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Summers guilty pleasures


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#21
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NBC Sets Summer Premieres
Returnees 'Last Comic,' 'Talent' join newbie 'Age of Love'

April 12, 2007


Bill Bellamy

NBC will bank on a set of returning shows, and one top-secret newcomer, to keep viewers around over the summer.

Starting right after Memorial Day, NBC will launch a summertime schedule that includes new seasons of "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing," with a dating show called "Age of Love" arriving for mid-June. The network will eventually have original programming on three nights of the week.

"The Biggest Loser" will also get a late-summer premiere, although an exact date hasn't been set.

"We have a strong hand to play this summer season with a proven stable of winning series from past summers," says Craig Plestis, head of alternative programming for NBC. "Each returning show will have a fresh look with new hosts, and the competitions on 'America's Got Talent,' 'Last Comic' and 'Biggest Loser' will be even bigger and better than before. Likewise, we like what we see with the new 'Age of Love,' which could prove to be the breakout hit of the summer."

"America's Got Talent" will be first out of the gate with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, May 29, and will move to 8 p.m. Tuesdays the following week. New host Jerry Springer will lead viewers in the search for the country's next great stage act, be they singers, dancers, jugglers or what have you.

The show's performance episodes averaged 11 million viewers last year. Results shows didn't do quite as well but still pulled in a respectable 8.7 million viewers each time out.

The fifth edition of "Last Comic Standing," with new host Bill Bellamy, premieres Wednesday, June 13. The show has broadened its search for undiscovered comic talent and will feature comedians from Canada, England and Australia as well as the United States. The show drew 8.1 million viewers a week last year.

NBC is keeping details about "Age of Love" under wraps. We know it's a dating show, we know it's hosted by Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") and we know it premieres Monday, June 18.

#22
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Fast Cars & Superstars Announced By ABC


Celebrities including Jewel, Tony Hawk, Serena Williams and William Shatner are dreaming of life in the fast lane, as they race to the finish in the new reality show, "Fast Cars & Superstars -- The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race," a seven-episode series to air on ABC primetime beginning THURSDAY, JUNE 7 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET). Twelve celebrity drivers will partner with the Gillette Young Guns - six of stock car racing's most talented and popular drivers - to learn what it takes to win on the race track.

The show will explore the interaction of top young stock car drivers with stars from the world of sports, music and entertainment, featuring drama and competition on and off the race track. In each episode, viewers will watch celebrities train with a Gillette Young Guns driver. The show will culminate in a one-hour finale where the celebrities will be coached from the pits by their Gillette Young Guns instructors and compete against each other during a time-trial race.

"I jumped at the chance to be involved in the Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race," said actor William Shatner. "It's every American boy's dream to get behind the wheel of a stock car."

"Fast Cars & Superstars - The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race" will include six half-hour episodes with an hour-long finale. The series will be hosted by ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne and co-hosted by former Cleveland Cavaliers center and current ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty, and was co-created by BBDO and Gillette and produced by Radical Media.

"I hope these celebrities are ready to feel the real power of a stock car," said Jimmie Johnson, the reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and member of the Gillette Young Guns. "We're all really excited to share our knowledge of competitive racing to coach these stars. We'll see who has what it takes to be the Champion."

"The thing that really excites me about competing in the race is that it brings together some of the best talent in their fields and gives them the opportunity to meet on a common ground," said Grammy Award nominee Jewel. "And I love the chance to compete against guys!"

Celebrity Drivers will be singer Jewel, actor William Shatner, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, actress Krista Allen, seven-time World All-Around Rodeo Champion Ty Murray, former NBA Champion John Salley, former NFL Super Bowl Champion John Elway, World Wrestling Entertainment Champion John Cena, tennis star Serena Williams, volleyball great and model Gabrielle Reece, legendary surfer Laird Hamilton and former NFL Super Bowl-winning Head Coach Bill Cowher. Gillette Young Guns are Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.

Posted by Joe Reality on April 17, 2007 at 12:11 AM

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CBS Uncages 'Creature Comforts' in June
Animated series will air on Monday nights

April 18, 2007


'Creature Comforts'

The American version of the Aardman Animation smash "Creature Comforts" will finally have its premiere this summer on CBS.

The network announced on Wednesday (April 18) that "Creature Comforts" will premiere on Monday, June 4.

As was the case with the original British commercials, short film and ITV1 series, the American "Creature Comforts" will combine audio interviews with ordinary citizens with stop-motion animation of anthropomorphic animals.

