NBC has become the first broadcast network to start firming its midseason scheduling plans with a premiere date announcement for Shades Of Blue. The straight-to-series police drama starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta will debut Thursday, January 14 at 9 PM with a two-hour premiere episode directed by Barry Levinson. The show will then move to its regular 10 PM timeslot behind The Blacklist the following Thursday, January 21. There, Shades Of Blue will succeed new fall drama The Player, whose order was recently reduced from 13 to nine episodes.

“From a marketing perspeNBC Logo Newctive, the January 14 date takes advantage of both solid Sunday Night Football games and strong holiday programming through the first week of January,” is how NBC’s head of scheduling Jeff Bader explains the rationale behind the premiere date choice. “Also, in one of the most-watched weekends of the year (January 9-10), we have the NFL Wild Card game and Golden Globes, both of which make for great promotional opportunities.”

NBC is yet to announce its scheduling plans for the Thursday 8 PM slot, which also will become vacant after limited series Heroes Reborn ends its run.

ShadesShades Of Blue centers on Harlee Santos (Lopez), a charismatic single mother and resourceful detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives, led by enigmatic Lt. Matt Wozniak (Liotta) who often leads the team to step outside the limitations of the law in order to effectively protect their precinct and their own. As a big illegal job looms on the horizon, the FBI catches Harlee in the act and pits her against her own unit. As a newly turned informant, Harlee struggles to safeguard her on-the-job family and avoid arrest in order to stay with her daughter.

The series co-stars Warren Kole, Drea de Matteo, Dayo Okeniyi, Vincent Laresca, Hampton Fluker and Sarah Jeffery. It is executive produced by Jack Orman, Adi Hasak, Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest and Nina Wass. Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, EGTV, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Jack Orman Productions produce.