But the new show won’t premiere until March 31, airing 8 to 10 p.m. each Sunday. (FYI, ABC’s “The Bachelor” typically returns for its spring season in the first week of January, on Monday nights.)
In “Ready for Love,” divorced former basketball wife Eva Longoria handpicks three “successful and handsome men who are committed to finding the right woman” and offers them the chance of finding “their soul mate” from a bevy of beauties selected by “the three best matchmakers in the world,” beginning a romantic journey that combines sportslike competition with “Bachelor”-like hot-tubbing and canoodling. Giuliana and Bill Rancic will host.
Each week, the contestants will be whittled down — how romantic — until the dramatic finale, when it’s down to the three men and three women to decide whether they’ll get engaged, married “or simply live happily ever after,” NBC said.
Wait — isn’t getting engaged and/or married the “happily ever after” gag?
Weeks before the debut of “Love” on March 31, “The Celebrity Apprentice” starts its all-star edition, airing Sundays from 9 to 11 p.m., for four weeks, until it shrinks down to a one-hour show to coincide with the launch of “Love.”
NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” — the other big piece of the network’s fourth-quarter success — is returning for a spring round on Monday and Tuesday nights and will be followed on Mondays by “Revolution,” which is one of this season’s most successful new-series launches.
But “The Voice” isn’t coming back until March 25 — and with two of its celebrity judges, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green, taking sabbaticals and being replaced by Usher and Shakira.
This timing is very good news for Fox’s “American Idol: Nicki Minaj,” which debuts Jan. 16.
Warming up “The Voice’s” Monday time slot until the singing show comes back: an overhauled “The Biggest Loser,” with returning star Jillian Michaels. “TBL” will premiere on Sunday, Jan. 6, then move to Monday nights and stay there until “The Voice” clocks in.
Meanwhile, warming up “Revolution’s” time slot: rich-folks murder mystery “Deception,” starting Jan. 7.
NBC’s highly hyped but ultimately non-smash “Smash” is coming back on Tuesdays, starting Feb. 5, to air at 10 p.m., after “The Voice,” as it did in the spring.
Several “Smash” cast members have been tossed, for which we are thankful. And Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson has been added to the cast, NBC reminded us Tuesday.
Warming up “The Voice’s” Tuesday time slot until the singing show returns? “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers,” starting Jan. 8.
Most of the chatter about NBC’s new schedule, at least among TV critics, will focus on “Community” coming back to its old Thursday 8 p.m. berth, starting Feb. 7, instead of being sent to the wasteland of Friday nights, as had been its intention, NBC told advertisers back in May, when it announced its plans for this TV season.