Friday, May 1, 2009

NBC Upfront This Monday

NBC's upfront presentation is hitting Manhattan Monday and we'll finally get answers to all our burning questions regarding the networks schedule for next year. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 30 Rock, The Office, The Biggest Loser (ugh), Celebrity Apprentice (double ugh) and Heroes are all confirmed for next season.

About a month ago it was announced Friday Night Lights is confirmed for another January return after premiering on DirecTV in the fall. This happened in the 2008 season and the deal worked out so well that DirecTV and NBC has already committed to FNL for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Shows we won't have final word on until Monday but everyone is wondering about include Southland, Parks And Recreation, My Name Is Earl, and Chuck. Word is Southland, Parks And Recreation and Chuck all look good for next year while it's looking bad for My Name Is Earl, which is a huge shame.

Surprisingly, I haven't heard a word about Medium, good or bad, at all. I am a huge Medium fan, so I'm hoping it gets picked up.

Variety is reporting that there's a few new comedies likely to be presented Monday including an as yet untitled show "starring Joel McHale as a guy who becomes part of an unlikely family after he enrolls in a community college class," and "100 Questions for Charlotte Payne," about a young woman in Gotham." (Not much info in that description...).

There's also "Parenthood", a half hour show based on the 1989 movie...I'm not getting my hopes up about that one - seems like something better geared toward ABC Family. Apparently, though, production on this show halted earlier today when an NBC executive died on set while playing basketball during a break. I don't know how this will affect production but that has to be a bad omen.

For new dramas, there's two that look good to be picked up and two that are on verge. "Mercy", about three female nurses, and "Trauma", about paramedics are probably in while heavy hitters David E. Kelley and Dick Wolf both have dramas, "Legally Mad" and "Lost And Found", that didn't do so well at initial screenings but still have a chance.

If you're playing the scheduling game in you head like I am, you must be going mad due to that Jay Leno 10pm five nights a week thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think it's a terrible idea and it can only complicate scheduling and, if it were me, I'd be afraid of getting nailed by the FCC and religious freaks for showing 10pm fare in earlier time slots.

Shows like Law & Order: SVU and Southland are like candy to pro-family organisations and moving them to the 8 and 9pm blocks could be dangerous.

Anyway, here's what I'm guessing (and I could be totally wrong):

Medium will appear either Sundays after football or as a mid season replacement for Chuck or Heroes (which apparently have a shorter season this year). One of those new dramas may also appear post football, I'm guessing.

The nets reality series, Biggest Loser and Celebrity Apprentice will most likely air Sunday evenings starting mid season after Football.

Monday will be Chuck at 8pm and Heroes at 9pm, with that possible Medium appearance and perhaps a new drama.

Tuesday will be either a new drama or two new comedies at 8pm and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit at 9pm

Wednesday will probably feature Biggest Loser in the fall or two of the new comedies at 8pm and Southland at 9pm with the original Law & Order as a mid season replacement for Southland.

Thursdays will stay the same, except for one of those new comedies replacing My Name Is Early (really angry about this).

Friday will probably see those less popular new dramas (Lost And Found or Legally Mad) at 8 and 9pm, followed by the mid season appearance of Friday Night Lights.

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