Six NBC Shows on the Bubble
by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 5:27PM
The past season was a tumultuous one for NBC, what with the Jay Leno experience turning the primetime schedule into a whirl. The fact that Leno's ten o'clock show was a disaster resulted in NBC scrambling to fill in during the second season. Fortunately, at least one legit hit has emerged -- 'Parenthood.'
Still, as the network contemplates the future, there's really six programs that could be called on the bubble, teetering between a pick up or a cancellation. So what is the likelihood that NBC will renew these shows? Here's our take:
1. 'Law & Order' It hasn't officially been renewed, but when Angela Bromstad, president of prime time entertainment, spoke about the Dick Wolf show, she practically assured it's coming back. "I'm a 'Law & Order' junkie. I wouldn't want to be responsible for not having 'Law & Order' break the record." That record is 21 years on the air, the longest drama in primetime history -- surpassing 'Gunsmoke.' That said, it's probably a sure-thing that Sam Waterson and company will return for another season.
2. 'Chuck' If it were up to the devoted, Subway-eating fans of 'Chuck,' there'd be no question that the show would be back. Just last week, they were staging a new save 'Chuck' campaign. Based on the quality of the episodes, 'Chuck' has had a 2010 season worthy of renewal, but the ratings remain a problem. An overly competitive Monday time slot hasn't helped. When all is said and done, 'Chuck' will probably get a mid-season renewal for 13 episodes.
3. 'Heroes' The only positive thing NBC can say about the once-stellar 'Heroes' is that it still has strong international appeal. That's not good enough to warrant a renewal. 'Heroes' reminds me of ABC's 'Ugly Betty,' a great show that flamed out really quickly.
4. 'Trauma' While a show like 'Parenthood' has thrived, 'Trauma' just hasn't caught on. And it's not an inexpensive production either. NBC won't continue to beat a dead horse. 'Trauma' will be axed in favor of something new, like 'The Rockford Files' remake that is a virtual lock for the fall schedule.
5. 'Mercy' Unlike 'Trauma,' 'Mercy' has a little buzz. Not much, but a little. It's right on the borderline between getting a second chance or not. If it was on USA Network instead of NBC, it probably would be given time to evolve. If I were betting on its future... well, I wouldn't. NBC will probably opt for something new coming out of pilot season. The network needs a new identity.
(Editor's Note: As one of our commenters reminded us, 'Community' has been renewed; we even wrote about when Dan Harmon surprised the cast with the news. Apologies for that one -- JK)
6. 'Law & Order: SVU' There's every reason to believe that the powers that be will see the wisdom in keeping the most watched 'Law & Order' securely on the schedule, especially since there's a chance of yet another spinoff, 'Law & Order: Los Angeles.' If only to placate Dick Wolf, and keep the 'L&O' brand strong, 'SVU' should be back, and likely bounce back from the debacle of moving it out of its 10 o'clock perch to accommodate Leno.
[Check out clips and episodes from these shows on SlashControl.]