NBC has hedged its bets a little on its midseason series "Raines," but it will at least give the drama a high-profile spot for its launch.
The show, which stars Jeff Goldblum as an L.A. detective who converses with the dead victims in his cases, will debut in at 10 p.m. ET Thursday, March 15, in the timeslot normally occupied by "ER" (which would be airing a repeat that night). A second "Raines" will air the following Thursday, after which the show will move to 9 p.m. Fridays, starting March 30. It will remain there for the remainder of its seven-episode run, giving "Las Vegas" a rest.
NBC had initially ordered 13 episodes of "Raines" but later decided to trim that number to seven. The cut was primarily a money-saving move, and series creator Graham Yost ("Boomtown") is philosophical about it.
"It's television," Yost said Wednesday at NBC's press tour day. "We think we've done a great show. And if the network and the studio need to save some money, you know what? We'll know in those seven episodes whether or not people want to see more."
The network will also have several other shows debuting in the spring. After a week-long run in December that averaged 9.3 million viewers, the game show "Identity" will be back as a weekly series in March, although just where hasn't been determined yet.
Additionally, "The Black Donnellys," created by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco ("Crash") and the Andy Richter comedy "Andy Barker, P.I." are also set to premiere in the spring. NBC Entertainment president says "The Black Donnellys" will air on Monday nights -- most likely spelling either "Heroes" or "Studio 60" -- and "Andy Barker" will slide into the network's Thursday comedy block while one of its four current occupants rests. Neither show has a premiere date yet, however.