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Sneak Previews: The New NBC Shows

by Jean Bentley, posted May 15th 2011 3:35PM
The Playboy ClubAlong with today's announcement of NBC's fall schedule, the network released trailers for most of its new shows. A few highlights? The Christina Applegate/Will Arnett comedy 'Up All Night,' for one, which looks like a welcome return to TV for the actress and her costar, Will Arnett, whose guest spots on '30 Rock' have proven more successful than his past attempts at full-time series work.

Also intriguing: the '60s-set drama 'The Playboy Club,' the mind-bending mid-season drama 'Awake,' and the mid-season musical 'Smash,' whose preview managed to look intriguing despite being essentially a minute-long clip of Katharine McPhee singing a Christina Aguilera song.

After the jump, find updated extended previews and descriptions of each new series.


'The Playboy Club'
NBC says: "It's the early '60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies -- and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade's biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian) is one of the city's top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city's power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family."


'Up All Night'
NBC says: "'Up All Night' is a modern take on parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett plays Chris, Reagan's supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents, a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults -- for the most part. Maya Rudolph stars as Ava, Reagan's outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan's former carefree life."

'Free Agents'
NBC says: "Based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound, 'Free Agents' stars Hank Azaria as the newly divorced Alex who can barely keep himself together, while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex's co-workers fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started -- in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship."


NBC says: "A hilarious look at modern love, 'Whitney' is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings) and Alex (Chris D'Elia), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends' weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends -- including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn) -- and then snaps into action."

'Prime Suspect'
NBC says: "Tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She's an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys' club. Timoney has her own vices too -- with a questionable past -- and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she's also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect."


NBC says: "Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren't stories -- they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn't quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton) arrives, Nick's life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as 'Grimms,' who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors -- and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real."


'Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea'
NBC says: "Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler, the new comedy follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea's way or the highway."

NBC says: "When Detective Michael Britten (Jason Issacs) regains consciousness following his family's car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive -- but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion."

NBC says: "Recently divorced Alex (Amanda Peet) is a resilient and tough lawyer who now is raising her eight-year-old daughter as a single mom. Unwilling to let anything get in her way, she downsizes into a smaller house, and she hires Pete (David Walton), a recovering gambling addict and unapologetic womanizer, as the contractor to re-do her kitchen. The remodeling job is Pete's last chance to prove that he is no longer a screw-up -- but he doesn't know what's about to hit him when he encounters the force of nature that is Alex -- nor does she realize that she's met her match in Pete, a man unafraid to call out her flaws. "

'Best Friends Forever'
NBC says: "This single-camera comedy takes a look at what happens when best friends promise to support each other -- no matter what the cost or circumstances. When Jessica's (Jessica St. Clair) husband files for divorce, she immediately seeks comfort and flies across the country to move back in with her best friend, Lennon (Lennon Parham). Unfortunately, Lennon's boyfriend, Joe (Adam Pally), has just moved into the apartment and has turned Jessica's old room into his perfect home office. As Lennon and Jessica fall into their old routines -- beloved traditions, 'Steel Magnolia' marathons and epic girl-talk sessions -- Joe begins to feel as if he's the odd man out."

'The Firm'
NBC says: "Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham, 'The Firm' continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob -- and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future -- only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere."

NBC says: "The musical drama centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe -- written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit. A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee) -- who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds -- and stage veteran (Megan Hilty), who's determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break."

Tell us: Which new show looks the most promising? And which will you skip?

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Miss Wendee

Oh NBC, NBC...it looks like the only thing you have working in your favor next season is Days of Our Lives...

July 04 2011 at 10:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Cannot wait to see Smash!!!!!

July 03 2011 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Prime suspect looks very funny I would watch it.

June 20 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

AWAKE and SMASH look very promising!

June 19 2011 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so they cancelled Outsourced, to give one of these horrible shows a chance? What a bad decision.

May 17 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rani Nallathambi

It is very condescending of them to use a laugh track and tell people where to laugh. I love shows that give people the ability to laugh on their own. When the material is funny, people will laugh on their own and don't need to be patronized.

May 17 2011 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rani Nallathambi's comment
Miss Wendee

I agree, Rani. Watch re-runs of Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Hates Chris. These are two excellent examples of the kind shows you are talking about.

July 04 2011 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cody Groth

WOW...the laugh track on Whitney was WAY to heavy...unwatchable...

May 16 2011 at 1:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Going to be a long sad season for NBC.

May 15 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Save the time and effort NBC and start looking for replacement shows. Who makes these picks anyway?

May 15 2011 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Smash! Smash! Smash! that's the show for me

May 15 2011 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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