zach Gilford ("The Last Winter") as third-string quarterback, Matt Saracen, and Minka Kelly ("What I Like About You") as Lyla Garrity, Panther cheerleader and Street's girlfriend.
Also starring are: Aimee Teegarden ("Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide") as Coach Taylor's daughter, Julie; Adrianne Palicki ("South Beach") as Tyra Collette, and Jesse Plemons ("Grey's Anatomy") as Landry Clarke.
The powerful drama "Crossing Jordan" (Sundays, 10-11 p.m. ET, beginning January 21) from NBC's "Heroes" executive producer Tim Kring heads into its sixth season and continues to explore disturbing topical crimes, while following a cadre of coroners who use their forensic skills to help the Boston police department bring murderers to justice and closure to victims' families.
Jill Hennessy (NBC's "Law & Order") stars as Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh, a sexy, smart and fearless medical examiner with a checkered past. She works under the guidance of Dr. Garrett Macy (Miguel Ferrer, Traffic), the no-nonsense head of the morgue, and alongside Detective Woodrow "Woody" Hoyt (Jerry O'Connell, Jerry Maguire), who puts in the legwork to hunt down the perpetrators of crimes. Yet, Jordan's unorthodox methods constantly test her professional and personal relationships.
Additional support for the investigative team is provided by grief counselor Lily Lebowski (Kathryn Hahn, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), forensic entomologist Bug (Ravi Kapoor, "Gideon's Crossing") and criminalist Nigel Townsend (Steve Valentine, The Muse). This season, trouble is in store for Jordan and her colleagues when Special Prosecutor William Ivers (Jeffrey Donovan, "Touching Evil") is appointed to investigate the morgue; and Kate Switzer (Brooke Smith, Silence of the Lambs), a prickly medical examiner, joins the coroner's office.
Academy Award winners Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Crash) are the creators of "The Black Donnellys," a gritty new crime drama series loosely based on Moresco's background. The series follows the exploits of four young, working-class Irish brothers and their involvement in organized crime in New York City. Despite their rough surroundings, the Donnelly brothers basically remain "good kids" -- who will do anything to protect each other against all odds. The ensemble cast includes Jonathan Tucker ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre"), Billy Lush ("Huff"), Thomas Guiry (Mystic River), Michael Stahl-David (Uncle Nino), Keith Nobbs ("25th Hour"), Olivia Wilde ("The O.C.") and Kirk Acevedo ("Oz").
Haggis, who directed the pilot, and Moresco are the creators, executive producers and co-writers. The series is from NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Blackfriars Bridge Productions.
In "Raines," Emmy-Award winning writer-producer Graham Yost ("Band of Brothers," "Boomtown") and star Jeff Goldblum (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Fly) combine creative forces in this inventive police drama, which blends traditional noir storytelling with humor and intrigue. Eccentric LAPD Detective Michael Raines (Goldblum) has a unique ability -- his imagination is so keen that when he's on a murder case, the murder victims actually take shape in front of him. Matt Craven ("From the Earth to the Moon"), Dov Davidoff ("Third Watch"), Linda Park ("Star Trek: Enterprise"), Nicole Sullivan ("MADTV"), Malik Yoba (Thief) and Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans) also star.
"Raines" is from NBC Universal Television Studio.
"Dateline NBC" (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET beginning December 26, and later Sundays, February 11, 7-8 p.m. ET), the signature broadcast for NBC News in primetime, premiered in 1992. Since then, it has been pioneering a new approach to primetime news programming. The multi-night franchise, supplemented by frequent specials, allows NBC to present the highest-quality reporting, investigative features and newsmaker profiles, consistently and comprehensively.
Stone Phillips and Ann Curry anchor. The broadcast also features leading NBC News talents Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams and Matt Lauer, as well as correspondents that include Victoria Corderi, Chris Hansen, Sara James, Hoda Kotb, John Larson, Edie Magnus, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison, Dennis Murphy, Rob Stafford, Mike Taibbi and Lea Thompson.