May 15, 2011

TV Upfronts: NBC's 2011-2012 Schedule

So, NBC was out of the gates first as they announced their new line-up for next season, and much like their new shows, I was underwhelmed by the choices they made.

Fall Line-up

8p-10p: The Sing-Off
10p-11p: The Playboy Club

Initial Thoughts: First off, having The Sing-Off come back for the fall, and presumably for a longer stretch than its pre-holiday spot the past two years seems like a big gamble. What made The Sing-Off great was the fact that it was only around for a few weeks, so it was novel. If we're going to get tons of audition episodes, and blah blah blah, then the show will lose its charm. Assuming ABC and CBS keep their cop shows in place, having The Playboy Club on Mondays could be a good move since it's counter-programming. I'm sticking with Castle on Mondays, but TPC may be a close second.

8p-10p: The Biggest Loser
10p-11p: Parenthood

Initial Thoughts: It looks like Tuesdays will be the only steady night for NBC as it's pretty much been unchanged compared to this year. Usually, I tune out of Tuesdays after Glee and Raising Hope, so I'm not too interested in NBC's lack of moves, but good for them for some consistency.

8p-8:30p: Up All Night
8:30p-9p: Free Agents
9p-10p: Harry's Law
10p-11p: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Initial Thoughts: If NBC wanted to start a second night of comedy, why did they go with these shows? Neither one sounds particularly interesting, and not teaming them with a veteran could be costly. I don't watch Harry's Law or SVU, so it looks like my Wednesday nights will be NBC-free.

8p-8:30p: Community
8:30p-9p: Parks & Recreation
9p-9:30p: The Office
9:30p-10p: Whitney
10p-11p: Prime Suspect

Initial Thoughts: I get that NBC wants to use The Office to launch new shows, but they gave Whitney the plump spot? I don't get it. First off, I have no idea who Whitney Cummings is, so I'm not going to watch a show about her, plus Parks & Rec could be The Office's heir apparent, so why move it to the post-Community slot? I would be OK with 30 Rock's benching to mid-season if it was replaced with a show that was vaguely appealing.

8p-9p: Chuck
9p-10p: Grimm
10p-11p: Dateline

Initial Thoughts: It looks like inevitable finally happened and Chuck was banished to Friday nights. It would be a decent move it they teamed it up with something besides Grimm because it feels like they've already given up on the latter, which sucks since it's the only new NBC show that interested me. More than likely Chuck will take on fellow WB spy show, Nikita, on Fridays which will pull my loyalties. The potential match-up between Grimm and Supernatural/Fringe could also be a fight NBC cannot win.

Mid-Season Line-Up

7p-8p: Dateline
8p-10p: Celebrity Apprentice
10p-11p: The Firm

8p-10p: The Voice
10p-11p: Smash

On the Bench: 30 Rock, Awake, Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea, Best Friends Forever, and Bent

Initial Thoughts: Besides keeping 30 Rock for mid-season, I was also a little surprised that NBC will wait to premiere Smash as well. It makes sense teaming the musical based drama with The Voice, but since it was one of the most talked about NBC shows, keeping it on the bench seems odd. I could careless about Sunday nights (although The Firm would've been a good idea fifteen years ago). The same could be said about the rest of NBC's mid-season shows.

NBC could've really made some bold moves to get itself out of the ratings dump, but I'm not getting a sense that they care anymore with their slate of new shows and fall schedule. They're focusing too much on boring sitcoms, and re-hashed dramas, and their only original idea was paired with a show that should have been cancelled on a night where no one watches TV. Looks like another rough year for the Peacock.


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