[01/21/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Announces Preview and Premiere Dates for New Tier of Highly Anticipated Series, Specials and Miniseries for Spring

[via press release from NBC]


New Series "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," "The Office" and "Revelations" to Premiere in March and April

"The Contender" Now Enters Ring with March 7 Preview and March 9 Premiere

Summer Lineup Also Includes Unscripted Series "I Want to Be a Hilton" and "Tommy Lee Goes to College"

BURBANK, Calif. -- January 21, 2005 -- NBC announced a third tier of new Spring program previews and premieres for the series "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" (previews March 17 and 24; premieres April 1), "The Office" (March 22) and "Revelations" (April 13) � as well as broadcast dates for a new "Saturday Night Live" special celebrating the classic series' first five years and the debut of the network's "Hercules" miniseries.

In a program change, "The Contender" will now begin with a preview on Monday, March 7 (9:30-11 p.m. ET) followed by the season premiere on Wednesday, March 9 (8-9 p.m. ET) in its new regular day and time.

Looking further ahead, NBC's new summer lineup will include the unscripted series "I Want to Be a Hilton" and "Tommy Lee Goes to College."

The announcements were made by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"This latest slate of much-anticipated new series and programs puts NBC in a great position for a late-season run," said Reilly. "We have been looking forward to showcasing these promising projects in the right time and place."

"Live from New York: 'SNL The First Five Years" will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 20 (9-11 p.m. ET). For more information on the special, please see NBC's accompanying standalone release.

"Hercules" is slated for Sunday and Monday, May 22 and 23 (9-11 p.m. ET both nights).

"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" will preview on Thursday, March 17 (10-11 p.m. ET) followed by a second preview on Thursday, March 24 (10-11 p.m. ET). The new drama will officially premiere on Friday, April 1 (10-11 p.m. ET) in its regular day and time. The series is the latest series from Dick Wolf, architect of the most successful brand in primetime television with NBC's "Law & Order" and takes viewers where they have never been before. For the first time, a "Law & Order" series is told not only from the point-of-view of the prosecutors and police -- but also from the perspective of the defense attorneys, defendants, judges and jurors.

"Law & Order: Trial by Jury" shows the inner workings of the judicial system, beginning with the arraignment, and continuing through the prosecutors' complicated process of building a case, investigating leads and preparing witnesses for trial. The series stars Bebe Neuwirth ("Cheers," "Chicago"), Amy Carlson (NBC's "Third Watch"), Fred Dalton Thompson (NBC's "Law & Order"), the late Jerry Orbach (in a few episodes) and Kirk Acevedo ("Band of Brothers").

Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Walon Green and Peter Jankowski are executive producers; Arthur Forney and Richard Pearce are co-executive producers. "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" is a production of Wolf Films in association with NBC Universal Television Studio.

"The Office" will debut on Tuesday, March 22 (9:30-10 p.m. ET). The new comedy from Reveille and NBC Universal Television Studio offers a documentary-style look into the humorous and sometimes poignant foolishness that plagues the world of 9-to-5. "The Office" is based on the award-winning BBC hit "The Office."

A fly-on-the-wall docu-reality parody about modern American office life, the series delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder-Mifflin paper-supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The series stars Steve Carell ("The Daily Show," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"), Jenna Fischer ("Miss Match"), John Krasinski, "Kinsey"), Rainn Wilson ("Six Feet Under") and B.J. Novak ("Punk'd").

"The Office" is executive-produced by Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Howard Klein.

Likewise, "Revelations" will begin on Wednesday, April 13 (9-10 p.m. ET). From executive producer Gavin Polone ("Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Panic Room") and executive producer-writer David Seltzer ("The Omen"), the series is a six-hour event that foretells an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world scenario centering on the final conflict between God and the devil.

It concerns the joint attempts of science and theology, through the characters of a Harvard astrophysicist, Richard Massey (Bill Pullman, "Independence Day"), and a nun, Sister Josepha Montifiore (Natascha McElhone, "Solaris"), to determine if the end-of-the-world confrontation is at hand and can be avoided. Michael Massee ("Se7en") and Tobin Bell also star.

"Revelations" is executive-produced by Gavin Polone and David Seltzer and is a production of Pariah in association with NBC Universal Television Studios.

"Hercules," from Hallmark Entertainment, stars Sean Astin ("Lord of the Rings" trilogy), Leelee Sobieski ("Uprising," "Joan of Arc"), Elizabeth Perkins ("Big") and Timothy Dalton ("Licence to Kill") � along with Paul Telfer (USA's "Spartacus") in the title role as the legendary Greek hero.

Emmy Award winner Robert Halmi Sr. ("The Odyssey," "Gulliver's Travels," "Merlin") is executive producer of the mythic tale based on the spectacular exploits of Hercules, the super-strong figure fathered by the supreme Greek god Zeus. The production, filmed amid the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand, follows Hercules who, after killing his three sons, is compelled to redeem himself by performing 12 heroic labors � including slaying the multi-headed Hydra and the dreaded Nemean lion.

With groundbreaking special effects, "Hercules" is the definitive re-telling of the most famous myth of all � the story of a half-god, half-man whose extraordinary feats of strength would elevate him to the status of legend on Earth and immortality in the heavens. Also starring are Kim Coates ("Open Range"), Australian actress Leeanna Walsman ("Star Wars: Attack of the Clones") and actor/wrestler Tyler Mane ("Troy," "X-Men").

Emmy and Directors Guild Award winner Roger Young ("Bitter Harvest," "Murder in Mississippi") directs from a screenplay by Charles Edward Pogue ("Dragonheart"). "Hercules" is a production of Hallmark Entertainment.

NBC will also offer new summer programming with the series premieres of the unscripted programs "I Want to Be a Hilton" and "Tommy Lee Goes to College."

"I Want to Be a Hilton " is a fresh, humorous and sometimes poignant ode to the glamour and style of New York as reflected by its host and mentor Kathy Hilton -- matriarch of one of the most ubiquitous families in the world. The unscripted series will chart the foibles and flirtations encountered by 14 eccentric young contestants as they vie for the opportunity to live the glamorous lifestyle of high society. The contestants, after splitting into two teams, will compete on weekly challenges ranging from art and culture to beauty and fashion. At the conclusion of each episode, Hilton will meet with the losing team and will eliminate one candidate. The finalist will win an extravagant prize package and the opportunity to live the high life-- a la a Hilton -- for a year.

In "Tommy Lee Goes to College," rock star Tommy Lee from "M�tley Cr�e" at last finds time for college after living the fast life for two decades. Now 42, twice divorced and the single father of two boys, Lee could buy sports cars and date young women in a mid-life crisis. But Lee wants something different that money can't buy -- academic redemption.

It won't be class as usual when the student is Tommy Lee as every episode will find him floundering in a new fish-out-of-water situation � including quintessential collegiate challenges such as finding a roommate, trying out for the marching band and cramming for finals. The series' executive producers are Eddie October, BT, Richard Bishop and Brad Wyman. Mike Nichols is co-executive producer.

  [january 2005]  


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