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October 25, 2014

NBC Develops New Shows, Orders More 'Community' and 'Mercy'

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 26th 2009 6:00PM
MercyNBC isn't giving up on scripted series just yet. After making the decision to put 'The Jay Leno Show' on five nights a week, NBC was able to drastically scale back their new series development.

But now, with some series like 'Heroes' and 'Trauma' sagging in the ratings, NBC is back at the development drawing board. The network also ordered more episodes of new fall shows 'Community' and 'Mercy.'MercyNBC isn't giving up on scripted series just yet. After making the decision to put 'The Jay Leno Show' on five nights a week, NBC was able to drastically scale back their new series development.

But now, with some series like 'Heroes' and 'Trauma' sagging in the ratings, NBC is back at the development drawing board. The network also ordered more episodes of new fall shows 'Community' and 'Mercy.'

• First up is a supernatural drama titled 'Nola Rising,' which will team up writer Diane Ademu-John ('Medium') as co-executive producing alongside Alex Hertzberg. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series features a down-and-out private investigator reluctantly working with an ex-con whose body becomes inhabited by ghosts. The unlikely pair tackle cases involving both the living and the dead in New Orleans.

• On the comedy front, producer Scott Stuber is working with 'America's Next Top Model' co-developer Kenya Barris to bring the African-American comedy 'Ordinary People' to the peacock. The series bears no connection to the 1980 film of the same name. Instead, Barris based it on her own experiences. Described as a combination of 'Mad About You' and 'The Cosby Show,' the show would center around a young couple with fast-paced careers and kids. When the husband gets a promotion that enables him to work from home, it changes the whole dynamic of the family.

• Comedy development doesn't mean that NBC has lost faith in their Thursday night lineup. In fact, Variety reports the network has just extended full-season pickups to both 'Community' and 'Parks and Recreation'. ('The Office' and '30 Rock' were renewed for full seasons already.) In its inaugural season, 'Community' rode a wave of positive press reviews to an average of 5.7 million viewers. Though ratings have since slipped, the network appreciates the show's upscale viewers.

Amy Poehler's sophomore comedy 'Parks and Recreation' has also struggled in the ratings, slipping to just below 5 million viewers in recent weeks. But creatively, the show has undergone great improvements. Also encouraging is the fact that for the first time in years, NBC has a four-part comedy block on Thursday nights that doesn't have a weak spot in quality.

• Also receiving a "back nine" order is NBC's Wednesday night medical drama, 'Mercy.' The series, a hospital drama focusing on nurses, has been winning its Wednesday at 8PM ET time slot lately with 7.8 million average viewers, and stands the best chance of being NBC's medical heir to 'ER'.

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