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NBC Announces new Mid-Season Schedules


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NBC announced its midseason schedule Tuesday which includes a heavy dose of reality and a lack of "Lipstick Jungle."

One surprise here is the inclusion of "Howie Do It," a hidden camera show starring "Deal or No Deal" host Howie Mandel that's been largely off the media's radar since its development was announced last spring.

"'Howie Do It' is a really funny show and Howie is perfectly suited for it," said Mitch Metcalf, NBC's head of scheduling. "It's flat-out funny and it's perfectly placed on Friday nights."

Also on the schedule is "Superstars of Dance," a professional dancing competition series that THR broke earlier this month.

"Superstars" will air as four two-hour episodes, then a one-hour finale -- effectively starting and finishing a dance reality show during the short gap before ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" returns for its second cycle.

"Having Nigel Lythgoe running this show gives us a lot of confidence and this short-run series will have a nice run in a good time period, benefiting from the broad ratings delivery of the NFL wild card," Metcalf said.

As for the lack of "Lipstick," the current release addresses only January. There will be a follow-up announcement that will include February and March -- including what program will air after NBC's presentation of the Super Bowl.

A couple possibilities for a post-Bowl slot are "Kings" (a scripted drama retelling the story of King David in modern times) and launching the next edition of "Heroes." Both are absent from the January schedule, suggesting February premiere dates. NBC is concerned about "Heroes" ratings and going big on promoting the next book, "Fugitives," could be seen as Hail Mary pass to revive the show. And "Kings," NBC is very excited about (review of the script here) and see it as the network's best chance to exit the season with a break-out hit drama. An alternate possibility is a comedy block -- "The Office," "30 Rock," "Kath and Kim."

MONDAYS (beginning January 5)

8-10 p.m. --

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