Who knew when the day began that I'd have an opportunity to do two different posts with "Friday Night Lights" pictures? In this case, the reason is to say that NBC announced its January schedule -- which is different from its mid-season schedule, which I'll explain after the jump -- and "FNL" has a new/old timeslot. I'm not going to run through the entire schedule, so go look at the official press release if you like and I'll hit you with the relevant bullet points just as soon as I marvel at Ben Silverman's continued career arc...
So, here's what you need to know:
• "Friday Night Lights" will be airing Fridays at 9, starting on January 16. Makes sense. NBC seems convinced the show belongs on Fridays because of the title, ratings will almost certainly be depressed because of the DirecTV experiment, and it's a timeslot with low expectations.
• As NBC announced back at its "in-front" schedule thing last April, "Chuck" and "Heroes" will both be sitting out January because they don't repeat well. But instead of being replaced by "American Gladiators" and "Deal or No Deal" as originally planned, the fill-in programming will be a one-month dance competition show called "Superstars of Dance." At 10 in January will be "Momma's Boys," another reality show (produced by Ryan Seacrest). And while the press release makes it clear that "Heroes" and "Chuck" will be back in February, "My Own Worst Enemy" is unsurprisingly left off the list, what with NBC refusing to give it a back nine order and all.
• "Life" also gets the no-repeats plan, as it will be replaced in January by reruns of "Law & Order: SVU." (The "L&O"s don't rerun as well as they used to, but they still perform better than "Life" would do in repeats -- or, for that matter, better than it's been doing in first-run.)
• The Thursday schedule remains unchanged, thanks to Silverman's love of "Kath & Kim" -- which, in a total coincidence, comes from Silverman's production company.
• Like "My Own Worst Enemy," "Lipstick Jungle" isn't mentioned anywhere, suggesting that after all the back-and-forth over whether to cancel it, NBC may have finally given up the ghost.
Again, this is just for January. The resting shows will be coming back in February, plus NBC has the Super Bowl this year to use as a launching pad to promote still more shows (though I wouldn't expect to see the Amy Poehler sitcom from "The Office" producers until late March at the earliest).
But since I'll have already seen all the "FNL" eps already (season three wraps on DirecTV two nights before it debuts on NBC), for at least those four weeks I'll only be watching one night of NBC programming for the first time I can remember. Wow. Even the low points of the Littlefield/Sassa/Ancier/Zucker transitions had stuff of interest sprinkled throughout the week.