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November 20, 2008

Midseason premiere dates for 'Scrubs,' 'Practice' and 'Mars'

UPDATED: On the heels of declining to order more episodes of three dramas, ABC made a trio of midseason scheduling decisions.

-- "Scrubs" will have its ABC premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m. ABC will run an hour of back-to-back episodes for two weeks. Then "Scrubs" will settle into as a single half hour at 9 p.m. The network hasn't announced what half-hour program will run complete the hour, though one likely option is the new Mike Judge animated comedy "The Goode Family." AICN notes Tuesdays at a 9 p.m. has significance for "Scrubs," that it's about the same slot NBC used to launch the program in 2001.

-- ABC has made official its previously reported plan for "Life on Mars" to run after "Lost" on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. "Mars" will go on hiatus next month, then join "Lost" in originals starting Jan. 28. (Update: ABC has ordered four more episodes of "Mars.") The "Mars" producers, I'm told, are pretty excited about this move. "Lost" is a lower-rated lead-in, sure, but the feeling is that "Mars" viewers have more in common with "Lost" fans than "Grey's" fans. Plus, it takes some of the pressure off -- it's no fun losing 50% of your lead-in.

-- Also as previously reported, "Private Pratice" will air after "Grey's Anatomy" -- and sooner than anybody thought. Starting Dec. 11, repeats of "Practice" will replace "Mars" after "Grey's." On Jan. 8, "Pratice" will return to originals. Sources say the plan gives "Mars" some needed additional production time and helps ensure there will be original episodes ready when "Lost" returns.


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