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March 8, 2013

NBC's Thursday lineup becomes 'must flee TV'

(Continued)

CBS took over the top spot, and NBC is expected to end the TV season in third or fourth place.

Now, NBC executives are focusing on next fall.

The network has ordered 10 drama pilots, and 17 comedy pilots — more than any of its rivals.

The network intends to fill its Thursday 10 p.m. slot with a drama, reassuring Hollywood producers that it hasn’t abandoned scripted fare in that time period.

The comedies are designed to restock the network’s signature Thursday prime-time comedy block for the fall season.

“Thursday needs a new anchor,” said Jeff Bader, NBC Entertainment’s president of program planning, strategy and research. “There is going to be much more of an emphasis on Thursday night for the upcoming season than there was last year.”

NBC hasn’t decided whether to renew two Thursday sitcoms that have small but passionate younger-skewing audiences. “Parks and Recreation,” which stars Amy Poehler as a small-town government official, musters about 4.1 million viewers. “Community,” which stars Joel McHale and focuses on a cadre of misfits at a community college, draws about 3.3 million.

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