NBC continues to struggle in the ratings, so you know what that means: time for a complete revamp of its schedule. The network released its plans for midseason today—plans that also include the long-awaited announcement of Parks And Recreation’s return on January 20, when it debuts in its new timeslot at 9:30 p.m. ET, right after The Office, so that’s probably all you need to know. But you might also be interested to learn that it’s all part of an unprecedented six-show block of comedy that NBC is unveiling on Thursday nights, one that involves pushing 30 Rock into the 10 p.m. ET hour—a move that’s accompanied by an early renewal for a sixth season, which would seem to be a vote of confidence that it’ll do just fine there.
There’s still no official word on Community’s third season, but promisingly (or cruelly), NBC is keeping the show right where it is against The Big Bang Theory at 8 p.m. ET as an anchor for its new series Perfect Couples, which is about couples that are, in a stunning reversal, not always perfect. And of course, Outsourced continues to be the second-highest-rated show on the entire night after The Office, which means the network is perfectly confident that it can move it off to 10:30 p.m. ET, where it can continue playing to its fanbase and everyone else can just go to bed.
Other big changes to the NBC lineup, broken down day by day. (All times are Eastern.)
Monday: The Event will be put on hold until February 28, giving over its timeslot to the superhero drama The Cape (which has its two-hour debut on Jan. 9, followed by a repeat of that episode in its regular Monday-night slot on Jan. 10). The new David E. Kelley legal drama Harry’s Law debuts on Jan. 17 at 10 p.m., replacing the recently renewed Chase (which moves to Wednesdays). Beginning March 7, Parenthood will move to that 10 p.m. hour, and we’ll probably have to sort all of this out all over again.
Tuesday: Beginning in February, Law And Order: Los Angeles will take over Parenthood’s Tuesdays at 10 p.m. slot….
Wednesday: …and then Law And Order: SVU will take over Law And Order: LA’s now-vacant Wednesdays at 10 p.m. slot—where it’s always fared better in the ratings, given that “Wednesdays at 10” is America’s traditional “weird sexual predator hour.” Chase will precede it at 9 p.m. until March 16, when it will be replaced by America’s Next Great Restaurant, which is a cooking reality show that somehow does not involve Gordon Ramsay. And beginning Jan. 5, the NBC Wednesday night kicks off with the return of the game show Minute To Win It, which is a Guy Fieri show that does not involve cooking, but does involve yelling a lot.
Thursday: We went over this already.
Friday: The “OMG Sarah Jessica Parker is a witch” celebrity genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? returns on Jan. 21.
Saturday: After several weeks of creative rest and reinvigoration, Saturday Night Live might try doing a talk show parody.
Sunday: After football season is over, the real something cutesy about head-butting or something begins with the return of Jerry Seinfeld’s The Marriage Ref on March 6, along with the new season of Celebrity Apprentice. And then it’s just the inexorable march of time to summer, when everyone will retire for several months to the shores of Nice, where they will frolic in the surf, read Baudelaire, and ignore television in favor of reawakening their most dormant desires.