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[08/19/03 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Gives 'Whoopi,' 'Happy Family' an Early Start
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC is looking to take full advantage of the newly rescheduled finale of "For Love or Money 2." The Peacock announced yesterday it will bump up the premieres of its two freshman Tuesday comedies "Whoopi" and "Happy Family" to September 9, one day after the reality series wraps its run.

The two-hour finale to the first "For Love or Money" was the most watched program during the week it aired, pulling in 12.9 million viewers. NBC is hoping a similar performance for its second installment could give an extra boost for the bows of its new Tuesday comedies as both will be heavily promoted during the broadcast. Unlike the previous "Money" finale however, the Peacock will be facing stiff competition in the form of "Monday Night Football" which kicks off its regular season on ABC that same night.

As for fellow Tuesday series "Frasier," "Good Morning, Miami" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC will stick with their original premiere dates.

Meanwhile in other premiere news, NBC is also pushing up the debut of its Monday drama "Las Vegas." Originally set for September 29, the series will now launch September 22 at 10:00/9:00c, following the two-hour Vegas-themed season premiere of "Fear Factor." The move knocks "Third Watch's" season premiere to September 29 at 10:00/9:00c. "Las Vegas" will then settle into its regular 9:00/8:00c that same date.

Lastly, the Peacock also revealed the debut of its new Thursday comedy "Coupling" will run an extra five minutes. To make room, "Will & Grace's" season premiere will be 40 minutes instead of the previously announced 45 minutes.

To review, here's the complete list of NBC's premiere dates:

Tuesday, September 9
8:00/7:00c - "Whoopi"
8:30/7:30c - "Happy Family"

Monday, September 22
8:00/7:00c - "Fear Factor" (two hours)
10:00/9:00c - "Las Vegas" (special time)

Tuesday, September 23
9:00/8:00c - "Frasier" (one hour)
10:00/9:00c - "Law & Order: S.V.U."

Wednesday, September 24
8:00/7:00c - "Ed"
9:00/8:00c - "The West Wing"
10:00/9:00c - "Law & Order"

Thursday, September 25
8:00/7:00c - "Friends" (45 minutes)
8:45/7:45c - "Will & Grace" (40 minutes)
9:25/8:25c - "Coupling" (35 minutes)
10:00/9:00c - "ER"

Friday, September 26
8:00/7:00c - "Miss Match"
9:00/8:00c - "Dateline NBC"
10:00/9:00c - "Boomtown"

Saturday, September 27
8:00/7:00c - "NBC Saturday Night Movie"

Sunday, September 28
7:00/6:00c - "Dateline NBC"
8:00/7:00c - "American Dreams"
9:00/8:00c - "Law & Order: C.I."
10:00/9:00c - "The Lyon's Den"

Monday, September 29
9:00/8:00c - "Las Vegas" (time slot premiere)
10:00/9:00c - "Third Watch"

Tuesday, September 30
9:30/8:30c - "Good Morning, Miami"

Thursday, October 2
8:30/7:30c - "Scrubs"





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· AMERICAN DREAMS (NBC)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· COUPLING (NBC)
· DATELINE NBC (NBC)
· ED (NBC)
· ER (NBC)
· FEAR FACTOR (MTV)
· FOR LOVE OR MONEY (NBC)
· FRASIER (NBC)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· GOOD MORNING, MIAMI (NBC)
· HAPPY FAMILY (NBC)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· LYON'S DEN, THE (NBC)
· MISS MATCH (NBC)
· MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (ESPN)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· THIRD WATCH (NBC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WHOOPI (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)





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