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[10/20/03 - 12:00 AM]
NBC's 'Coupling' Out for Sweeps
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- After several weeks of speculation, NBC has made it official: its highly-touted new comedy "Coupling" will be benched for November sweeps. "Check/Mate," the episode scheduled to air this week, will be the show's last until December at the earliest.

In its place NBC will move "Scrubs" to the post-"Will & Grace" position with repeats of "Friends" filling the 8:30/7:30c half-hour beginning November 6. (NBC will run the previously announced 40-minute "super-size" episodes of "Friends," "Will & Grace" and "Scrubs" on October 30).

The Peacock network also revealed a few other plans for the period over the weekend:

-- NBC will use the Saturday, 8:00/7:00c hour to repeat several of its freshman series starting with "Whoopi" on November 1 and "Las Vegas" on November 8. Repeats of the "Law & Order" franchise will then take over the 9:00/8:00c and 10:00/9:00c hours as previously announced.

-- With "Third Watch" set to take over the Friday, 10:00/9:00c hour beginning October 31, NBC is still mum about the future of "Miss Match." The series is scheduled to be bumped on October 31 for a two-hour installment of "Dateline NBC" however beyond that is unclear.

-- The Peacock also revealed it actually has two six-episode cycles of its upcoming reality series "Average Joe" in the can. The network could air them back-to-back (a la "For Love or Money" this past summer) or save the second season for some time next year.





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· AVERAGE JOE (NBC)
· COUPLING (NBC)
· DATELINE NBC (NBC)
· FOR LOVE OR MONEY (NBC)
· FRIENDS (NBC)
· LAS VEGAS (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER (NBC)
· LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT (USA)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· THIRD WATCH (NBC)
· WHOOPI (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)





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