In the middle of May every year, the networks get together to show off the new shows they picked up, congratulate those that they renewed and try not to talk about the shows they canceled. Traditionally, each network takes over a day. A few years ago, NBC decided to ignore this week and announced everything they wanted to do early. When they did that FOX took over the Monday spot, but then NBC decided to go back to the upfront week and FOX wouldn’t give up their new spot. NBC decided to just keep having it on the same day instead of going to whatever day FOX used to be on. Weird tv networks.
What Was Canceled
What most people want to know is which of their favorite shows aren’t coming back next year. Everyone knows the horrible idea that was The Jay Leno Show isn’t coming back. Now that he shoved Conan O’Brien out of The Tonight Show, he took it back over to ratings that aren’t any better than when Conan was on the air. Good call there NBC.
One good decision the network did make was to finally finish Heroes. I had watched it the entire time but I was so incredibly bored with it this season. It was the same storyline it had been telling the past three seasons. I was going to quit watching it, even if it did come back.
The medical shows that I never even watched–Trauma and Mercy–were also canned. In an odd move, NBC canceled the original Law & Order, yet ordered a new spin-off of Law & Order: Los Angeles, which doesn’t have a pilot, script or cast yet. Why not just keep the original on the air? Why have a spin-off in LA instead of a different city? Sounds lazy to me.
What Was Renewed
Since it wasn’t in the last section, that means that Chuck will return, at least for 13 episodes, on Monday nights. The poor show can’t seem to get a full-season order any more. On Tuesday nights, The Biggest Loser and Parenthood will continue.
On Wednesday, the network didn’t seem to learn from moving Law & Order: SVU to the 9pm time slot during the Leno debacle where its ratings dropped until it went back to 10pm, so it is moving it to 9pm again! Most of the Thursday night comedies are staying (Community, 30 Rock, The Office), but Parks and Recreation is being held until mid-season to make room for a new comedy. Also, The Marriage Ref is being held until mid-season too. I wouldn’t mind if they just kept holding it indefinitely.
Friday nights will continue with the reality shows Who Do You Think You Are? and Dateline. Saturdays will continue to have random repeats. Sundays will have football in the fall and in the spring, it’ll be Minute to Win It and Celebrity Apprentice.
Chuck will lead off the night into two dramas. The first one is The Event, which stars Jason Ritter (guess he won’t be on Parenthood long), Blair Underwood (as the President) and Laura Innes in a conspiracy thriller. The trailer below starts off pretty boring and then the conspiracy could be good, but can it keep it up all season long? I doubt it.
The night finishes up with Chase. Another Jerry Bruckheimer show starring Kelli Giddish (from Past Life) about a U.S. Marshal from Texas chasing fugitives. Do we need another U.S. Marshal show with both In Plain Sight and Justified on the air already and they both look better than this one?
The night will start with the new J.J. Abrams’ show about married spies called Undercovers with the very pretty couple Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It looks like tons of fun. It is grown up Alias and like it.
This is the night that Law & Order: SVU has been bumped up an hour to make room for the L.A. spin-off that doesn’t have anything to show for itself currently. I understand they want an established show leading into a new one, but I’m still not thrilled about it.
This is the night that Parks and Recreation gets bumped for a while to make room for Outsourced, starring Ben Rappaport as a manager who gets shipped to India to oversee a call center that sells cheese hats and fake dog poo. They sell these things over the phone? I don’t have an issue with the premise, but there weren’t any jokes. It wasn’t funny, which isn’t ideal for a comedy. Why did they pick this show up?
The night of comedies will finish with an hour-long romantic comedy anthology starring Becki Newton and Greg Grunberg, called Love Bites. It has three different story lines each week and it seemed like there would be different people starring each week too. The trailer didn’t look too impressive, but there is some possibility there.
There are some mid-season shows that are scheduled to show up on Thursday night at some point. First, there is Perfect Couples where three couples hang out while hilarity ensues. It stars Kyle Howard, Christine Woods, David Walton, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Hayes MacArthur and from geek fanboy fame, Olivia Munn. It started out pretty forced, but by the end of the clip, I was really liking the stuck-up “perfect” couple that likes to drink.
The seemingly similar show, Friends With Benefits, stars Topher from Dollhouse and Dick from Veronica Mars. The real actor names are Ryan Hansen, Danneel Harris, Fran Kranz, Jessica Lucas and Ian Reed Kesler. After watching the trailer, I wasn’t that impressed though.
The final mid-season show is The Paul Reiser Show where Paul Reiser plays a fictionalized version of himself. Hasn’t that been done enough with The Garry Shandling Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm? I also can’t stand Paul Reiser so I know I’ll be skipping it.
The night starts off with Who Do You Think You Are? that will only be a half hour long. Then it’ll be followed by another reality show School Pride where neighborhoods rally behind their public schools that are falling apart. It could have good intentions but it sounds boring.
Then there is Dateline leading into a new show, Outlaw, starring Jimmy Smits as a Supreme Court justice who decides he wants to be a lawyer again. Does that make him an “outlaw”? How adorable. It is an idealized version of everything with the treacly background music to back it up. Ick!
During the mid-season, there will be a David E. Kelley law show starring Kathy Bates called Harry’s Law. I’ve been a fan of Kelley’s shows in the past, but they bug me after a while. There’s something about this one that intrigues me so I’ll probably watch it, like I do all the others, until it bugs me. I’ll never learn.
What did you think of the trailers? Any new shows look good? What did you think about the cancellations and renewals?