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ABC pits 'Dancing' against NBC's 'Earl'

Summer reality hit extends to 90 minutes on Thursday nights
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" is about to step on NBC's toes.

Just one day after NBC revealed it would move hit comedy "My Name is Earl" to Thursdays at 9 p.m., ABC announced Friday it is expanding "Stars" episodes to 90 minutes. That will take the network's summer hit, originally scheduled on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m., through 9:30 p.m. -- directly against "Earl."

ABC also announced a time slot for a half-hour results show for "Stars," Fridays at 8 p.m., and scheduled new crime drama "In Justice" at 9 p.m. Fridays. That will put reality series "Supernanny" on hiatus, and move sitcom "Hope & Faith" to 8:30 p.m.

Sliding in behind "Stars" at 9:30 p.m. Thursdays will be new comedy "Crumbs."

The expansion of "Stars" reflects just the latest jockeying for position on Thursdays, primetime's richest night in terms of advertising revenue. In addition to NBC's "Earl" move, Fox moved comedies "That '70s Show" and "Stacked" to 9-10 p.m., where they will face off against CBS' reigning hit, "CSI."

"Stars" will kick off its second season with a two-hour episode. The new expanded edition is believed to reflect an expanded roster of celebrity dancers; ABC is expected to disclose participating hoofers this week.

Both "Stars" and "Earl" premiere Jan. 5. "Justice" bows Jan. 6 and "Crumbs" starts Jan. 12.