NBC has had a rough few years. They made the bonehead decision a couple years ago to get rid of dramas at 10pm in order to put Jay Leno back on the air. After that fiasco, they tried to bounce back last season without much success due to not doing anything too exciting for new shows. With a new chairman, Bob Greenblatt, he seems to be making an effort with keeping shows people love, like Chuck and Parenthood, while picking up more comedies. NBC announced its fall schedule along with making it official which shows they canceled. Earlier this season, NBC canceled low performing shows, such as The Cape and Chase. During their upfront meeting with advertisers last week, they officially announced canceling a few more.
The Event, which started out really strong before drastically dropping in ratings, became too costly to continue. After a really long hiatus, no one remembered that it was on the air, most likely due it being extremely boring after the first three episodes. I never thought it sounded interesting but still gave it a try. It was really exciting and interesting those first three episodes before I didn’t care what the big secret was or why they kidnapped a boring girl.
Last season, NBC canceled Law & Order, before it reached a 20-year milestone on the air, to make room for Law & Order: Los Angeles, which didn’t even have a pilot ready. No one seemed too interested in this new version of it from the get go. It was taken off the air, retooled and came back to viewers still not caring about it. They also decided not to pick up Perfect Couples, which never found an audience and finally put Outsourced to bed. I’m amazed that show stayed on the entire season.
Then there was Wonder Woman. It was high profile pilot by David E. Kelley, which I find odd that he would have anything to do with it. He loves his lawyer shows (L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal, Harry’s Law) and while he has gone out of that area from time to time, he has never gone the superhero route. Earlier this year, pictures were posted of the new Wonder Woman outfit, which created an uproar. Fanboys did not approve of the look. Other pictures were posted that looked closer to how it looks in the comics, but there were still some that were unhappy. When it all came down to it, even though the new chairman loved the pilot, he decided it didn’t fit into the schedule so all that hubbub over nothing. Good times. I have read from some critics that got to watch the pilot, it was boring, messy and horrible. It seems like a good thing it wasn’t picked up.
Now, let’s move onto what is actually sticking around and what’s new for next season.
Football takes over in the fall, but after that ends, Celebrity Apprentice will be back. Donald Trump dropped all his running for President nonsense and says he’ll be back on the show. Joy? Also debuting during mid-season after Trump is The Firm, which is based on the feature film and John Grisham novel. It picks up 10 years after the movie/novel ended where a lawyer worked with the FBI to bring down a law firm. It isn’t cast yet so no trailer. I never read or watched either one so will I want to watch this?
Since The Voice has been the only success NBC has seen lately, many people thought they might bring it back in the fall, even though that could have led to viewer burnout. Instead The Sing-Off was moved from its usual Christmas time slot to the fall. I guess this is the third season it has been on. I’ve successfully ignored each year, I guess. Will it hold up as a weekly show? It might be NBC thinking that it has to have some kind of singing competition show when FOX will be airing The X Factor in the fall.
In the fall, The Sing-Off will be followed by The Playboy Club. The critics think that it looks pretty, but not sure it has any real substance under its shiny exterior. Starting in January, Monday nights will have The Voice returning followed by Smash, a musical drama starring former American Idol Katharine McPhee. It has Steven Spielberg as an executive producer and the producers of Chicago and Hairspray. It is impressing the critics more and makes sense following The Voice.
The Playboy Club
Cast: Eddie Cibrian, Leah Renee, Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan, Laura Benanti, Naturi Naughton, David Krumholtz, Wes Ramsey
Synopsis: Yep, it is about that Playboy Club in the early 1960s.
My Take: I do like Eddie Cibrian even though he can’t seem to lead a show. There seems to be some darkness to the fun. If they keep that up, it can probably keep my interest.
Cast: Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee, Anjelica Huston, Jaime Cepero, Christian Borle, Raza Jaffrey, Jack Davenport, Brian d’Arcy James, Megan Hilty
Synopsis: Backstage look at a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
My Take: Watching two people go after the same role looks pretty interesting. I also want to see if Anjelica Huston does anything else besides sitting there and staring.
It stays the same with huge two hours of The Biggest Loser. I keep waiting for people to get tired of the show, but it keeps going on and on. Parenthood did get renewed, which is good since it doesn’t have the best ratings but it does have a desirable demographic of people watching it. That makes NBC happy.
Harry’s Law, which was critically panned but had decent ratings, was renewed. Maybe NBC wanted to keep David E. Kelley happy since they didn’t pick up his Wonder Woman show. They also renewed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but there are tons of changes this season. Mariska Hargitay is only coming back for 13 episodes and Chris Meloni didn’t renew his contract after negotiations broke down. Greenblatt thinks the show can continue on without the two main leads, but with this show, I’m not so sure. It has been tied to those two leads for so long that it feels weird when they aren’t there. Jennifer Love Hewitt is being pursued to join the show, but not sure in what capacity yet.
