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I’m down with NBC’s new fall-winter-summer schedule, and here’s why:

  • “Friday Night Lights” returns for a third season. DirecTV airs 13 new episodes, beginning Oct. 3. NBC gets the run in 2009.
  • “Lipstick Jungle,” which grew more addictive each week, is back in the fall.
  • “The Office” gets a spinoff, debuting after the 2009 Super Bowl.
  • “ER” signs off with a 15th season.
  • “Saturday Night Live” airs special “Weekend Update” half-hour editions of three Thursday nights leading up to the November election.
  • “Chuck” (staying on Mondays at 8) and “Life” (moving to Fridays at 10) get second seasons, and hopefully solid promotion during the Summer Olympics.

Promising new dramas:

  • “My Own Worst Enemy” star Christian Slater as a man with two personalities.
  • “Crusoe,” based on the Daniel Defoe novel. “Equal parts “MacGyver,” “Castaway” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
  • “Kings,” an exploration of the David vs. Goliath struggle. Starring Ian McShane (“Deadwood”). Michael Green (“Heroes”) is the executive producer.
  • “Merlin,” set in a 21st century Camelot.
  • “The Philanthropist,” the world’s first vigilante philanthropist — a renegade billionaire who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need.
  • “The Listener,” a “telepathic procedural” about a 24-year-old paramedic who can read people’s minds.


FALL 2008-09
MONDAY 8-9 p.m. “Chuck” 9-10 p.m. “Heroes” 10-11 p.m. “MY OWN WORST ENEMY”
TUESDAY 8- 9:30 p.m. “The Biggest Loser: Families” 9:30-10 p.m. “KATH & KIM” 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
WEDNESDAY 8-9 p.m. “KNIGHT RIDER” 9-10 p.m. “Deal or No Deal” 10-11 p.m. “Lipstick Jungle”
THURSDAY 8- 8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl” 8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock” 9- 9:30 p.m. “The Office” 9:30-10 p.m. “The Office”/ “SNL THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE” 10-11 p.m. “ER”
FRIDAY 8-9 p.m. “CRUSOE” 9-10 p.m. “Deal or No Deal” 10-11 p.m. “Life”
SATURDAY 8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC” 9-10 p.m. “KNIGHT RIDER” (Encores) 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Encores)
SUNDAY 7- 8:20 p.m. “Football Night in America” 8:20-11 p.m. “NBC Sunday Night Football”

WINTER 2009
MONDAY 8- 9 p.m. “Chuck” 9-10 p.m. “Heroes” 10-11 p.m. “THE PHILANTHROPIST”
TUESDAY 8- 9:30 p.m. “The Biggest Loser: Couples” 9:30-10 p.m. “KATH & KIM” 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
WEDNESDAY 8-9 p.m. “KNIGHT RIDER” 9-10 p.m. “Deal or No Deal” 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order”
THURSDAY 8- 8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl” 8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock” 9- 9:30 p.m. “The Office” 9:30-10 p.m. “THE OFFICE” SPINOFF 10-11 p.m. “ER”/”The Celebrity Apprentice”
FRIDAY 8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal” 9-10 p.m. “Friday Night Lights” 10-11 p.m. “Life”
SATURDAY 8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC” 9-10 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Encores) 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order” (Encores)
SUNDAY 7-8 p.m. Specials/”Dateline NBC” 8-9 p.m. Specials/”MERLIN” 9-10 p.m. Specials/”Medium” 10-11 p.m. Specials/”KINGS”

SUMMER 2009
MONDAY 8-9 p.m. “American Gladiators” 9-10 p.m. “AMERICA’S TOUGHEST JOBS” 10-11 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
TUESDAY 8-9 p.m. “Most Outrageous Moments” 9-10 p.m. “America’s Got Talent” 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (Encores)
WEDNESDAY 8-9 p.m. “SHARK TAGGERS” 9-10 p.m. “America’s Got Talent” (Results Show) 10-11 p.m. “Law & Order” (Encores)
THURSDAY 8- 8:30 p.m. “The Office” (Encores) 8:30- 9 p.m. “THE OFFICE” SPINOFF (Encores) 9-10 p.m. “Last Comic Standing” 10-11 p.m. “THE LISTENER”
FRIDAY 8-9 p.m. “CHOPPING BLOCK” 9-11 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
SATURDAY 8-9 p.m. Drama Encores 9-10 p.m. Drama Encores 10-11 p.m. Drama Encores
SUNDAY 7-8 p.m. “Dateline NBC” 8-9 p.m. “Monk” 9-10 p.m. “Nashville Star” 10-11 p.m. “KINGS” (Encores)