CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC is expected to bench each of its six freshman series for at least one week during November sweeps. That's the latest from the Peacock camp as the major networks work to finalize their schedules for the key period, which begins Thursday, October 30 and ends Wednesday, November 26. Here's a breakdown of all the impending moves by NBC and some other major networks:
-- NBC will bump "Coupling" for the first night of sweeps (October 30), instead going with 40-minute "super-size" episodes of "Friends," "Scrubs" and "Will & Grace."
-- On Halloween (October 31), the Peacock will bench the newly relocated "Miss Match" in favor of a two-hour edition of "Dateline NBC." Repeats of "Law & Order: S.V.U." are expected to continue in the 10:00/9:00c hour through the end of November.
-- Beginning Saturday, November 1, NBC will resume running three installments of "Law & Order" on the night with the original at 8:00/7:00c, "Criminal Intent" at 9:00/8:00c and "Special Victims Unit" at 10:00/9:00c.
-- Newcomers "Whoopi" and "Happy Family" will get the hook for at least two weeks during the period. On November 4, viewers can look for a special episode of "Fear Factor" to displace both comedies while one of the network's planned concert specials (Justin Timberlake or Shania Twain) will bump the duo on November 25.
-- The Peacock's telefilm "Saving Jessica Lynch" is tentatively set to air Sunday, November 9, likely pre-empting both "American Dreams" and "The Lyon's Den." A new episode of "Criminal Intent" would then either lead-in or lead-out from the movie.
-- On the final Monday of sweeps (November 24), NBC is expected to air a 90-minute installment of "Fear Factor" up against FOX's two-hour finale of "Joe Millionaire." Such a move would likely bump either "Third Watch" or "Las Vegas" for the night.
-- ABC has a host of specials and movies already set for the period: "Phenomenon II" (Saturday, November 1 at 8:00/7:00c), "Britney Spears: In the Zone" (Monday, November 17 at 8:00/7:00c), "Eloise at Christmastime" (Saturday, November 22 at 8:00/7:00c) and the opening to the four-hour mini-series "Ryan and Trista's Wedding" (Wednesday, November 26 at 9:00/8:00c).
-- ABC will drop its usual Sunday lineup ("America's Funniest Home Videos," "10-8," "Alias," "The Practice") on November 16 in favor of the 31st Annual American Music Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
-- The WB is set to drop its Friday comedy lineup ("Reba," "Like Family," Grounded for Life," "All About the Andersons") on October 24 for a two-hour block of Halloween-themed specials. Up first at 8:00/7:00c is "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" followed by "Bugs Bunny's Howl-O-Ween Special" at 8:30/7:30c. "The WB's Most Outrageous Halloween Outtakes" rounds out the night at 9:00/8:00c.
Please note that all the above plans are subject to change. Official sweeps schedules are expected to be released in the coming weeks.