“We were drunk when we compiled this schedule.”—NBC

The Peacock has bared its plumage for the fall season, unveiling its 2011-2012 premiere schedule today—the last of the major networks to do so. It’ll be another rebuilding year for NBC as the network struggles to regain its one-time glory after a string of embarrassing years; the new schedule will rely heavily on the network’s newly-branded Music Mondays, which have been bolstered by the success of midseason reality competition show The Voice and will continue with The Sing-Off anchoring Mondays in the fall.

The influx of amateur singers to the beginning of the week—announced during the network’s upfront presentation in May—moved Chuck to Fridays, which didn’t sit too well with the action-comedy’s fans. And this next bit of news will likely anger them even more: Chuck has been kicked out of premiere week and won’t start until October 21, along with new fairytale thriller Grimm.

The decision to air Grimm on Fridays and debut it so late in the season is a bit of a brainfart on the part of NBC executives—not only will their highest-profile sci-fi show be up against sci-fi stalwarts Supernatural and Fringe in the 9pm timeslot, but it will also premiere during the same weekend as the upcoming season’s other new fairytale series, ABC’s Once Upon a Time (which debuts October 23). It’s like NBC doesn’t even want to give Grimm a chance and is doing everything it can to bury it. Why so grim on Grimm, NBC?

But one scheduling move I do like is getting a head start on most of the competition. NBC is bringing back Parenthood and debuting new comedies Up All Night and Free Agents a week before “Premiere Week,” ensuring that a few more eyeballs will check out the goods before the onslaught of brand-spankin’-new TV that will rain down on us between September 19 and September 23. This is something NBC needs to do in order to regain some of its luster. (The CW is also getting early start, but ABC, Fox, and CBS are mostly sticking to Premiere Week.)

NBC’s 2011 Fall Premiere Dates

(new shows in CAPS)

Thursday, September 8


8-8:30 pm: NFL Kickoff Special 2011 (regular season)

8:30-11 pm: Sunday Night Football (regular season)

Sunday, September 11


7-8 pm: Football Night in America (regular season)

8-11:30 pm: Sunday Night Football

Tuesday, September 13

10-11 pm: Parenthood

Wednesday, September 14


8-10 pm: America’s Got Talent (season finale)

10-10:30 pm: UP ALL NIGHT

10:30-11 pm: FREE AGENTS

Monday, September 19


8-10 pm: The Sing-Off

10-11 pm: THE PLAYBOY CLUB

Tuesday, September 20


8-10 pm: The Biggest Loser

Wednesday, September 21


8-8:30 pm: UP ALL NIGHT (regular time period debut with original episode)

8:30-9 pm: FREE AGENTS (regular time period debut with original episode)

9-10 pm: Harry’s Law

10-11 pm: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Thursday, September 22

8-8:30 pm: Community

8:30-9 pm: Parks and Recreation

9-9:30 pm: The Office, now with James Spader!

9:30-10 pm: WHITNEY
10-11 pm: PRIME SUSPECT

Friday, September 23


9-11pm: Dateline NBC


Friday, October 21


8-9 pm: Chuck

9-10 pm: GRIMM
10-11 pm: Dateline NBC

Saturday, September 24


8-9 pm: Harry’s Law (Repeat)

9-10 pm: Prime Suspect (Repeat)

10-11 pm: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Repeat)

Anything that catches your eye with NBC’s premiere schedule?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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