Exclusive: ABC Preps ‘Deep End’ for Thursdays

Legal drama will fill in for “FlashForward” with a six-week run starting next month

ABC is getting ready to dive into "The Deep End."

Industry insiders said the network has decided to schedule the 20th Century Fox TV-produced legal drama for Thursday nights at 8 p.m. It will premiere Jan. 21 and air for six episodes.

An official announcement is expected soon, but for now, ABC had no comment.

UPDATE: While three sources indicate "Deep End" will bow Jan. 21, several readers have noted that ABC has a special "Grey's Anatomy"/"Private Practice" crossover on Jan. 14, making that date logical for a "Deep End" premiere. Stay tuned.

ABC recently decided to delay the return of sci-fi drama "FlashForward" until March, opening up a hole in the network's lineup. While "Deep" would seem to be more of a 9 or 10 p.m. show, the series could benefit from the halo effect of ABC's strong dramas on the night, "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."

"Deep End" will face a bit of an uphill struggle, however, since it won't have a lead-in and it will be going up against Fox's steady performer "Bones" and, at some point, CBS's 10th anniversary edition of "Survivor."

David Hemingson, best known for executive producing the awesome and gone too soon "Kitchen Confidential," is behind "Deep End." The series revolves around a group of first-year lawyers.

Still unannounced: Scheduling for the ABC drama "Happy Town."