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'Kings' star and executive producer react to loss of 10 p.m. slot on NBC

December 9, 2008 |  2:07 pm

The implications of Jay Leno’s move to 10 p.m. in the fall were still being absorbed throughout the industry this afternoon. The news hadn’t reached the cast of “Kings,” the highly anticipated NBC drama taking “ER’s” 10 p.m. Thursday slot this March and would be bumped to 9 p.m. if it’s picked up for another season.

Star Ian McShane, who plays King Silas Benjamin in the contemporary retelling of the David and Goliath story, said he learned Leno was getting a new time slot from a report on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But the actor was taken aback to hear that the comedian would be on NBC at 10 every night.

“Is he going to be on every night at 10?” asked McShane as he took a break between shooting scenes on the grounds of a historical Nassau County estate this afternoon. “Every night at 10? Every night?”

“Well, I don’t think this is a 9 o’clock show,” he said, noting that the complex characters make it an atypical network program, much more similar to fare on cable.

“We’ll be on at 10 next year, and then maybe they’ll make it a kids program after that,” McShane quipped.

But Michael Green, creator and executive producer of “Kings,” said he was happy that the series would get an earlier time period next season.

“We would all like to see this show in a 9 o’clock slot,” he said. “Character-based shows seem to work better at 9. We’re glad to start there [at 10 p.m. in the spring], and we would look forward to moving somewhere with a wider audience.”

Green said that Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, called him Monday night to let him know about the move and assure him it wouldn’t impact the show this season.

“He called to reaffirm his very strong support for the show,” Green said, adding: “We’re just excited to premiere finally. I don’t care where they put us on.”

-- Matea Gold