With this being Upfronts week, where all the broadcast networks reveal their fall television lineups to advertisers, I’ve decided to highlight the new shows that I’ll be tuning in for come fall and midseason.
1. Last Resort, ABC (Fall)
As per Wikipedia:
The show is about the renegade crew of a nuclear submarine, the USS Colorado SSBN 753, that defies an order to launch nuclear missiles towards Pakistan, a decision that cost the previous commanding officer his job when he refused to follow similar orders without a explanation or confirmation. When his replacement also questions the same orders, the vessel is fired upon without warning and the crew are left for dead.
A very solid premise, combined with Andre Braugher as the lead? Count me in for the entirety of the 1st season.
2. The Following, FOX (Midseason)
As per Wikipedia:
The series follows an FBI agent who finds himself in the middle of a network of serial killers, when a diabolical serial killer uses special technology to create them.
A fairly solid premise, but definitely improved with Kevin Bacon on board as the FBI agent and James Purefoy as the main antagonist. Should be fairly good. The first season has a 15 episode order, so you can count me in for that.
3. Vegas, CBS (Fall)
As per The Chicago Tribune:
Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid) wants to be left in peace to run his ranch, but 1960s Las Vegas is now swelling with outsiders and corruption which are intruding on his simple life. Recalling Lamb’s command as a military police officer during World War II, the Mayor appeals to his sense of duty to look into a murder of a casino worker and so begins Lambs clash with Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), a ruthless Chicago gangster who plans to make Vegas his own.
Definitely interesting coming from CBS, typically known for having procedural, present day dramas, this series sounds interesting, and has a pretty outstanding cast, with Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Jason O’Mara on board.
4. Golden Boy, CBS (Midseason)
As per TV.com:
A drama starring Theo James (Downton Abbey’s Mr. Pamuk) as a cop who climbs the NYPD ladder from detective to police commissioner.
Not going to lie here, it’s mostly the cast that’s appealing. Theo James, Chi Mcbride and Holt McCallany (Lights Out) make up a really solid core, though I fear this may end up being a middle of the run, procedural cop drama.
5. The Mindy Project, FOX (Fall)
As per The Baltimore Sun:
Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) is an OB/GYN navigating her personal and professional life, as she pursues her dreams of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending.
Kaling is the main draw here, but this sounds like a comedy that could be fun and interesting. Paired with New Girl on FOX Tuesdays, this will hopefully help to round out a good hour of comedy.
6. Revolution, NBC (Fall)
As per The Chicago Tribune:
An apocalyptic event which wipes out all forms of technology forces a group of survivors to adapt to life without much of what we take for granted.
This one could go either way depending on what the show decides to focus on. If it gets too caught up in its mythology, or sidetracked by conspiracy theories on that count left and right, this one won’t last. Still, post-apocalyptic TV shows are always fascinating, and this one does have Giancarlo Esposito on board (riding a horse!), so I’ll give the first handful of episodes a shot.
As per a Zap2it.com article, NBC has announced its fall 2012 schedule.
And as per TV Guide, here is how that lineup will look:
MONDAYS: 8- The Voice; 10 – REVOLUTION
TUESDAYS: 8- The Voice; 9- GO ON; 9:30- THE NEW NORMAL 10- Parenthood
WEDNESDAYS: 8- ANIMAL PRACTICE; 8:30- GUYS WITH KIDS; 9- Law & Order:SVU; 10- CHICAGO FIRE
THURSDAYS: 8- 30 Rock; 8:30- Up All Night; 9- The Office; 9:30- Parks and Recreation; 10- Rock Center with Brian Williams
FRIDAYS: 8- Whitney; 8:30- Community; 9- Grimm; 10 – Dateline NBC
SUNDAYS: Sunday Night Football (post-football: Dateline NBC, Fashion Star, Celebrity Apprentice, DO NO HARM)
So this is honestly a pretty smart schedule. 4 nights of comedy, including a 2 hour block on Thursdays. Other big news include Community being slotted on Friday nights following Whitney, which many may take as a bad sign, but is hardly arguable considering how it performs. The decision to air The Voice in both Fall and Spring is surely an interesting move, and it’ll be fascinating to watch how it performs in the aftermath. Beyond that, NBC clearly has interest in the sci-fi, Giancarlo Esposito starrer Revolution, slotting it there post-Voice on Mondays at 10.
Breaking this evening as per EW: NBC has issued series orders of sitcoms 1600 Penn and Animal Practice.
"The broadcaster has given the family sitcom pilot 1600 Penn a series order for 13 episodes. The project is created by Book of Mormon star Josh Gad, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett and Modern Family director Jason Winer.
Bill Pullman (Independence Day) stars as the POTUS (again!) and Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) is the First Lady and stepmother to the president’s children. Gad also co-stars as the president’s out-of-control oldest son.”
"The network also just picked up a comedy, Animal Practice (previously titled Animal Kingdom), which is “centered on a House-like veterinarian, who loves animals but usually hates their owners.” Justin Kirk and Tyler Labine star."
For those keeping track, this brings the NBC comedy series order to 5, with 1600 Penn and Animal Practice joining previously ordered series Go On, Save Me and The New Normal.
This doesn’t appear to be good news for Whitney and Up All Night.
As noted here, 30 Rock appears likely for a “final season of 13-14 episodes,” which is good news for anyone hoping the show would return (this includes myself).
