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August 29, 2015

The Upfronts: NBC

by Kona Gallagher, posted May 19th 2009 12:56PM
nbc logoNBC has been leaking like a sieve for weeks, so other than a few on-the-bubble cancellations, there aren't any huge surprises in their official upfront announcement. The big change is that they're doing two official seasons. A lot of the networks have been doing this unofficially, but NBC seems to be one of the few that is putting a label on it.

Returning: Heroes, The Biggest Loser, Law & Order: SVU, Saturday Night Live, SNL: Weekend Update Thursday, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Law & Order, Southland, Dateline NBC

Returning mid-season: Chuck, 30 Rock, The Celebrity Apprentice

Gone: Life, Medium, My Name is Earl, Kath & Kim, Kings, Knight Rider

Trauma, The Jay Leno Show, Parenthood, Community.

New for mid-season:
Day One, 100 Questions, Mercy, The Marriage Ref

Not reflected on the schedule, but will be returning in the summer: America's Got Talent, Friday Night Lights (which will once again be aired first on Direct TV).

Watch this space for more details on the new shows...

More on the schedule and comments after the jump.

The deal with My Name is Earl and Medium: Don't count these shows out just yet. There have been rumors that both shows may be jumping to other networks. According to Michael Ausiello, Since Medium is owned by CBS studios, CBS is expected to announce that it will be moving over to their network, while Earl could possibly move to either FOX or ABC. (Edit: CBS has, in fact picked up Medium).

Shortened seasons for returning shows: If you notice, Heroes is not on the mid-season schedule, which leads me to believe that like Chuck, it will have a 13 episode season. As someone with a love/hate relationship with the show, I firmly believe this is a very good thing. What worries me is the fact that 30 Rock doesn't show up until mid-season. Surely that has to have a full order, right? Let's just assume that the reason it doesn't show up at the beginning is because it's starting in October or something similar.

New Comedies:

Even though I've recently been burned by Arrested Development alums, Community looks good. Produced and directed by two AD directors and starring The Soup's Joel McHale, Community takes place at a community college that is is "made up of high-school losers, newly- divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active as they circle the drain of eternity." I have to admit, that description kind of made me laugh. Plus, Chevy Chase is also on it, and he was great on the last few episodes of Chuck. This may actually be worth checking out.

Parenthood isn't one I have super-high hopes for, but I'm rooting for it to surprise me. Described as a show about, "the colorful and imperfect Braverman family - four grown siblings sharing the headaches, heartaches, and joy of being parents," it is based on the Steve Martin movie of the same name. It seems to be attempting to be a less-melodramatic Brothers and Sisters, but it does have a great cast, including Peter Krause and ER's Maura Tierney. I'm even looking forward to Monica Potter, whom I never really liked until her performance on the short-lived Trust Me made me come around. Points off for Dax Shepard, though.

New Dramas:

Basically, the only thing the new medical drama Trauma has going for it is that it comes from Peter Berg, who is also the executive producer of Friday Night Lights. Berg does have prior medical experience, however, having starred on Chicago Hope. Trauma follows first responder paramedics in San Francisco. It doesn't have any huge names attached, just people you've seen around TV, so it really needs to be different and exciting if it doesn't want to get lost in the shuffle.

Mercy is yet another medical drama. Of course, it's not the same as all of the other medical dramas, because it has a, sigh, "unique perspective." Mercy is the story of a busy hospital as seen through the eyes of the nurses instead of the doctors. Michelle Tracthenberg goes from high fashion of The Upper East Side as Georgina on Gossip Girl to Hello Kitty scrubs. Now that's a unique perspective.

Day One, as far as I can tell, is the cross between Melrose Place and Jericho that everyone has been clamoring for (everyone has been clamoring for that, right?). After a global catastrophe, residents of the same apartment building embark "on a quest for survival and discovers that hope is found in small victories -- and heroes are born every day." There are no big names attached, but it could fill the gaping hole that all Jericho fans still have in their hearts.

