NBC Shuffles Schedule

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This season will be the last for The West Wing and Will & Grace, said NBC on Sunday, while also revealing several other moves, including full-season renewals for its new Thursday duo of My Name Is Earl and The Office.

West Wing will come to an end May 14 after seven seasons.  “It’s no secret the ratings have been tough for the last couple seasons,” NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Will & Grace will bow out on May 18 after eight seasons.

Reilly also said both Earl and The Office, which have given the network some momentum on Thursday night, have been given 22-episode orders for the 2006-07 season.

NBC also made several announcements about post-Olympics scheduling plans, as well as shows in development for both summer and fall:

March scheduling moves:

Following the Olympics, NBC is reshuffling its prime time schedule, including moving two veteran dramas to launch rookies.

•       Law & Order will move to 9 on Wednesdays and serve as a lead-in to launch cops-and-robbers drama Heist at 10. 

•       Las Vegas will move to Fridays at 9 and serve as a lead in to new Dick Wolf drama Conviction at 10.  Dateline NBC moves to Saturdays at 8.

•       Game show Deal or No Deal will return to the lineup Mondays at 8, followed by the return on The Apprentice at 9.

•       The Office’s season finale is set for March 30, after which new comedy Teachers will slide into the post-Earl timeslot Thursdays at 9:30.

Summer Plans:

Reilly said four shows will potentially join the network’s lineup this summer, including NBC’s possible entrance into the telenovela race.

The network is looking at adapting Telemundo’s Body of Desire, a telenovela which could air multiple times per week.  Also slated for the summer are drama series Windfall, reality series Treasure Hunters and the return of Last Comic Standing.

Fall Development:

The network also announced The Black Donnellys will join the schedule for the fall.  The serial crime drama is from Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby and Crash).  Also in preproduction is the Aaron Sorkin/Thomas Schlamme series, Studio 7, which is currently being cast. 

Reilly also said Kidnapped staring Dana Delaney is a “serious contender” for the fall.

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