Nick Park won an Oscar for the short film, long before the unique Aardman style became familiar to American audiences on films like "Chicken Run" and "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit."

CBS has had "Creature Comforts" in development for some time. The network announced last February that the show was going into production on seven episodes, but due to the labor-intensive process, it was always intended for a midseason 2006-07 slot.

Booty Call: CBS' 'Pirate' Sets Sail in May
Some salty dog named Cameron Daddo will host, mateys

April 18, 2007


'Pirate Master' host Cameron Daddo

Arrrgh!

CBS has set a Thursday, May 31 premiere date for "Pirate Master," a summer reality series from "Survivor" mastermind Mark Burnett. The show will air through the summer on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET.

Arrgh!

On "Pirate Master," 16 contestants will live aboard a 179-food, square-rigged barque. Over the course of 33 days, they'll live as buccaneers, traveling around a Caribbean island in search of a treasure totaling $1 million. Each episode will find the contestants gathering at Pirate's Court, where they'll state their case and somebody will be cut adrift.

"'Pirate Master' breaks new ground in that it's the collision of fantasy and reality," Burnett says. "This is a show where, in true pirate fashion, anything can happen with a group of people that live by their own set of rules and usually break them. It's adventure, excitement and loads of treasure. Anyone who ever wanted to be a pirate will love this show!"

Arrgh!

The winner will be the first contestant to find the largest booty, a treasure worth $500,000.

With all of this emphasis on big booty, one might guess Sir Mix-a-Lot would be the perfect host. Instead, the host will be Australian actor Cameron Daddo, who may be familiar from films including "Big Mamma's House 2" and TV appearances on shows like "Boston Legal" and "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles."

Arrgh!

#23
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American Idol Producers Launch Search For The Next Great American Band




In all the drama of Lakisha Jones being eliminated from American Idol, it overshadowed a major announcement made by Ryan Seacrest during the show. American Idol producers are apparently launching a brand new reality show to search for the next great American band.

During the American Idol results show, Ryan Seacrest pointed out that Barry Gibb said that the four American Idol finalists should perform together as a group. Seacrest then said that was interesting because they were actually looking for a band. Seacrest then played a clip that said American Idol producers were looking for the best undiscovered group in America.

In the clip was an address where bands could send their DVDs and videos. The address was The Band Show Casting, 8391 Beverly Blvd, PMB #464, Los Angeles, CA 90048. On the official American Idol website there is more information that spells out that the band must have at least two members and include some form of musical instruments. Application and release forms along with detailed instructions on what should go in the band

#24
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NBC Tackles 'Age'-Old Question
Dating show puts guy between women in 20s, 40s

May 10, 2007


Mark Consuelos

The show is called "Age of Love," and until now NBC has kept its premise a secret. No more, though.

The dating show, which premieres Monday, June 18, will test the veracity of dozens of newspaper and magazine trend stories and see whether a guy in his early 30s will fall for an older woman -- when there are younger women available as well.

If you're a tennis fan, you may have heard of the guy in question: 31-year-old Mark Philippoussis, a one-time Wimbledon finalist whose love life has been tabloid fodder in his native Australia. Injuries have sidelined him for extended periods in recent years, but he's hoping to make a comeback on the men's tour this year.

In the show, a group of women in their 20s -- the "Kittens" -- will move into one floor of an L.A. high-rise. Another set of women in their 40s -- the "Cougars" -- will be on a higher floor, with Philippoussis in between. Philippoussis is initially unaware of the concept at first, knowing only that he's going to be on a dating show.

Host Mark Consuelos ("All My Children") will introduce him to the 40-something women first, with the women in their 20s joining the game a little later. Weekly eliminations will pare the field to the one woman Philippoussis likes the most.

"Age of Love" comes from "Biggest Loser" producer JD Roth, who says the idea sprung from conversations he's had with his wife's female friends.

"I always listen to what the wives are talking about because they're always reading every magazine, watching 'Oprah,'" he told reporters recently. "So they're all talking about how they could get a guy [who's] 25, no problem. They're all around 40. ...

"The next thing you know the conversation is about Ashton and Demi, and 'He really loves her. They have a connection. There's a chemistry there. It's not about age.' Then you see Katie Couric with a guy 20 years younger. When you start talking about what's going on in pop culture, you realize there is no age of love."

#25
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Summer 2007 reality show debuts and schedule


Summer doesn

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Jim J. Bullock, Lil

#27
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Got Game? Well, You're About To!


