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Football Night, Friday Night

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  July 17, 2007 12:57 PM

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TCA PRESS TOUR NOTES:

If you needed further proof that it's not just myself and Matthew Gilbert banging the drum for NBC family drama "Friday Night Lights", the heavy hitters of "NBC's Sunday Night Football" spent part of yesterday's panel promoting their gridiron showdowns to talk up the Kyle Chandler show.

Says Bob Costas, "I think it's one of the best shows on television, and I'm glad NBC stayed with it. I know it was on the bubble, and I think it has a character of its own while still being true to Buzz Bissinger's book. I think the television show was better than the movie, and the movie was pretty good. The TV show is one of the best things going, and I just hope it finds an audience."

Chairman of NBC Sports Dick Ebersol actually thinks it might have been a mistake to promote "FNL" on "SNF" last season as much as they did. "I happen to believe that 'Friday Night Lights' is the best show on television right now. I think it does a much better job than 'The O.C.' ever did in terms of revealing the realistic life of teenagers. It does very good, actually, on showing what it's like to be a married couple in America today. It may be our best soap opera. I think we were part of an early mistake of letting people think it was too much about football, which was not good for the show."

Amen. And to answer your question, Matthew, yes, "FNL" will be moving to an earlier timeslot in the reshuffled line-up that was revealed yesterday. It will air at 9:00 p.m. on Friday night between "Deal or No Deal" and "Las Vegas" (now with more Tom Selleck!). NBC entertainment co-chairmen Ben Silverman opined that this was a good "hammock" and perhaps the families who watch the Howie Mandel game show will make a deal with "FNL."

As for "Sunday Night Football" it kicks off September 9 with the Giants taking on the Cowboys.

And here's a list of the rest of NBC's premiere dates for those of you who like to plan ahead. (New shows are in bold).

SEPT. 11
"The Biggest Loser" (8-10 p.m.)

SEPT. 17
"Deal or No Deal" (8-9 p.m.)

SEPT. 24
"Chuck" (8-9 p.m.)
"Heroes" (9-10 p.m.)
"Journeyman" (10-11 p.m.)

SEPT. 25
"The Singing Bee" (9:30-10 p.m.)
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10-11 p.m.)

SEPT. 26
"Deal or No Deal" (8-9 p.m.; marks Wednesday debut)
"Bionic Woman" (9-10 p.m.)
"Life" (10-11 p.m.)

SEPT. 27
"My Name Is Earl" (8-9 p.m.)
"The Office" (9-10 p.m.)
"ER" (10-11 p.m.)

SEPT. 28
"Deal or No Deal" (moves to new day, 8-9 p.m.)
"Las Vegas" (9-11 p.m.)

OCT. 4
"30 Rock" (8:30-9 p.m.)

OCT. 5
"Friday Night Lights" (9-10 p.m.)

OCT. 25
"Scrubs" (9:30-10 p.m.)

SARAH RODMAN

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