NBC pushes season finales to June

Hoping to to give "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" a solid premiere-week lead-in, NBC is pushing several major season finales into June.

Several of the Peacock's 10 p.m. players won't end their seasons until the week of June 1, which is when O'Brien steps in to replace Jay Leno in the House That Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson Built.

That means "Medium" will air its season finale on Monday, June 2, followed by "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" on June 2 and "Law and Order: Original Recipe" on June 3. Then on June 4, net will air the launch of newcomer "The Listener" (more on that in a moment).

"We'll give Conan the best launch possible during his premiere week," said NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios co-chair Ben Silverman.

The post-season week of series finales is just part of Peacock's summer schedule strategy, which the net announced Thursday.

For starters, The U.S. return of international TV hit "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" will dominate NBC's June lineup, airing four nights a week for most of the month.

The reality show, which originally aired on ABC in 2003, will bow on June 1 with a two-hour opener at 8 p.m. Show will continue to air for an hour each Monday through Thursday until Wednesday, June 24, when it ends with a one-hour finale.

Also in June, NBC also plans to launch three original scripted dramas, all of which are budget-minded international co-productions:

* "The Listener," which comes from Shaftesbury Films, CTV and Fox Int'l. Channels in addition to NBC, will air Thursdays at 10 p.m. starting June 4.

* "Merlin," from the BBC, FremantleMedia and Shine TV, will air Sundays at 8 p.m. starting June 21, when it bows with a two-hour opener. "Merlin" will also air for two hours on June 28, before settling into a regular hour the following week.

* "The Philanthropist," from Universal Media Studios and its U.K.-based Carnival Films subsid (as well as Original Media and the Levinson/Fontana Co.), will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. starting June 24.

Elsewhere on NBC's summer sked, the net has scheduled two miniseries: "Meteor" will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 7 and 14. And "The Storm" will run at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 19 and 26.

Beyond "I'm A Celebrity," NBC's summer alternative skeins include the return of "America's Got Talent," which will air Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting June 23 and 24. And newcomer "Great American Road Trip," from BBC Worldwide, runs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning July 1.

Also, the Peacock run of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which now run first on USA Network, will return on Mondays at 9 p.m. starting June 8.

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