CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) - In one of its biggest schedule shakeups in years, NBC it set to make changes to all seven nights on its schedule when it unveils its fall 2003 lineup later today. At least three new comedies and three new dramas are also expected to make the cut as are struggling series "Ed," "Boomtown" and "Good Morning, Miami."
Here's a night-by-night breakdown of the latest developments:
-- The one night NBC wasn't expected to make changes to will feature some of the biggest changes of all: "Crossing Jordan," a Monday, 10:00/9:00c mainstay for its entire run, is expected to shift to Saturday nights at 10:00/9:00c. There's also an outside chance the series could be held altogether until midseason, as series star Jill Hennessy's pregnancy could delay production. In place of "Jordan" on Mondays, NBC will shift "Third Watch" back an hour to 10:00/9:00c. "Fear Factor" will kick off the night at 8:00/7:00c followed by newcomer "Las Vegas."
-- Tuesdays as expected will see the return of the Peacock's two-hour sitcom block with new comedies by Whoopi Goldberg ("Whoopi") and Tracy Morgan ("The Tracy Morgan Show") starting out at 8:00/7:00c and 8:30/7:30c respectively. "Frasier" will remain at 9:00/8:00c followed by "Good Morning, Miami," which will return regardless whether or not Heather Locklear signs on to the cast. Suzanne Pleshette however has opted out from returning for a second season. Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c remain a mystery as either "Dateline NBC" will stay put or see the surprising switch of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" to the night.
-- Wednesdays have "The West Wing" remaining intact at 9:00/8:00c despite rumblings of a move to Sunday nights. "Law & Order" will stay at 10:00/9:00c and newcomer "The Lyon's Den," starring Rob Lowe, will open the night at 8:00/7:00c.
-- Thursdays see tentpoles "Friends," "Will & Grace" and "ER" remaining intact with "Scrubs" back for a third season at 8:30/7:30c and racy new comedy "Coupling" at 9:30/8:30c.
-- Fridays has the much talked about new dramedy "Miss Match" kicking off the night at 8:00/7:00c followed by fellow dramedy "Ed" at 9:00/8:00c. With "Law & Order: S.V.U.'s" possible move to Tuesdays, there's the outside chance "Boomtown" will get the Friday, 10:00/9:00c slot. If there's no move, expect "Boomtown" to stay put on Sundays.
-- Saturdays see a two-hour block of movies leading into the return of "Crossing Jordan" at 10:00/9:00c as previously mentioned.
-- Sundays have "Dateline NBC," "American Dreams" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" staying put in their current slots. The 10:00/9:00c slot remains fuzzy however with "S.V.U." and "Boomtown's" homes still up in the air. It's not clear what would air here should both series move to Tuesdays and Fridays respectively.
-- Midseason orders are also unclear however both the Christine Baranski-John Larroquette starrer "Happy Family" and drama "Homeland Security" are expected to receive pickups.
-- Set for the chopping block are: "Watching Ellie," "America's Most Talented Kid," "Hunter," "Kingpin," "Let's Make a Deal," "Hidden Hills," "A.U.S.A." and "Mister Sterling."
NBC formally announces its schedule at 4:00 p.m. eastern today.