NBC, struggling through yet another disastrous fall season in which two of its new showcase dramas have already been canceled and a third is staggering around like an AMC zombie, has shuffled its schedule for midseason -- and renewed 30 Rock, the most raucously beloved and least watched sitcom in the history of television, for another full season.
30 Rock and the dreadful sitcom Outsourced, in one of those arcane time-slot switches that programmers love and viewers ignore, will now air in the 10 p.m. hour on Thursdays. (You can practically hear the derisive shouts from the scheduling offices at the other networks: "Ohmygod, those idiots are trying to program comedy at 10 p.m.?" Followed by the plaintive questions: "Hey, do we have any comedies we could try at 10 p.m.?") Meanwhile, the comatose cop drama Chase is moving to Wednesday at 9 p.m. and the clone Law & Order: Los Angeles to Tuesday at 10 p.m.
The network has also announced debut dates for its two midseason replacements, legal drama Harry's Law and superhero adventure The Cape.The cape kicks off on Jan. 9, a Sunday, before moving to Mondays; Harry's Law, which starts Jan. 17, will also air on Mondays. That leads us to the one NBC programming change that's like to make a great ratings difference: The two new Monday shows will displace conspiracy-thriller The Event, which goes onto hiatus until March. For a fast-paced and highly serialized show like The Event, that's probably a death sentence.