NBC will give the new sci-fi-tinged drama "Awake" the Thursdays-at-10 timeslot now held by "The Firm" beginning March 1, and is moving the struggling legal drama to the Saturday-night TV no-man's land.
"The Firm" will move to Saturdays at 9 p.m. beginning Feb. 11, and "Grimm" repeats will air on Thursdays at 10 beginning Feb. 9, until "Awake" takes over the timeslot.
The scheduling of "Awake" was one of the biggest question marks for NBC this season after it was not given a place on the midseason schedule. "Awake" (which, in the opinion of your humble correspondent, has the best pilot of the season) stars Jason Isaacs as a detective who survives a horrible car accident. His world splits into two realities: One in which his son lives and his wife dies, and another in which his wife lives and son dies.
The tricky structure of the show, from executive producers Kyle Killen ("Lone Star") and Howard Gordon ("Homeland," "24"), could engross or alienate audiences. And its new timeslot is a challenging one: Both "Prime Suspect," which has halted production, and "The Firm" have wilted there this season.
"The Firm" has earned the kind of ratings that might ordinarily earn it a quick cancellation. But the legal thriller based on the John Grisham novel is unusually cheap for NBC to air.
The show's production partners, Sony and Entertainment One, sold "The Firm" to international networks to cover almost the entire cost of production before they sold it to NBC. That means NBC pays a much lower licensing fee for the series than it normally would.