Starting of the night off will be new two comedies as NBC tries to expand its comedies to a second night and also try to compete with ABC’s power block on the same night. It starts off with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett playing new parents in Up All Night followed by a workplace comedy, Free Agents, starring Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn. The critics seemed to have some hope for Up All Night, but not much love for Free Agents.
Up All Night
Cast: Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, James Pumphrey
Synopsis: Two new parents try to make having a career and a new baby work.
My Take: I want to like it since I love Applegate and Arnett but the trailer did not make me laugh. It does seem like it could grow on me though if I don’t think of it as a comedy but as something sweet.
Cast: Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn, Anthony Head, Natasha Leggero, Mo Mandel, Jo Lo Truglio, Al Madrigal
Synopsis: Another show ripped off of a UK show about two PR execs on the rebound.
My Take: Not sure about the show, but hey, it has Giles in it!
Community and The Office stay in their places. Parks and Recreation actually gets to start in the fall this year! 30 Rock will be back in January to give Tina Fey time to be pregnant. NBC decided that having a full night of six comedies did not work since people like to watch their dramas at 10pm so it has gone back to the format of four comedies in a row followed by a drama.
That leaves the new show Whitney (starring the comedienne from Chelsea Lately), which will be the one comedy on that night that has a laugh track. It might be a bit out of place. Maybe the show should be on CBS? Not many critics were thrilled with what they saw. That is followed by Prime Suspect which is a “re-imagined” show based on the Helen Mirren-starring British miniseries. Critics love the original, but seemed to be impressed with the pilot, which stars Maria Bello and was directed by Peter Berg.
Cast: Whitney Cummings, Maulik Pancholy, Chris D’Elia, Dan O’Brien, Zoe Lister-Jones, Rhea Seehorn
Synopsis: An unmarried couple has been together for five years with no plans to walk down the aisle.
My Take: Not a fan of laugh tracks, even though I put up with them on How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, and what is up with the main guy’s floppy hair? Is this the 90s? I did laugh at the Dr. Quinn joke.
Cast: Maria Bello, Kirk Acevedo, Aidan Quinn, Joe Nieves, Brian O’Byrne, Damon Gupton, Tim Griffin, Peter Gerety
Synopsis: A woman has to fight the “boy’s club” in NYPD Homicide’s unit.
My Take: As the lone woman in the police department, Maria Bello isn’t playing the character as I would have expected or as I’ve seen other female leads play similar roles. It is more realistic and I like it.
Chuck didn’t get canceled, but it did get moved to Friday night for its fifth and final season. NBC figured its small, but loyal fan base will follow the show to a new night. I have to agree with that. It is followed by Grimm, a supernatural show, which seems to work well for other stations with Fringe on FOX and Supernatural on CW, but I doubt it will be successful going up against those shows when it is trying to appeal to the same audience. Critics weren’t overly thrilled with it, but I’ll have to give it a chance since it was filmed in Portland. So pretty!
Cast: David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby, Sasha Roiz, Bitsie Tulloch, Reggie Lee
Synopsis: A homicide detective comes from a line of “Grimms” who see the true faces of monsters out there, which can be handy when trying to fight crime.
My Take: It looks pretty procedural for a supernatural show. I like both procedural and supernatural shows, but this does not seem overly exciting.
I mentioned the midseason shows that actually are part of the schedule already, like The Firm and Smash. There are other shows that will show up sometimes in the next season, either when something fails, or when they decide that reruns are boring and something new should be playing in its spot. Out of the shows that were picked up, but not scheduled yet, critics loved Awake. They are afraid it is a show that is so good, but not standard, especially with dealing with parallel realities, that is might not find an audience. Some critics also have hopes of Laura Prepon starring in Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea based on Chelsea Handler’s best-selling book.
Cast: Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Dylan Minnette, Wilmer Valderrama, Michaela McManus, Cherry Jones, Steve Harris, B.D. Wong
Synopsis: After a car accident, a detective thinks his wife lived and his son died, but when he wakes up, his wife died and his son is alive. He has no idea which reality is real.
My Take: It looks really good but I also love alternate reality stuff.
Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea
Cast: Laura Prepon, Chelsea Handler, Mark Povinelli, Natalie Morales, Angel Laketa Moore, Lauren Lapkus, Jo Koy, Lenny Clarke
Synopsis: Single girl that loves booze and men.
My Take: I wanted to like it, but just found it eh.
Cast: Amanda Peet, Margo Harshman, David Walton, Joey King, Jeffrey Tambor
Synopsis: A newly divorced single mom hires a cute contractor to fix her house but swears that wasn’t the reason she did it.
My Take: It seems more appropriate as a romantic comedy movie, but it could also work as a series. I do like Amanda Peet.
Best Friends Forever
Cast: Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair, Stephen Schneider, Daija Owens
Synopsis: Two best friends end up living together when one of them gets divorced and they fall back into their old bad habits.
My Take: Only clips are available. What I saw could be amusing. I do really like Jessica St. Clair from Best Week Ever.
Did you make it through the entire post? Are you sad about any show that was canceled? Any new shows interest you?