Starting Friday, Jeopardy! fans can log on to jeopardy.com (duh) to answer an extra question from one of that day's categories and be entered in a sweepstakes with a $100 daily prize and a $25,000 grand prize. Of course, unlike on the real show, here contestants are encouraged to google their answers.... Blind Date host Roger Lodge has been chosen to ringlead GSN's upcoming hidden-word game show Camouflage.... CBS has picked up a new game show called Do You Trust Me? from the producers of The Weakest Link. The Eye has also OK'd Drew Carey's Power of 10 quiz show.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 05/29/07 8:56 AM

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'Set for Life' Finally Set for Air
ABC game show, 'Masters of Sci Fi' get premiere dates

June 6, 2007


Jimmy Kimmel

ABC is cleaning out its programming closet, giving summertime runs to a pair of projects that were initially scheduled to run last season.

The game show "Set for Life," which way back when was slated to air in the fall, will finally premiere on Friday, July 20. Two weeks after that, on Saturday, Aug. 4, the anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction" will hit the airwaves for a four-week run.

ABC has also scheduled a brief return for the plastic-surgery version of "Extreme Makeover" in July.

When ABC announced its 2006-07 schedule a year ago, it had "Set for Life" filling an hour on Tuesdays after the fall run of "Dancing with the Stars." Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show offers contestants a chance to win a monthly check for the rest of their lives, ranging from a few bucks to thousands of dollars.

Instead, ABC marked time with holiday specials and "America's Funniest Home Videos" on Tuesdays until "Dancing" returned in the spring. It also tried another game show, the William Shatner-hosted "Show Me the Money," on Wednesday nights.

"Masters of Science Fiction," from the same producers of Showtime's "Masters of Horror," was initially considered for midseason. ABC ordered six episodes but now plans to air only four, in the TV dead zone of Saturdays at 10 p.m.

There's no word yet on which four installments will air. The hour-long shows feature adaptations of stories by the likes of Robert Heinlein, Harlan Ellison and Walter Mosley; actors taking part include Terry O'Quinn ("Lost"), John Hurt ("V for Vendetta"), Anne Heche ("Men in Trees"), Judy Davis ("The Starter Wife"), Sam Waterston ("Law & Order") and Malcolm McDowell ("Heroes").

"Extreme Makeover" will return for three weeks starting Monday, July 2. ABC aired one episode of the show in the fall, then pulled it after it recorded weak ratings.

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Drew Carey, Wayne Brady Game for Game Shows


Wayne Brady has been tapped to front Don't Forget the Lyrics!, a Fox game show premiering July 12 and asking contestants to complete the words to a song. Do right by 10 songs in a row, get a cool million dollars... CBS has set an August 7 premiere for Power of 10, a Family Feud-esque quiz show hosted by Drew Carey and produced by Millionaire's Michael Davies.... BET on July 9 will launch Take the Cake, a nightly interactive game show in which viewers can play along online or via text-messaging.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 06/20/07 10:17 AM

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Stopped Motion: CBS Cuts Creature Comforts


CBS has pulled the Aardman-animated Creature Comforts from its schedule effective immediately, says Futon Critic, and for the time being, at least, will fill the Mondays-at-8 slot with even more repeats of The New Adventures of Old Christine.

After premiering to 6.3 million total viewers, Creature Comforts most recently was sampled by 4.66 and, just this past Monday, 4.3 million people.

Talk about your clay achin'!

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 06/22/07 4:36 PM

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The Singing Bee To Be Hosted By Joey Fatone


America's dancing dynamo and former *NSYNC star Joey Fatone ("Dancing with the Stars") hosts NBC's ultimate sing-along variety game show "The Singing Bee," which is set to premiere on Tuesday, July 10 (9:30-10 p.m. ET) following the 90-minute "Las Vegas Callbacks" episode of summer's #1 hit "America's Got Talent" (8-9:30 p.m. ET).

The announcement was made recently by Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment.

"This fun-filled family show is going to have viewers singing along with their TV sets," said Plestis. "Coupled with 'America's Got Talent,' we've got two great hours of TV that America can fall in love with every Tuesday night."

Added Plestis, "We are also thrilled to have Joey on board to host. He brings an added burst of energy and a legion of fans with his musical talent and infectious personality."