New Reality Shows:

I don't know about you, but I can't count the number of times I've been in a fight with my significant other and just yelled out, "well if Jerry Seinfeld were here, he would tell you I'm right!" So for those of you who really feel like what your arguments need is celebrity intervention, then The Marriage Ref is for you. On the Jerry Seinfeld-produced show, "celebrities, comedians and sports stars candidly comment, judge and decide who's right and who's wrong in real-life disputes between real-life spouses." Personally, I'm excited for when the arguments inevitably shift from the banal toothpaste cap-related to the much more awkward secret love child territory.

Other schedule items of note: NBC has the Winter Olympics this year, so expect that to throw off your TV watching from Feb. 12-28.

The schedule:

* indicates new shows

8-9 p.m. – Heroes
9-10 p.m. - Trauma*
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-10 p.m. – The Biggest Loser (two-hour edition)
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Parenthood*
9-10 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8- 8:30 p.m. – SNL: Weekend Update Thursday
8:30-9 p.m. – Parks and Recreation
9- 9:30 p.m. – The Office
9:30-10 p.m. – Community* (moves to 8:00 after 30 Rock returns)
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Law & Order
9-10 p.m. – Southland
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. – Trauma* (encore broadcast)
10-11 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU (encore broadcast)

7- 8:20 p.m. Football Night in America
8:20-11 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football


8-9 p.m. – Chuck
9-10 p.m. - Day One*
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9:30 p.m. – The Biggest Loser
9:30-10 p.m. – 100 Questions*
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Mercy*
9-10 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show

8- 8:30 p.m. – Community*
8:30-9 p.m. – Parks and Recreation
9- 9:30 p.m. – The Office
9:30-10 p.m. – 30 Rock
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Law & Order
9-10 p.m. – Southland
10-11 p.m. – The Jay Leno Show*

8-9 p.m. – Dateline NBC
9-10 p.m. – Southland (encore broadcast)
10-11 p.m. – Law & Order: SVU (encore broadcast)

7-8 p.m. – Dateline NBC
8-9 p.m. – The Marriage Ref*
9-11 p.m. –The Celebrity Apprentice

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How could they cancel LIFE it was the best show on tv

June 01 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Parenthood looks good. I'm a big fan of Heroes so I will be taping that on Mondays, Southland I will also be taping as well.

I think NBC was smart to air Jay Leno monday-friday it may not win the 10:00PM spot but it will better ratings then when Jay was doing The Tonight Show. I think there's a lot of people that like Leno that just couldn't stay up late just my opinion plus they could also get people that maybe sick of the crime drama at 10:00PM as well. I will watch Jay Leno's show not 5 days week but sometimes.

May 23 2009 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Remake Of "Fear Factor" In The Works:
by Paul Solomon http://www.paulsolomon.blogspot.com
I'm producing a reality show that I hope will be picked up for the 2009-2010 season. Because the television networks have been cutting costs, I'm putting my detective show on hold. All the networks have passed on my crime show about an alcoholic bipolar homicide detective and his sexy young female partner who work the streets of South Central L.A. looking for murdered tourists. Even filming in Vancouver would be too expensive, so even though CBS likes the pilot script, it's just too expensive to film, especially if I get my first choice, Christian Slater, who commands a high salary. ABC was initially interested. They wanted Pauly Shore for the lead, but he wanted too much money and his own trailer, so they passed. It's all about the budget, so that's why I'm switching to reality shows. I'm pitching my new show, called "Dumb Factor," a remake of "Fear Factor," which ran on NBC from 2001-2006. For $5,000, contestants will bungee-jump off a freeway overpass with an extremely frayed rope. The cars will run over the contestants until someone is stupid enough to get out and help, also getting splattered onto the pavement in slow-motion. This scenario will keep repeating until the commercial break. All that we'll see after the commercial will be a bunch of dead bodies and a massive pile-up of Camrys. The winners will now compete for the second stunt, jumping out of an airplane with a placebo parachute, after which an internet poll will be taken for the viewer to guess the winner. For those wanting to be a contestant, sign-ups will be on our website at www.stupididiot.com . This show will be perfect for ABC's schedule, because they're in the process of cancelling all scripted shows.

