NBC Sidelines 'Dateline' For Winter

NBC News’ “Dateline” won’t be catching any predators this winter. The network left the newsmagazine off their winter schedule, which may be connected to the current round of downsizing in the news division.

The absence of “Dateline” is a surprise; most assumed NBC would rely heavily on “Dateline” through the winter as it runs out of new scripted shows because of the writer’s strike. In the mid-90s, NBC aired “Dateline” as much as five times a week as cheap primetime programming. Now when the nets want cheap stuff, they air reality shows, and more recently have shown a renewed interest in the game shows. NBC will be airing “Deal or No Deal” as many as three times a week in January.

Update: “Dateline” has been on hiatus since its last original Sept. 10, and NBC News says it will return on Sundays in February after “Sunday Night Football” ends. “Dateline” retains status as “utility player” for the network, a cheap fill-in for schedule gaps. Also–“Dateline” staff produces hours for MSNBC’s two-hour “doc bloc” and non-fiction shows for other cable networks.

NBC’s winter schedule after the jump.

Mondays (effective January 7, 2008)
8-9 p.m. — “American Gladiators”; (premieres Sunday, January 6, 9-11 p.m.)
9-10 p.m. – “Deal or No Deal”
10-11 p.m. – “Medium” (season premiere)

Tuesdays (effective January 1, 2008)
8-10 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser”
10-11 p.m. — “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

Wednesdays (effective January 9, 2008)
8-9 p.m. – “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (broadcast premiere)
10-11 p.m. – “Law & Order” (premieres January 2 with a two-hour debut)

Thursdays (effective January 3, 2008)
8-8:30 p.m. – NBC Comedy Series
8:30-9 p.m. – NBC Comedy Series
9-10 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice” (season premiere)
10-11 p.m. – “ER” (“Lipstick Jungle” premieres February 7 in time slot)

Fridays (effective January 4, 2008)
8-9 p.m. – “1 vs. 100”
9-10 p.m. – “Friday Night Lights”
10-11 p.m. – “Las Vegas”

Additional dates:

Sunday, January 6, 2008
7-9 p.m. – “Deal or No Deal”
9-11 p.m. – “American Gladiators” (two-hour series premiere; regular night January 7)

Sunday, January 13, 2008
8-11 p.m. – “The 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards”

Sunday, January 27, 2008
9-11 p.m. – “The Guinness Book of World Records – Live!”

Thursday, February 7, 2008
10-11 p.m. – “Lipstick Jungle”

Sunday, February 10, 2008
9-11 p.m. — “Top 100 Most Outrageous Moments”

Mondays (effective February 18, 2008)
8-9 p.m. — “The Baby Borrowers” (series premiere)

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