'Scrubs' Returns as NBC Remakes Thursdays
'30 Rock' moves from Wednesday in re-formed comedy block
Old is the new new at NBC. Starting Nov. 30, the network will bring back the Thursday comedy block that was an NBC staple for some 20 years before this season. "Scrubs" will come off the bench to start its sixth season that night, and "30 Rock" will move over from Wednesdays to join "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office."
NBC will also air super-sized episodes of "Earl," "The Office" and "30 Rock" on Nov. 16 before launching the full new lineup at the end of the month (the Thursday in between is Thanksgiving). The change spells the end for the Thursday edition of "Deal or No Deal."
Twenty Good Years," which had been paired with "30 Rock" on Wednesdays, will continue for at least the next few weeks. Warner Bros. TV, which produces the show starring Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow, says it remains in production, but NBC hasn't given it a new timeslot.
"We are excited about the prospect of two-hours of top-notch comedy on Thursday nights, which includes the return of 'Scrubs,'" NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. "We will stay on-brand with the best comedy block on television, which will position us for the future on the night."
The four comedies will try to keep NBC in the game on a night dominated by CBS and the newly potent ABC. "Scrubs" and "30 Rock" will have the most daunting task, airing in the 9 p.m. ET hour opposite the top two shows on TV so far this season, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and CBS' "CSI."
The move of "30 Rock" to Thursday will also force a change to NBC's Wednesday schedule. The network plans to feature specials in the 8 p.m. hour starting Nov. 22. Neither "30 Rock" (6.9 million viewers) nor "Twenty Good Years" (6.07 million) has fared too well so far, but critics have generally been kinder to the former show, which was created by and stars "Saturday Night Live" alum Tina Fey, and it's a better fit with the other single-camera comedies in the new block.
I wonder if the fact that Scrubs airs about 20 times a day in syndication on multiple networks will help more people discover this show.