NBC is looking to shrink the network’s primetime footprint.

According to A The Wall Street Journal reports, the broadcaster has early discussions about shifting the 10 pm ET hour back to affiliates. Nothing has been decided yet, as the matter has not come up for formal discussion with its affiliated board.

The move would reduce NBC’s primetime footprint by seven hours per week for much of the year (it would not affect the network’s NFL franchise, Sunday night football, which regularly airs in the fall at 11 pm ET or any of the other primetime sports packages). Media companies, including NBCUniversal and its parent, Comcast, will also save money for networks at a time when broadcast properties are steadily declining.

NBC’s 2022-23 schedule — including 10 p.m. programming — is locked in, so the earliest such move could happen is 2023. Sources said The Hollywood Reporter Although NBC has yet to make any formal proposals to affiliates, major station groups would be happy to have the 10 o’clock hour to carry their own programming, which could be filled with local news programming or syndicated fare.

NBC did not directly comment on the report but did THR The following statement, which also provides that Journal: “We are always looking at strategies to ensure that our broadcast business remains as strong as possible. As a company, our advantage lies in our ability to provide audiences with the content they love on broadcast, cable and streaming.”

Along with ABC and CBS, NBC carried at least three hours of primetime programming for decades, during the Golden Age of TV. Should NBC trim an hour, its primetime footprint would be more in line with younger broadcasters Fox and The CW, which have two hours of programming nightly (and three hours on Sundays for Fox).

A reduction in primetime means earlier airtimes The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon And Late Night with Seth Meyers And possibly Saturday Night Live too The network’s late-night shows currently begin weeknights at 11:35 ET, while SNL The cast will air live coast to coast on Saturday at 11:30 pm ET/8:30 PT.

If NBC follows through with the move, it would mark the second major change in the broadcast landscape in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global agreed to sell a majority stake in The CW to local TV station owner Nexstar. The Texas-based local TV operator, which owns some 35 NBC stations and would be the beneficiary of any NBC change), plans to rethink the CW’s programming lineup and strategy.

In 2009, NBC gave the 10 pm hour The Jay Leno Show weeknights to keep the comedian in the house after handing it over Tonight’s show To Conan O’Brien. Although cheaper to produce than scripted series, the show underperformed many of NBC’s 10 p.m. dramas the previous season and, with disappointing ratings for affiliates’ late-night local newscasts and substitutes, Tonight’s show. NBC canceled the show in February 2010 and bought out O’Brien’s contract and returned Leno. tonight Four more years.

NBC’s 10 p.m. programming for the coming season features scripted one-hour dramas Monday through Thursday in a two-hour slot. dateline on Friday and SNL Runs again on Saturday. After the NFL season ends, the network has aired the plays in the 10 pm Sunday slot in recent years.

The current slate includes a Dick Wolf-produced Wednesday (Dec. Chicago show) and Thursday (Law and order), which NBC would inevitably have to cut if it had two hours a night for the program.

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