NBC firms up post-'Leno' schedule

11:30 AM PST 01/14/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

'Law & Order,' 'Parenthood' among shows set to air at 10 p.m.

Ready for life after "The Jay Leno Show"? NBC said Thursday that its post-Winter Olympics schedule has mostly scripted dramas at 10 p.m. weeknights, including "Law & Order" and the new "Parenthood."

"This is a schedule that, given the situation we're in, we're really proud of," scheduling chief Mitch Metcalf said. "It has a nice balance of scripted, unscripted, new and returning. No schedule is perfect, but this will serve the needs of our affiliates really well."

Beginning March 1, Monday nights will feature the network's six remaining episodes of "Trauma" starting at 9 p.m. March 8, followed by "Law & Order" at 10 p.m. The ultraveteran crime drama will receive a two-hour launch March 1. Tuesdays will add freshman drama "Parenthood" beginning March 2. "Law & Order: SVU" will move back to 10 p.m. starting March 3, with a repeat as a lead-in.

The Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality series "The Marriage Ref" caps the network's Thursday comedy block beginning March 4. The Lisa Kudrow-produced genealogy reality series "Who Do You Think You Are?" will air Fridays beginning March 5. The game show "Minute to Win It" joins the Sunday roster as an 8 p.m. lead-in to "The Celebrity Apprentice" starting March 14. Also, "Friday Night Lights" will return April 30.

Absent from the schedule is any news about the network's late-night plans. The New York Post reported Thursday that Conan O'Brien is leaving "The Tonight Show" and only has one week left. Although his departure is looking increasingly likely, NBC insists that a departure date is not set. Meanwhile, TMZ.com is reporting that Jay Leno has made a deal to take over "Tonight" and that O'Brien is firmly out. But NBC also denies that report.
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