In "The Singing Bee," contestants will be challenged to accurately sing the lyrics to the most popular songs of all time in a variety of karaoke-style competitions. Each episode will begin with an audience-wide sing-along where eight lucky contestants will be chosen to compete in a series of fun-filled singing games. In this exciting singing showdown, there's no middle ground for partially correct answers -- contestants must be perfect or they're out of the game. Family-friendly and conducive to playing (and singing) along at home, "The Singing Bee" inspires hilarious wrong answers and amazing performances by those rare contestants who somehow manage to get every word right.

In addition, all music on the show will be performed by house band "Ray Chew and the Buzz" with "The Singing Bee" dancers, "The Honeybees."

Fatone, former member of the musical sensation *NSYNC, is a multi-talented "triple threat" most recently dancing his way to second place on "Dancing with the Stars." He has also appeared in multiple Broadway musicals including "Rent" and "Little Shop of Horrors," and the feature films "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "The Cooler."

"The Singing Bee" is created and produced by Juma Entertainment, LLC and The Gurin Company. The executive producers are Phil Gurin (NBC's "Miss Universe" franchise) and Robert C. Horowitz ("Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials Top 40 Countdown").

Posted by Joe Reality on June 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Bravo Announces Returning and New Reality TV Series


Coming off a record-breaking second quarter, Bravo announced a slate of returning franchises and new series additions, as well as a network first

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FOX Unleashes More 'Hell,' 'Dance'
Unscripted summer hits will be back in 2008

July 22, 2007


Gordon Ramsay of 'Hell's Kitchen'

FOX has ordered up fourth seasons of Gordon Ramsay's cooking-and-swearing reality show "Hell's Kitchen" and the self-explanatory talent show "So You Think You Can Dance."

Reliable summer performers for the past three years, "Hell's Kitchen" and "So You Think You Can Dance" have both been scheduled for 2008.

This summer's "Hell's Kitchen" premiere drew 8 million viewers, up from last year's premiere, while its 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 was equal to last season's demo result. For the season, its viewership is hovering at 8.14 million, contributing to FOX's summer-long streak of demo wins.

"So You Think You Dance" has performed even better, with both its Wednesday and Thursday telecasts ranking among the summer's Top 3 regular performers in 18-49 and 18-34 demos, reliably winning its time period in all measures. The third season is up over last season by 3 percent in the 18-49 demo.

Both shows will reach their season finales in the same mid-August week. FOX has set the "Hell's Kitchen" finale for Monday, Aug. 13. "So You Think You Can Dance" will have a special results show on Tuesday, Aug. 14, while the last performance and results shows will air with two-hour episodes on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.

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Dancing with the Stars judges, Snoop Dogg, newlyweds get reality shows


ABC is spinning off a new show from Dancing with the Stars, using its two non-geriatric judges for a competition called Dance X. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli will

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'The Simple Life' Is Over
E! says Sunday's episode will be series finale

July 30, 2007


Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in 'The Simple Life Goes to Camp'

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton will stop living "The Simple Life" after this week.

E!, which has aired the last two seasons of the two celebs' semi-scripted series, says Sunday's episode, which wraps up a season of "The Simple Life Goes to Camp," will be the series finale. Hilton and Richie leave behind a record of 53 episodes of fish-out-of-water hijinks, which saw them try to live small-town life, travel across the country, work at real jobs, take a crack at married life and, this season, work as camp counselors.

In between, of course, the two found other ways to remain constantly in the tabloid spotlight, and in the past two months, earn jail sentences. Hilton served a little over three weeks for repeated probation violations in June, and last week Richie was sentenced to four days in jail on a DUI charge.

"The Simple Life" aired on FOX for its first three seasons, where it earned pretty decent ratings. The show's third season averaged 9 million-plus viewers (though those numbers are inflated some by a post-"American Idol" timeslot for several episodes), but FOX decided to drop the show after that.

E! picked it up last year and did a season in which Hilton and Richie -- who were then feuding -- shared no screen time together. The duo made up in time for this season, during which they worked as counselors at several different types of camps. The show improved the cable network's ratings as well, but it was not a breakout hit.

The finale will feature Hilton and Richie writing a play "in tribute to their decades-long friendship" (hey, that's what the press release says) and performing it with the help of attendees at a drama camp and actress Sally Kirkland.

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Idol Producers Band Together to Find Out What's Next


Perhaps sensing that American Idol has peaked (thanks a lot, Sanjaya), the reality juggernaut's producers have come up with a new show, tentatively titled The Next Great American Band, which seeks to discover not merely the heirs apparent to Madonna and Michael Jackson but tomorrow's Heart and Journey. The battle begins with a two-hour episode on Oct. 19 (and will air every Friday thereafter). Brooke Band, get your audition song ready, 'cause they're finally ready for you!

