NBC moves 'Love Bites' to midseason, 'The Apprentice' moves up

love-bites-jordana-spiro.jpgNBC is shaking up its fall schedule a little, bringing "The Apprentice" back to the night where it first aired and moving the rom-com anthology "Love Bites" to later in the season.

"The Apprentice" -- the original-recipe version, not the celebrity one -- will air at 10 p.m. ET Thursdays in the fall. "Love Bites," which recently had to part ways with Jordana Spiro, who starred in the pilot, will probably get a midseason premiere as a result.

"Everyone at the network loves 'Love Bites,' but for a number of reasons, it now makes sense to showcase the comedic anthology series a little later in the new season," says Mitch Metcalf, head of program planning and scheduling for NBC. "We're extremely fortunate to have a potent show such as ... 'The Apprentice' ready to step into the slot."

The new "Apprentice" -- which will air on the night where it launched in 2004 -- will feature 16 contestants who have been affected by the recession, and the show itself has made some tweaks to reflect the economic downturn. Rather than the lavish rewards given to winning teams in the past, the show will now give its winning project managers one-on-one meetings with business leaders who will offer guidance on weathering tough times. The winner will still get a job working for Donald Trump and a six-figure salary.

"Love Bites" was to star Spiro and Becki Newton ("Ugly Betty"), who would help tie together the show's guest star-heavy vignettes about love and dating. (The show recently added Greg Grunberg as a regular as well.) Spiro's involvement, however, was contingent on the fate of her TBS series "My Boys," and the cable channel hasn't made a decision beyond this season, which debuts July 25.

That's not the only reason for the delay, though. Newton is pregnant in real life, which poses a bigger-than-usual dilemma for the show -- her character in the pilot is a virgin. Additionally, executive producer Cindy Chupack has decided to cut back her involvement. saying in a statement that "for several reasons, some of them personal, this change (and a little more time) is what we need to launch this show properly."

NBC is also launching six other new series in the fall, so holding "Love Bites" will free up a little of the marketing pie for the other shows.

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Photo credit: NBC

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