Alright, I promised last week and here it is…some full updates on the complete landscape of the Fall network television schedule. I am breaking it down by network so it is easier to pick apart. I will also put a full list of cancelled shows in the forums, so you can check for your favorite and saddest losses. NBC went first announcing their schedule to advertisers in NY at the Upfront presentation (the other networks will continue throughout the week). Here is what NBC is hoping is going to "save the network"…comedy…lots and lots of comedy. Four out of seven nights will contain comedy blocks, The Voice will be on in the fall for the first time, and I am sure they are hoping the big ratings for the reality juggernaut will give the new J.J. Abrams drama Revolution a boost and jump it off to a big start.
I think the biggest surprise in the schedule is the move of Community off of Thursday night. It will now be on Friday at 8:30pm after Whitney. While this seems like this could be a sad move and they are "putting it there to die on a Friday night" it could be good news in that sometimes a show can actually survive on a Friday with lower ratings because the expectations are not as high (see Fringe and how it has lasted several seasons after its move). It will only be a 13 episode season so this is what I have to say….go out at 9:00pm on Friday nights! Set your DVRs! Let's show them we take there little game and will rise to the challenge and continue to show our love for Community!!
As for Thursday night comedy night, besides the loss of Community it stays pretty similar with just a few time shifts. It will kick off with 30 Rock at 8:00pm, Up All Night at 8:30pm (annoying), The Office at 9:00pm and Parks and Recreation at 9:30pm. I'm kind of confused why they are trying to save Up All Night by putting it in between 30 Rock and The Office because the ratings have been pretty low and as much as I love Will Arnett it's just not funny…but oh well, thank goodness for DVR so I can just skip it. Contrary to what we thought Parks and Recreation was not one of the comedies with a shorter order. Both P&R and The Office were picked up for 22 episodes while 30 Rock and Community were scaled back to 13. And…it will officially be 30 Rock's last season. I think we saw that all coming, but I'm still pretty sad about it, as it is one of my favorites. At least they will be able to close it out and give it a proper ending and send-off.
NBC has picked up seven new comedies to series, four are on the schedule for the Fall while three are being held for mid-season - which really means they are being held to make sure they have back-up programming in case anything fails.You can watch clips of the new shows here, but also here is a rundown of the new shows that will appear on-air in the fall:
Go On – Matthew Perry is back at it…again. He has yet to pull off a largely successful show in his post-Friends career, and the newest attempt puts him as a sportscaster that just lost his wife in a car accident and is then forced to seek counseling from a grief group before he can return back to work. He has a total lack of interest in the group and just begins to wreak havoc on it. I don't know. I like Perry, I want him to be great again (since we have a lack of "big comedy stars" on TV), but the clip didn't make me laugh - and if that is the best clip they have, color me worried.
The New Normal – Ryan Murphy's new comedy about a "progressive" family - a gay couple who live in Beverly Hills have everything...except a child. They look for a surrogate to have a baby for them and then Goldie comes in to their life and they form a new family. Murphy has pullled off a lot of great shows, but this is the first true 30 minute comedy. I like the concept, but I'm a little confused by the tone. Doesn't look as "campy" as Glee and I'm just not sure if Murphy can write shows without that. Justin Bartha (the guy who gets lost in The Hangover) stars, and while I usually like him, I'm not sure if his charisma is truly coming out in this role.
Animal Practice – Call me a sucker for a monkey, but finally a comedy that made me laugh. Justin Kirk is extremely funny, and when a monkey pulls on the ambulance I couldn't help but smile. I'm at least in for a few episodes on this one.
Guys with Kids – A bunch of guys sit around talking about kids and how hard it is to raise them in a traditional multi-camera sitcom that looks like its from the 90s. I like the concept, but the clip leaves me worried about this one.
In terms of drama, Grimm is the only freshman drama that was renewed for a full second season (r.i.p Awake). Other dramas brought back include a Fall return for Parenthood and Law &Order: SVU. Smash is once again being held for mid-season, and I think it will depend on how the new dramas do if that one actually comes back or not (I kind of just hope not and they let it die a slow painful death…unless they turn it in to a full on comedy, which is what it has un-willingly become). New dramas added to the fall schedule are JJ Abram's Revolution and Dick Wolf's Chicago Fire and they picked up three more dramas that will be held for mid-season, with the Jekyll and Hyde-eqsque Do No Harm scheduled on Sunday nights once football is over (the other two are not on the schedule yet). I'm glad to see that NBC is still taking some chances in the drama realm and they are moving forward with interesting concepts and serialized shows. I know we might be a little afraid to commit after situations like Awake, but I just keeping hoping that something like 24 will come along and hit with audiences, so we can keep getting some of these new great concepts. Could Revolution be the one?
Revolution - Of the new drama choices, this seems to be the one for me because it looks as if it could be pretty rad. Jon Favreau directed the pilot and I just hope this goes much more Lost than Flash Forward. Fingers Crossed. The story goes - after there is a mysterious black out, society is thrust into the dark ages with no electricity - leading to everyone living much slower and simpler lives. A fun quote to describe it - "On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future."
Chicago Fire – Sounds pretty much like Rescue Me without Denis Leary (or the grit) which is going to be a pretty hard act to follow in terms of firefighter shows. However, it is Dick Wolf and if you look at what he did with law shows, he might not have a problem with this. It is called a "look inside of one of America's noblest professions". If it goes the procedural Law & Order way, I'm just not sure if this is for me, but sounds like it could hit it big.
NBC FALL 2012-13 SCHEDULE (*New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “REVOLUTION”
8-9 p.m. –“The Voice”
9-9:30 p.m. – “GO ON”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE NEW NORMAL”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”
8-8:30 p.m. – “ANIMAL PRACTICE”
8:30-9 p.m. – “GUYS WITH KIDS”
9-10 p.m. – “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
10-11 p.m. – “CHICAGO FIRE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “30 Rock”
8:30-9 p.m. – “Up All Night”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation”
10-11 p.m. – “Rock Center with Brian Williams”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Whitney”
8:30-9 p.m. – “Community”
9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
SUNDAY (Fall 2012)
7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”