Tuesday's Today's News was written by Ben Katner.

Posted by Matt Webb Mitovich 07/31/07 10:56 AM


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Fox Announces Schedule Changes


FOX recently announced changes to its fall lineup on Wednesday and Thursday nights. KITCHEN NIGHTMARES shifts to Wednesdays at 9:00 PM, starting Sept. 19; and DON

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America's Got Talent & Last Comic Standing Renewed For Another Season


NBC has re-upped its popular summer series franchises "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing" for a third and sixth season respectively, it was announced today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"Both of these innovative series have proven to be summer staples and important franchises for NBC," said Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment. "We have the most watched show in 'America's Got Talent,' and one of the most upscale series in 'Last Comic Standing,' and now viewers can look forward to seeing these popular brand series with fresh new shows again next summer."

"America's Got Talent" (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET) has averaged a 3.6 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) making it primetime's #1 series in total viewers. The talent competition series has improved the Tuesday 8-9:30 p.m. timeslot by 21 percent in adults 18-49 versus last summer.

"Last Comic Standing" (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) hit a six-month time-period high for NBC last week scoring the network's strongest Wednesday 9-10 p.m. rating since January 31. The series is delivering a 2.8/8 in 18-49 and 6.7 million viewers overall this summer.

The pickup announcement comes as "America's Got Talent" is preparing for its live, two-part season finale with a special 90-minute performance episode on Tuesday, August 14 from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The following Tuesday (August 21), the million-dollar winner will be revealed in an exhilarating two-hour live episode from 8-10 p.m. (ET).

Last week on "Last Comic Standing," the first of three head-to-head competitions took place to determine who will be the final five comedians. Then, starting August 22, the finalists perform and for the first time ever there will be an international vote to pick the last comic standing. The two-hour live season finale will be broadcast on Wednesday, Sept.19 (9-11 p.m. ET).

Bringing the variety format back to the forefront of American culture, "America's Got Talent," hosted by Jerry Springer, showcases the hottest performers from across the country, with the winner being chosen by the television viewing audience. Each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages who have a chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges including David Hasselhoff, Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell ("American Idol"), Ken Warwick ("American Idol"), Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol"), Jason Raff ("Three Wishes") and James Sunderland ("Dancing on Ice") are the executive producers.

"Last Comic Standing," hosted by Bill Bellamy, along with the talent scouts Alonzo Bodden, ANT and Kathleen Madigan, traveled the world this season looking for the most talented new comedian. Auditions were held in London, Montreal, Sydney, Australia, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Tempe. The winner will receive a $250,000 prize, an exclusive talent contact with NBC Universal and his or her own half-hour comedy special on Bravo.

"Last Comic Standing" is produced by Peter Engel Productions, Magical Elves and Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Peter Engel ("Saved By the Bell," "The Next Best Thing"), Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Bravo's "Project Runway") and Barry Katz ("Action," "Dane Cook's Tourgasm"). Javier Winnik ("The Singing Bee") is the co-executive producer.

Posted by Joe Reality on August 06, 2007 at 10:22 PM


#39
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Fall 2007 reality show debuts and schedule


The leaves may not be changing colors yet, and it

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'Singing Bee' Buzzes to New Time
NBC delays premiere a week, switches timeslot

September 19, 2007


'The Singing Bee' host Joey Fatone

NBC is tinkering with its Tuesday-night lineup a little, holding back "The Singing Bee" for a bit and moving it to earlier in the night when it does premiere.

The sing-along game show, which was initially scheduled to debut next week, will now premiere Tuesday, Oct. 2. And rather than airing at 9:30 p.m. ET following "The Biggest Loser," it will kick off the night at 8, leading into 90-minute episodes of "Loser" at 8:30.

The change moves "The Singing Bee" away from the likes of "House" and the "Dancing with the Stars" results show, which occupy the 9 p.m. hour for FOX and ABC. "The Biggest Loser" has built its audience from hour to hour in its first two episodes this season and probably gives NBC a better shot at competing with the FOX and ABC powerhouses and CBS' "The Unit."

After "The Singing Bee" debuted to more than 13 million viewers in July, NBC quickly ordered additional episodes for the fall. Its ratings have cooled since then; recent episodes have drawn in the neighborhood of 8 million viewers.

Joey Fatone hosts the show, in which contestants have to complete song lyrics after the music stops.




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