[02/14/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Keeps 'The Office' Lights Burning as It Announces New Extended Season Finale of Hit Comedy to May 11

[via press release from NBC]



Move Advances Season Premiere of New Comedy "Teachers" to Tuesdays (9:30-10 p.m. ET) Beginning March 28; "Joey" Returns to Lineup on Tuesdays Beginning Tuesday, March 7

BURBANK -- February 14, 2006 -- NBC has extended its spring lease on "The Office" (Thursdays, 9:30-10 p.m. ET) through May 11 as the network will add an extra original episode plus other encore broadcasts that will now take the hit comedy past its previously announced season finale of March 30.

The new comedy "Teachers" will premiere on Tuesday, March 28 (9:30-10 p.m.) - a change from its previously announced season debut of Thursday, April 6 (9:30-10 p.m.). "Scrubs" will move up one-half hour on Tuesdays beginning March 28 with an encore broadcast (8:30-9 p.m. ET) followed by an original episode (9-9:30 p.m. ET).

In addition, "Joey" returns with original episodes on Tuesday, March 7 at 8-8:30 p.m. (ET), in place of "Fear Factor" which will return to the schedule this summer. Encore broadcasts of "Joey" will air at 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) from March 7-21 until "Scrubs" encore broadcasts take over on March 28.

Since shifting to Thursday nights on January 5, "The Office" has averaged a 4.7 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall. That represents a 27 percent increase over the show's 18-49 average for Tuesday telecasts earlier this season (3.7/9 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and an 88 percent increase over "The Office's" average for the 2004-05 season (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall), when it also aired on Tuesday nights.

In its six Thursday telecasts thus far, "The Office" has delivered its six best retentions to date of its adult 18-49 lead-in from "My Name Is Earl." "The Office" has averaged a 90 percent retention of "Earl" so far on Thursdays, up from its 71 percent average on Tuesdays earlier this season. In the valuable adult 18-34 category, "The Office" has improved on its lead-in from "Earl" with each of its three most recent telecasts and was NBC's #1 telecast of the week in 18-34 for two of those three weeks.

"The Office" takes a painfully funny look at the interactions of the desk jockeys at Dunder Mifflin paper-supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Golden Globe winner Steve Carell ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin" -- whom E! Online said, "might be the funniest man alive,") stars as unctuous regional manager Michael Scott who hosts the documentary crew on a tour of the workplace. Jenna Fischer ("Miss Match"), John Krasinski ("Jarhead," "Kinsey"), Rainn Wilson ("Six Feet Under"), and B.J. Novak ("Punk'd") star as the employees who tolerate Michael's inappropriate behavior only because he signs their paychecks. Also starring are Melora Hardin as Jan Levinson, David Denman as Roy, Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone, Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer, Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez and Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Lapin. "The Office" is executive-produced by Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, who developed the series for American television, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Howard Klein.

Justin Bartha stars as Jeff, an irreverent, rule-breaking teacher in the comedy "Teachers" where the faculty takes center stage. Sarah Alexander (BBC's "Coupling") joins him as Alice, a fellow teacher, who won't give up on the students or the school. Jeff's best friend and resident drama teacher is Calvin (Deon Richmond, "The Cosby Show"), while other school denizens include radio comedian Phil Hendrie as Dick, the veteran teacher who is over the system and would rather barbecue behind the gymnasium. Sarah Shahi ("The L Word") is Tina, the hot new substitute teacher who joins the faculty, and Matt Winston ("Six Feet Under") is Mitch, the eager-to-please teacher who worships Principal Emma Wiggins (Kali Rocha, "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 directed the pilot.

Multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee Matt LeBlanc stars in the title role of "Joey" as the charming character from "Friends" who has finally succeeded as an actor in Hollywood and is juggling the rigors of stardom. Joey is joined by his sister Gina (Drea de Matteo), who works for Joey's agent Bobbie (Jennifer Coolidge). Michael (Paulo Costanzo), Joey's nephew, ventures out into the dating world and Alex (Andrea Anders), the friendly neighbor, realizes that she might have more than just friendly feelings for Joey. Miguel Nunez also stars as Joey's friend, Zach. From Bright-San Productions and Silver and Gold Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., "Joey" is executive-produced by Kevin S. Bright, Scott Silveri and Jon Pollack.

  [february 2006]  


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