In addition, the article notes that Whitney is unlikely to return, and Up All Night is similarly doubtful.
In the last piece of news, it notes that Community and Parks and Recreation are “in the running” for short season renewals.
In a separate article at Hollywoodreporter.com, noted is the likelihood of pickups for several would-be NBC comedies:
"White House comedy 1600 Penn, created by and co-starring The Book of Mormon’s Josh Gad, with Bill Pullman as the leader of the free world, is considered a sure thing though it has yet to begin staffing.”
"Also testing well was the network’s Justin Kirk House-like single-camera veterinarian comedy Animal Kingdom.”
"Jimmy Fallon’s multicam effort Guys With Kids has internal heat, with his early involvement giving execs added confidence.”
Certainly, these are interesting developments as we head toward Network Upfronts next week.
Since my last post, NBC has ordered another pilot to series, The New Normal, from American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck and Glee creator Ryan Murphy.
As per The Wrap.com:
The comedy focuses on a blended family created by a gay couple and a surrogate mother. It stars Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Bebe Wood, and Ellen Barkin. Jayson Blair will recur.
So this is a pretty fascinating development. NBC has 3 comedies ordered to series in Save Me, Go On and The New Normal, in addition to The Office, which is a sure thing to be renewed. This leaves 30 Rock, Community, Parks and Recreation, Up All Night and Whitney left wondering about their fates (operating under the assumption that Bent and Are You There, Chelsea? are both essentially dead). Like I said, with NBC gearing up for what looks like two nights of comedy, a traditional 2 hour comedy block would seem to fortell the cancellation of one of those remaining series. At this moment, my money is probably on Up All Night, but it remains to be seen what NBC will choose to do.
NBC has picked up, thus far:
1. Go On, a Matthew Perry vehicle
As per Deadline.com:
Produced by Universal TV, it centers on an irreverent yet charming sportscaster (Perry) who, trying to move on from a loss, finds surprising solace from the members of his mandatory support group. The cast of the pilot also includes Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Allison Miller and Khary Payton.
2. Save Me, an Anne Heche vehicle
As per Hollywoodreporter.com:
Heche stars as a woman in a broken marriage who transforms into a version of herself and creates miracles along the way. Alexandra Breckenridge and Michael Landes co-star.
Both series have 13 episode orders from the network.
With this, it’s worth discussing the Peacock’s potential comedy look for Fall 2012. On board at the network present are Community, 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Whitney, Are You There, Chelsea?, Up All Night, and Bent.
Let’s operate under the assumption that Bent and Are You There, Chelsea? will not be a part of the NBC rotation come fall. Add in Save Me and Go On to the lineup, and you have a stable of 8 comedies. This leaves NBC with a couple of options. Clearly, the network will be doing 2 comedy nights a week, with Thursday a certainty to be one of those days, and, for the sake of discussion, let’s say they use Tuesday as the second night. NBC now has to choose whether or not it moves forward with the two nights consisting of these 8 comedies, or if it will ax a couple more sitcoms to make way for new ones. The pickups of Go On and Save Me seem to indicate that the network is leaning toward something of a clean slate, and NBC still has 12 more potential pilots that could see series orders.
Of those, there are 4 that jump out quickly based on the pedigree involved alone.
As per Hollywoodreporter.com:
1. Susan 313
Logline: Revolves around a woman (Sarah Silverman) readjusting to single life following a decade-long live-in relationship. Loosely based on Silverman’s life.
Cast: Sarah Silverman, Jeff Goldblum, Harris Wittels, June Raphael, Tig Notaro, Ken Leung
2. Next Caller Please
Logline: A gender comedy revolving around a brash alpha male DJ (Dane Cook) and his feminist co-host (Collette Wolfe) set in the office of a satellite radio station.
Cast: Dane Cook, Collette Wolfe, Joy Osmanski, Ryan Devlin (guest/recur), Wole Parks, Jeffrey Tambor (guest star)
3. Friday Night Dinner
Logline: An adaptation of the British series that revolves around the Goodmans (Tony Shalhoub, Allison Janney), a traditional Jewish family as they observe Shabbat dinners in which twentysomething brothers Adam and Jonny visit their parents.
Cast: Tony Shalhoub, Allison Janney, Kevin Bigley, Gil Ozeri, Aya Cash, Gary Anthony Williams
4. Downwardly Mobile
Logline: The proprietor of a mobile home park (Roseanne Barr) serves as a surrogate mother to all the unique people who live there in a challenging economy.
Cast: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Romy Rosemont, Jason Antoon, Mary Birdsong, Salli Richardson, Greg Cromer, Kendra Jain, Hector Duran, Tricia O’Kelley
With those, the situation for the existing, low-rated comedies becomes dicier. Let’s suppose that two of those 4 series get pickups. That means, based on a more traditional 2 hour block of comedy, that NBC will have to ax 2 more comedies to make it work. So, which ones? My money is on Up All Night and Whitney. To me, The Office is a likely renewal as it’s easily NBC’s highest rated comedy, Community and Parks and Recreation, while low-rated, are critical favorites and garner much attention online. 30 Rock, which has struggled this season, remains one of the funnier shows on TV, and has star power on board with Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Tina Fey, which always helps in a show’s favor.
With Network Upfronts a week away, NBC clearly has some decisions to make.