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2011 Network Upfronts: Part I: NBC

Posted on the 15 May 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

The first of the network upfronts is out, covering NBC’s fall schedule. Here are my thoughts and what I anticipate I will be covering in one degree or another next season. The following is the schedule released by the network on 15 May 2011:

NBC FALL 2010 SCHEDULE *New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET
8-10 p.m. – “The Sing-Off”
10-11 p.m. – “THE PLAYBOY CLUB”

8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”

8-8:30 p.m. – “UP ALL NIGHT”
8:30-9 p.m. – “FREE AGENTS”
9-10 p.m. — “Harry’s Law”
10-11 p.m. — “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. — “Parks and Recreation”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “WHITNEY”
10-11 p.m. – “PRIME SUSPECT”

8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “GRIMM”
10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”

Encore programming

7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”


How much do I not like reality TV? Let’s put it this way: I don’t even know what “The Sing-Off” is…other than an obvious capitulation on NBC’s part, recognizing that “Dancing With the Stars” has made Monday nights almost impossible for running dramas. Later in the evening does better, which is why I suppose they are trying out “The Playboy Club” there. Despite what I’m sure will be a provocative series, I have little interest. So NBC went from being a must-see NBC night to being a wasteland.


More reality dreck. Let me put this in context: 4 out of the 6 hours early in the week are dominated by reality programming. That’s sickening. But worse, “Parenthood” holds no interest to me, either. So another night where NBC has nothing for me.


Apparently the failure of “Undercovers” has led NBC to try sitcoms in the early Wednesday slot instead. “Up All Night” has a nice enough cast. “Free Agents” is another attempt to remake a British hit, notably with Anthony Head in a supporting role. Neither show seems interesting enough to get me to watch. I wasn’t drawn to “Harry’s Law” or “Law and Order: SVU” in the past, so that’s three nights without notable NBC programming.


I know there are big fans of the NBC Thursday night comedy block; I’m simply not one of them. If a comedy looks good, I’m more likely to wait and mainline them over the summer on-demand. That said, why is “The Office” still on the air? When it comes to “Prime Suspect”, I’d rather watch the original.


I suppose it makes sense for NBC to make Friday nights even more crowded in the genre department. That’s not good for genre fans, who are likely to see their favorite shows’ ratings drop as live-viewing loyalties are divided. That said, I’m happy to see the return of “Chuck” for its final season, and as I’ve said before, “Grimm” seems the lesser of the fairy-tales-are-real shows coming in the fall, but it could be worthy DVR fare.


Reruns and football. At least there’s hope with the football.


There’s no way to know when the show is going to air, but “Awake” didn’t make the fall schedule, despite being an obvious cash-in on “Inception”-esque themes. I’m not sure what to think of the delay, but I’m intrigued to see what it will bring to the table.

    What Didn’t Make the Cut

Obviously, a lot of attention has been paid to the failure of the “Wonder Woman” project, which had less to do with costume and more to do with overall treatment of the premise. David E. Kelley has to shoulder the blame for that disaster.

I’m a lot more disappointed that NBC passed on “17th Precinct”, the latest Ron Moore production, which would have reunited tons of the Battlestar/Caprica folks in something of a “Dresden Files” setting. I’d love to see the pilot, if only to see if there is some obvious reason why this never left the ground.

    Final Verdict

So when it comes to NBC and the fall schedule, I would expect that there will be coverage on Critical Myth for the following: “Chuck”, “Grimm”, and (eventually) “Awake”.

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