May 13, 2012

TV Upfronts: NBC's 2012-2013 Fall Schedule

Even though officially Upfront presentations don't start until Monday, NBC tends to get the ball rolling sooner than everyone else by announcing its schedule a day early, and this year was no different. All I can say is, next year's NBC schedule looks a little funny ... literally. Since most of its comedies are getting long in the tooth, NBC decided to schedule five hours of comedy a week to see if any of the new shows can gain traction.

2012-2013 Fall Line-up (NOTE: New shows are in UPPER CASE and times are Eastern Standard)

8-10p: The Voice

Initial Thoughts: I think we all knew that The Voice would get a fall start date instead of a mid-season one, but I can't help but wonder if NBC will really crank out two cycles in a year especially after it ran out of steam this season. I'm a little surprised that Revolution got such a plumb spot since it screams, "Friday night!" but I guess NBC liked it enough to give it a decent shot.

8-9p: The Voice Results
9-9:30p: GO ON
9:30-10p: THE NEW NORMAL
10-11p: Parenthood

Initial Thoughts: NBC must really be hoping that Matthew Perry breaks his one-and-done streak since it's also giving Go On one of the better slots on its schedule. It apparently also sipped the Ryan Murphy Kool-Aid since The New Normal got a cushy placement. No surprises that Parenthood's staying put.

9-10p: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Initial Thoughts: I'm not surprised that NBC's keeping the new Wednesday night comedy block, but I am a little surprised that they're having two new sitcoms kick off a night. Another minor surprise: moving SVU back to 9pm after it's shown that it does better at 10 o'clock, but I guess Chicago Fire needed some sort of lead-in.

8-8:30p: 30 Rock
8:30-9p: Up All Night
9-9:30p: The Office
9:30-10p: Parks and Recreation
10-11p: Rock Center with Brian Williams

Initial Thoughts: Ah, good ole Must See Comedy Night Done Right. NBC obviously wanted to keep to the tried and true formula, and this line-up makes a lot of sense (one that it should have been using the latter half of this season), but I'm a little surprised that a new comedy isn't getting the post-Office spot. Maybe the declining ratings convinced NBC that its biggest hitter can no longer launch new shows.

8-8:30p: Whitney
8:30-9p: Community
9-10p: Grimm
10-11p: Dateline NBC

Initial Thoughts: This is going to sound disingenuous, but Community to Fridays isn't all that shocking, and it's a move NBC should have tried once it came back from hiatus. Believe what you will. That being said, NBC should just announce that this is the show's final season because that's what the schedule's yelling at viewers. Let the "Community to TBS" campaigns begin.

Sundays (Fall)
7-8:15p: Football Night in America
8:15-End: NBC Sunday Night Football

Sundays (After football)
7-8p: Dateline NBC
8-9p: Fashion Star
9-10p: The Celebrity Apprentice
10-11p: DO NO HARM

Initial Thoughts: Yeah, no real reactions. Sorry.

Mid-Season: 1600 Penn, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, The Biggest Loser, Hannibal, Howie Mandel's White Elephant, Infamous, Next Caller, Ready for Love, Smash, Stars Earn Stripes and Surprise with Jenny McCarthy.

Well, you can't say that NBC didn't try anything new because having five hours of comedies is unheard of in this day and age. I'm not sure if such bold moves will translate to ratings success, but it will be entertaining to see what happens.


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