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NBC Loads Up in Premiere Week

TelevisionEntertainmentFootballSportsCrime, Law and JusticeDeal or No Deal (tv program)

NBC is broadcasting the Emmy Awards in late August, and it will kick off the NFL season shortly after Labor Day, but it won't launch its fall schedule until the official start of the season.

That would be Monday, Sept. 18, when Nielsen starts measuring ratings for the 2006-07 season. NBC will debut the majority of its lineup that week and sprinkle in the rest of its shows over the next month.

The network will also use its game show "Deal or No Deal" as a stunt during premiere week, running it four nights (including its regular 9 p.m. Thursday airing) with an escalating prize pot that could reach $20 million, NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly told reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

"Deal" will debut with a two-hour show on the 18th, leading into the premiere of Aaron Sorkin's new drama, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." The bulk of NBC's Tuesday and Wednesday lineups will also premiere that week, along with all of the Thursday schedule and the relocated "Law & Order" on Friday.

The remainder of the net's new series -- "Heroes," "Friday Night Lights," "Twenty Good Years" and "30 Rock" -- will fall into place between Sept. 25 and Oct. 11.

The Emmys, which traditionally air the Sunday before the Nielsen-designated start of the season, will instead take place on Aug. 27 so as not to interfere with NBC's new Sunday-night NFL package. The NFL returns to NBC on Thursday, Sept. 7 with the season opener; the first Sunday night game follows on Sept. 10.

Here's the complete NBC premiere schedule (all times Eastern, new shows in bold):

Thursday, Sept. 7

7 p.m. "Football Night in America" (regular timeslot 7 p.m. Sunday)

Sunday, Sept. 10

8 p.m. "NBC Sunday Night Football"

Monday, Sept. 18

8 p.m. "Deal or No Deal" (two hours)
10 p.m. "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"

Tuesday, Sept. 19

9 p.m. "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (new timeslot)
10 p.m. "Law & Order: SVU"

Wednesday, Sept. 20

8 p.m. "The Biggest Loser" (two hours; regular timeslot 9 p.m. Wednesday)
10 p.m. "Kidnapped"

Thursday, Sept. 21

8 p.m. "My Name Is Earl" (new timeslot)
8:30 p.m. "The Office" (new timeslot)
9 p.m. "Deal or No Deal" (new timeslot)
10 p.m. "ER"

Friday, Sept. 22

10 p.m. "Law & Order" (new timeslot)

Monday, Sept. 25

9 p.m. "Heroes"

Tuesday, Oct. 3

8 p.m. "Friday Night Lights"

Wednesday, Oct. 4

8 p.m. "Twenty Good Years" (two episodes)

Wednesday, Oct. 11

8:30 p.m. "30 Rock"

Friday, Oct. 20

8 p.m. "Crossing Jordan" (new timeslot)
9 p.m. "Las Vegas"

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