NBC summer: 'Philanthropist,' 'Listener,' 'I'm a Celebrity'


NBC's summer 2009 schedule will feature a hefty dose of original programming -- including the last hurrah for scripted shows on the network at 10 p.m.

The network will also hold the season finales of three current 10 o'clock shows -- "Medium," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order" -- until the first week of June in an effort to boost Conan O'Brien's "Tonight Show" debut. "America's Got Talent" will also be back, along with three new scripted shows, a pair of four-hour miniseries and a couple of new unscripted shows.

"This summer will feature more original scripted programming than ever before," NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman says. "In addition, we'll give Conan the best launch possible during his premiere week by slotting the season finales of some of our best dramas at 10 p.m."

Summer will be also be the last time you'll be able to catch scripted dramas on NBC for some time. The network is turning the hour over to Jay Leno's prime-time talk show in the fall.

O'Brien will take over as host of "The Tonight Show" on Monday, June 1. The network's revival of "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" will premiere at 8 ET that night, followed by the season finale of "Medium" at 10.

The first week of June will also feature the season finales of "SVU" (Tuesday, June 2) and "Law & Order" (Wednesday, June 3) and the premiere of "The Listener" (Thursday, June 4), a Canadian import about a paramedic (Craig Olejnik) with telepathic abilities.

NBC's other new scripted series for the summer are "Merlin," a retelling of the Arthurian legend that debuts Sunday, June 21, and "The Philanthropist," which stars James Purefoy as a billionaire who decides to devote his life to helping those in need. It premieres Wednesday, June 24. The network will also air episodes of USA's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" starting June 8.

The two miniseries are both disaster pictures: "Meteor," starring Christopher Lloyd, Marla Sokoloff and Stacy Keach, airs June 7 and 14, and "The Storm," with Treat Williams, James Van Der Beek and Teri Polo, is set for July 19 and 26.

As it was on ABC several seasons ago, "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" will be stripped across several nights of the week. It will run Monday-Thursday for three weeks starting June 1 and Monday-Wednesday for its fourth and final week, concluding on June 24.

"America's Got Talent" begins its season, with new host Nick Cannon, on June 23, and the new series "Great American Road Trip" -- an "Amazing Race"-like show that follows families criss-crossing the country and completing challenges at various landmarks -- kicks off July 1.

Highlights of NBC's summer schedule (all times Eastern):

Monday, June 1

8 p.m. "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" (premiere)
10 p.m. "Medium" (season finale)
11:35 p.m. "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" (premiere)

Tuesday, June 2

10 p.m. "Law & Order: SVU" (season finale)

Wednesday, June 3

10 p.m. "Law & Order" (season finale)

Thursday, June 4

10 p.m. "The Listener" (premiere)

Sunday, June 7

9 p.m. "Meteor" (miniseries; concludes June 14)

Monday, June 8

9 p.m. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC premiere)

Sunday, June 21

8 p.m. "Merlin" (premiere)

Tuesday, June 23

9 p.m. "America's Got Talent" (season premiere)

Wednesday, June 24

10 p.m. "The Philanthropist" (premiere)

Wednesday, July 1

8 p.m. "Great American Road Trip" (premiere)

Sunday, July 19

9 p.m. "The Storm" (miniseries; concludes July 26)

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