NBC SETS THE PACE FOR POST-OLYMPICS PROGRAMMING WITH NEW MID-SEASON SERIES PREMIERES, RETURN OF FAVORITE SERIES AND OTHER PRIMETIME SCHEDULE MOVES
"Deal or No Deal" Returns for a Week Beginning February 27 and Continues Weekly on Monday, March 6 -- Followed by Series Debuts of "Conviction," "Heist" and "Teachers"
"Law & Order" Moves Up One Hour to Wednesdays (9-10 p.m. ET) Beginning March 22; "The Apprentice" Resumes Competition on Monday, February 27 (9-10 p.m. ET); "Las Vegas" Rolls on to Fridays (9-10 p.m. ET) on March 3
BURBANK, Calif. -- January 22, 2006 -- NBC will introduce several new mid-season series and welcome back other hits following the closing day ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics beginning February 27 with the reprise of the smash "Deal or No Deal" followed by the series premieres of "Conviction" (March 3), "Heist" (March 22) and "Teachers" (April 6).
Other early schedule changes include "Law & Order" moving on Wednesdays to 9-10 p.m. (ET) beginning March 22. In addition, "The Apprentice" returns on Monday, February 27 (9-10 p.m. ET), and "Las Vegas" rolls on to Fridays (9-10 p.m. ET) on March 3. "Dateline NBC" also will move from Fridays (9-10 p.m. ET) to Saturdays (8-9 p.m. ET) on March 4.
The announcements were made at the Television Critics Association's January Press Tour by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.
"We are not going to slip quietly into spring," said Reilly. "With these exciting new shows in our re-configured schedule, we will be very competitive -- and given the promotional momentum of the Olympics, we can give these promising shows the launch they deserve."
"Deal or No Deal" -- which debuted from December 19-23, 2005 to huge ratings -- returns on Monday, February 27 (8-9 p.m. ET) and will run at this time for a week through Friday, March 3. The first run of "Deal or No Deal" on NBC won all five of its hours among adults 18-49 and delivered season highs for its time period on four of five nights. Averaging a 4.3 rating, 13 share in 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers overall, "Deal" improved on NBC's season averages in those time periods by an average of 54 percent in 18-49 and 51 percent in total viewers.
"Deal or No Deal" will then return on a weekly basis on the following Monday, March 6 (8-9 p.m. ET). Comedian Howie Mandel returns as host of the exhilarating hit game show as contestants play and deal for a top prize of $1 million dollars in a high-energy match of nerves, instincts and raw intuition. Each night, the game of odds and chance unfolds when a contestant faces 26 sealed briefcases containing anything from a measly penny to $1 million dollars. Without knowing the amount in each briefcase, the contestant picks one -- his to keep, if he chooses, until its unsealing at game's end.
Based on the successful format from Endemol that has aired in over 35 countries, "Deal or No Deal" is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is the President of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Scott St. John.
"The Apprentice" follows "Deal or No Deal" when it returns on Monday, February 27 (9-10 p.m. ET).
"Law & Order" will follow in its new earlier time (9-10 p.m. ET) when it begins on March 22.
"Conviction" -- Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf's ("Law & Order"-brand series) newest series begins on Friday, March 3 (10-11 p.m. ET). This new legal drama series is a fast-paced, character-oriented story focusing on young assistant district attorneys in New York who are confronted with tough, high-profile cases that challenge their limited experience -- and force them to mature quickly or be overwhelmed.
The ensemble cast of "Conviction" includes Stephanie March, Jordan Bridges, J. August Richards, Milena Govich, Eric Balfour, Anson Mount and Julianne Nicholson. The series was created by Wolf and the pilot was written by Walon Green ("Law & Order") and Rick Eid ("Law & Order: Trial by Jury," "The Guardian"). "Conviction" is a Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television Studio. Wolf, Green, Eid and Peter Jankowski are the executive producers.
"Las Vegas" precedes "Conviction" when it relocates to Fridays (9-10 p.m. ET) starting March 3.
"Heist" -- a fast-paced, cops-and-robbers drama from acclaimed director Doug Liman ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith") and writers Mark and Robb Cullen (FX's "Lucky") -- premieres on Wednesday, March 22 (10-11 p.m. ET). The series centers on a group of professional thieves who are plotting to simultaneously rob three prominent Beverly Hills jewelry stores on Oscar week. Over the course of a full season, the series follows the thieves as they plan and execute the heist, as well as the detectives who are hot on their trail. Filled with action, suspense and comedy, "Heist" takes audiences on a joy ride with car chases, gun battles, explosions and cat-and-mouse-like antics.
The ensemble cast includes the burglars -- Dougray Scott ("Dark Water"), Steve Harris ("The Practice"), Seymour Cassel ("The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou"), Marika Dominczyk ("North Shore") and David Walton ("Stateside") ? and the detectives -- Michele Hicks ("The Shield"), Reno Wilson ("Blind Justice") and Billy Gardell ("Yes, Dear"). "Heist" is produced by Hypnotic, NBC Universal Television Studio and Sony Pictures Television.
The new comedy "Teachers" starts class promptly on Thursday, April 6 (9:30-10 p.m. ET) as it replaces "The Office" after the critically acclaimed comedy's season finale on Thursday, March 30 (9:30-10 p.m. ET). This comedic take on modern education centers on likable Filmore High School English teacher Jeff (Justin Bartha, "National Treasure"), who is surrounded by a school administration mired in bureaucratic red tape and rule-bound, apathetic teachers. Jeff is faced with a class of text-messaging, video-gaming, short-attention-span students who refuse to crack open a book.
But despite his own self-proclaimed indifference, deep inside there's still an occasional spark, especially for a few students who just might think he is the best teacher they will ever have. Joining Bartha in the cast is Sarah Alexander (BBC's "Coupling"), Deon Richmond ("The Cosby Show"), radio comedian Phil Hendrie, Sarah Shahi ("The L Word"), Matt Winston ("Six Feet Under") and Kali Rocca ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer").
"Teachers" is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio. Matt Tarses ("Scrubs") and Bill Wrubel ("Will & Grace") are executive producers. James Burrows (NBC's "Will & Grace") directed the pilot.
Emmy Award-winning "Law & Order," the longest running crime series and the second longest-running drama series in the history of television, is now in its 16th season on NBC. The brainchild of creator Dick Wolf, "Law & Order" is the most successful brand in the history of primetime television.
"Las Vegas" -- from Gary Scott Thompson ("The Fast and the Furious") -- is a fast-paced, sexy drama that follows the elite Las Vegas surveillance team in one of Sin City's largest resorts and casinos. The series, previously broadcast on Mondays (9-10 p.m. ET), stars Oscar and Golden Globe nominee James Caan and Josh Duhamel ("All My Children"), and is now in its third season.
"The Apprentice" stars business titan Donald Trump, who returns to test a new crew of would-be executives ? all of whom vie to become his latest apprentice executive.