May 21 2009 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Viewer

Damn NBC...I am massively disappointed by their cancellation of "Earl." They just don't recognize it when they have an excellent show with a loyal audience. "Earl" is a much better show than "Parks & Recreation," and its ratings are higher too. That doesn't mean I'm unhappy that "Parks" was renewed -- on the contrary, I'm quite happy they're giving it a chance, especially since its season finale was its best episode yet. But I am hopeful for a Fox or TBS pickup of "Earl," especially after that season-closing cliffhanger.

Having watched the preview, I must say that I'm excited for the debut of "Community." I cracked up a few times during the preview alone, and if they can keep up that pace then they might have a hit (or at least a show with a cult following) on their hands. Here's hoping it's more "Arrested Development" than "Sit Down Shut Up."

Finally, I would also like to express my displeasure with the NBC suits for pushing back "30 Rock" to make room for the "SNL Thursday Update." That's almost as big of a waste as devoting five hours per week to Jay Leno.... Honestly, Seth Myers gets in one funny joke per Weekend Update segment; the rest is all mediocre. Really, NBC? Really? Unbelievable. Suffice to say, this is not a schedule that is going to boost NBC out of fourth place. They will reap what they sow.

May 21 2009 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Southland gets the Friday night death slot? What the bleep. Besides The Shield, this is the best and most reaslistic cop show I have seen, even going so far as to let the actors use profanity during shooting, and bleeping them. It is nice to see someone get police work right, or as close to it as I think we will see from entertainment.

The best new show, written by arguably the strongest drama team ever...NBC is going to lose another great one. Put SVU on Friday, with a solid following for years, it would give Southland the growth potential of a Wednesday night audience.

May 20 2009 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Josh's comment

I haven't seen The Shield, it's the next TV show on my list though. I know it's going to be good.

But to offer you another show of The Shield's caliber, have you seen The Wire? I know The Wire's focus isn't entirely on the police so it can't really be categorized as a "cop show," but I have a far greater understand of why things are the way they are because of that show. And to say the acting is phenomenal would be an understatement. And people swear, man do they swear.

I have a friend who has seen both (The Wire and The Shield) and she says they're both great in their own way, which means that The Wire may have something new to offer you. But be warned that it starts off very slow so you need to be patient.

Sorry if you've already seen The Wire and this annoyed you, but I didn't want to risk you not picking it up.

May 25 2009 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i hope that usa continues to bring new law and order, criminal intent to us. this show is marvelous. and with jeff goldblum now added it is even fresher. but no one can beat bobby and alex......keep this show on please usa

May 20 2009 at 3:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i would also like to see earl. whether it is on nbc or the cable network. it is a little bit of levity in these trying times of our country and we sure need it. save earl!!!

May 20 2009 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

medium will really be missed in this household. i sure hope that cbs picks it up. its a show that you dont know what will happen next. most shows you can pretty much write yourself. please cbs pick up medium and keep it just like it is. fresh each week.

May 20 2009 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If the people making this schedule and picking these shows and making these decisions are paid anything over minimum wage, the GE stockholders are being totally screwed.

Bad enough they cancelled Life. Yeah it didn't have super ratings, but NBC never promoted it and the bottom line is it's not like they have anything better with which to replace it. The only 2 shows worth watching on NBC now are Chuck and 30 Rock, both of which it seems NBC doesn't want anything to do with. These half-assed half-season orders, preemptions and time-changes clearly show NBC is not the least bit committed to the success of either Chuck or 30 Rock. It's like they're intentionally sabotaging these two shows so they can feel more justified (and better cover their asses) when they ultimately cancel them. I expect that sort of thing from Fox, but NBC has completely lost its way.

I've said I'll do NBC's scheduling and show picking for free - it'll take me a few hours a week - and I'll improve NBC's ratings by 30% within a season. I stand by my offer.

May 20 2009 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kona Gallagher

Edited to reflect cancellation of Kings and Knight Rider, as well as CBS picking up Medium.

May 19 2009 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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