Bello's 'Suspect' gets knocked out of prime time in January

Maria Bello stars in NBC’s "Prime Suspect."

Looks as if Norristown's Maria Bello might not go the distance on NBC.

NBC's unveiled a midseason schedule that doesn't include "Prime Suspect" or "Community," two of the most ratings-challenged series on that ratings-challenged  network.

Starting in January -- after a two-hour Sunday premiere on Jan. 8 -- 10 p.m. Thursdays belongs to "The Firm," a drama about the central character from the John Grisham blockbuster, but set 10 years later.

The news isn't all bad for locally connected actresses:

 -- Returning to NBC starting Jan. 12: Upper Darby's Tina Fey, whose "30 Rock" will be back, kicking off primetime at 8 p.m.

-- "Whitney," the sitcom starring Penn grad Whitney Cummings, has already been picked up for the rest of the season and moves to 8 p.m. Wednesdays on Jan. 11.

And while I'd like to blame "Whitney" for being the worst lead-in possible for "Prime Suspect" -- a show that's gotten better every week -- it's hard to argue that NBC hasn't given the show as much of a chance as it could, having tried it out across its schedule, without much luck.

The show's not officially canceled: The L.A. Times Show Tracker blog reports that "an insider" said the network was "considering its options."