NBC Plans Returns, Makes Pickups


"The Office" is re-opening in April. So are "Scrubs," "ER" and "30 Rock."

Fans of "Heroes," "Chuck" and "Life," however, will have to wait until fall 2008 to see those shows. The good news, though, is that viewers are assured of seeing them.

NBC announced its post-strike plans late Wednesday afternoon, targeting early and mid-April for the return of seven of its scripted series, including all four of its Thursday-night comedies. "ER," "Law & Order: SVU" and the original "Law & Order" will also have new episodes ready to go then.

Additionally, the network has picked up "Heroes," "Chuck" and "Life" for the 2008-09 season, saying that all three shows will get "major re-launch campaigns" in the fall.

"We are thrilled to be bringing back the high-energy dramas 'Chuck' and Life' for next season," NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman says. "Additionally, we will be saving and re-launching our No. 1 drama and most successful franchise, 'Heroes,' so that it will run in all original episodes in the fourth quarter."

NBC makes no mention of "Friday Night Lights," "Journeyman" and "Bionic Woman" in its spring plans. All have wrapped production on their seasons, and there's no word yet on potential for next season.

"My Name Is Earl" will be the first scripted show back on NBC; it returns with a one-hour episode on Thursday, April 3. Its fellow comedies, along with "ER," are set to return the following week. Each of the Thursday shows save for "Scrubs" will produce new episodes, but for now the hospital comedy, which is in its final season, will use only pre-strike episodes.

"SVU" resumes April 15, and "Law & Order," which still has a handful of pre-strike episodes on hand, will have more new cases on Wednesday, April 23. "Medium" will continue its current run on Monday nights.

Here's a rundown of the return dates:

Thursday, April 3: "My Name Is Earl" (one-hour episode)

Thursday, April 10: "30 Rock," "The Office," "Scrubs" and "ER"

Tuesday, April 15: "Law & Order: SVU"

Wednesday, April 23: "Law & Order"

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