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NBC invents the nightly reality/game show hour

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94516__deal_lOn Thursday, NBC Universal announced a few cost-cutting measures, one of which was programming the 8 p.m. hour with reality/game shows, which are cheaper to produce than scripted series. This raises a few obvious questions: Who exactly pays the prizes on Deal or No Deal (pictured)? Who came up with name NBCU 2.0 for this initiative? And what’s going to happen to The Office and My Name is Earl?

We can’t answer the first two questions, but NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly has already said that The Office and Earl will likely stay in their early timeslots. (Love that resolve, NBC.) At least NBCU 2.0 may explain why Friday Night Lights is getting a test run in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip‘s 10 p.m. slot on Monday, Oct. 30. (That was scheduled to be a Studio repeat, Sorkin fans, so the end is not immediately nigh.) And maybe why the network ordered additional episodes of the Bob Saget-hosted 1 vs. 100 after it debuted to decent numbers a week ago.

Is this the right move for the Peacock, which still trails behind CBS and ABC in total viewers? And more to the point: Are we willing to sacrifice scripted series so Carrot Top can host a game show? (You know he’s next… and yes, I’d be wiliing to sacrifice a scripted show for a Carrot Top-hosted game show. Sadly.)

addCredit(“Deal or No Deal: Trae Patton/NBC”)

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