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'This Is Us,' Thursday Night Football fans may butt heads this fall

NBC's fall schedule includes a move of its popular freshman series "This Is Us" that could lead to some serious negotiations between viewers in relationships.

In moving this year's Tuesday hit to Thursday, "This Is Us" will play opposite Thursday Night Football during much of the NFL season.

The Thursday Night Football series will be carried on the NFL Network, CBS and NBC this season in a way that could disrupt the "This Is Us" schedule and infuriate its fans.

NBC didn't address the Thursday Night Football schedule in its release, but it was previously announced that the network will carry the NFL opener Sept. 7, which is earlier than the new entertainment season typically begins. The NFL Network carries the next two Thursday night games exclusively.

CBS, the NFL Network and Amazon carry five games from Sept. 28 through Oct. 26 that presumably would be carried opposite "This Is Us."

NBC picks up the TNF schedule with the NFL Network and Amazon for six games from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, which means either "This Is Us" will go on hiatus or be moved to a different night during the November sweeps. I can hear the viewer complaints already. The network also plans to showcase a special "This Is Us" episode after the Feb. 4, 2018, Super Bowl.

Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) of "This Is Us, " who were fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, might agree to opt for football.

But I can foresee some conversations going like this across the nation on Thursday nights between football fans and fans of "This Is Us" who watched the show together this past season. It may happen more often on Nov. 2 in Western New York, when the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets on a Thursday Night Football game carried on the NFL Network and most likely Channel 4.

Football fan: "The game is live so DVRing for later viewing would take all the suspense out of it."

"This Is Us" fanatic: You watch too much darn football as it is. Can't you take one hour off to make me happy?"

Football fan: "Let's compromise. I'll watch the game and we can DVR 'This Is Us' and watch it over the weekend and make it date night.

"This Is Us" fanatic: "What kind of compromise is that? My co-workers will be talking about the episode Friday morning. And what happens if someone dies on the show?"

Football fan: "Heck, you already know who is dead. At least I don't know who is going to win the game."

Throughout TV history, popular shows have been moved to Thursday night to collect the movie advertising revenue that kicks in before the weekend. Such hits as "CSI," "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" started on other nights before moving to Thursday.

NBC is making the "This Is Us" move in an effort to bring back the popularity of "Must-See TV," which is as likely as the Buffalo Bills winning the Super Bowl. After all, DVRs and on-demand viewing have just about eliminated "appointment television," with more and more viewers watching programs at their convenience.

NBC plans to start the night at 8 with a "12-episode event" reboot of "Will & Grace" with the old cast, which sounds like something Netflix would do. At 8:30 p.m., it will carry the comedy, "Great News," which only recently premiered.

"This Is Us" airs at 9 p.m. before yet another "Law & Order" series, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers." It sounds like it was inspired by the success of the Emmy-winning FX series, "The People v. O.J. Simpson."

With NBC carrying Sunday Night Football, airing "Dateline" and "Saturday Night Live" repeats on Saturday, it only has room for two new fall series. The bulk of its new arrivals are in mid-season after the football season ends. The emphasis on mid-season has become a trend. Fox only announced three new fall series.

Here is a brief summary of the new NBC fall shows:

"The Brave," 10 p.m. Monday after "The Voice": Anne Heche stars as the deputy director of "America's elite undercover military heroes" who have missions in "the most dangerous places in the world."

"Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Brothers," 10 p.m. Thursday: Edie Falco ("The Sopranos") stars in an eight-episode series that dramatizes the case of the brothers who were tried for killing their parents in Beverly Hills. The series deals with the media circus that followed.

In other notable decisions, NBC moved freshman comedy "The Good Place" to Tuesday and "Blindspot" and freshman drama "Taken" to Friday.


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