Upfronts 2012: NBC Reveals Its Schedule for Next Season

It’s Upfronts time, folks! Over the past week, the major broadcast networks have slowly announced which shows they are renewing or cancelling, and which new pilots have been picked up for next season. Today, NBC was the first of the networks to reveal what its schedule will look like come Fall 2012, and of course it came with some surprises. Below are my thoughts on the new shows NBC has picked up and where they land on the schedule (as always, this is completely based on the description of the show and the cast involved).

  • REVOLUTION [Drama – Mondays @ 8]: A new show from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, the show is an adventure thriller featuring a world where all forms of technology have blacked out. Another season, another Abrams show. You’d think after last season, I would give up on Abrams (Alcatraz was a bust, Person of Interest probably deserves a second chance from me) but I still believe in the man who brought us Felicity and Alias. Not to mention he is joined by Kripke as an executive producer, who was responsible for giving us the world of Supernatural. For me, the cast doesn’t even matter on this one – two imaginative producers with an interesting set-up, is more than enough for me to give this show a try.
  • GO ON [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9]: Matthew Perry returns to NBC in this new show about a recently widowed sportscaster attempting to move on with his life, while forced to attend group therapy sessions. It’s Matthew Perry, on NBC, why wouldn’t I give this show a shot? If Courtney Cox’s Jules Cobb on Cougar Town is like the next level of Monica Gellar, I have a feeling this is going to be the next level of Chandler Bing for Perry.
  • THE NEW NORMAL [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 9:30]: Consider this Modern Family, if it only focused on Cam & Mitch and they had followed through with that surrogacy plot from this past season. That’s what I take from it anyways. The show stars Justin Bartha (from The Hangover movies) and Andrew Rannells (from Broadway’s The Book of Mormon)  and is brought to us by the producers of Glee (seems appropriate that Murphy and Co. are in charge of this show). More than likely that I’ll watch it, but at the very least will give it a shot.
  • ANIMAL PRACTICE [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 8]: Centers on the antics at a veterinarian’s office, with a vet who loves animals, but hates people. This is one of those “you’ll never know” shows, meaning you can’t really tell if it’s going to be good or bad until you watch it. So I guess I’m going to have to await judgment until I watch the show (or at least watch previews for it).
  • GUYS WITH KIDS [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 8:30]: Jimmy Fallon executive produces this show about three thirty-something guys trying to hold on to their youth, while raising their newborn kids. I feel like this could be really funny, especially with Fallon as exec. producer.
  • CHICAGO FIRE [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: A show that revolves around the firefighters, rescue squad, and paramedics of Chicago, and stars Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a show like this some years ago? I think it was called Third Watch? It doesn’t strike me as anything particularly original, so I’m not so sure about it.
  • DO NO HARM [Drama – Midseason]: Sort of a Jekyll/Hyde drama featuring a neurosurgeon. Alter egos are always an interesting thing, which certainly gets me intrigued. Only thing I’m worried about is that they are planning for this to air midseason on Sundays (after football is over) and it will be the only scripted show that night (following Fashion Star and Celebrity Apprentice). It’s one thing to have an established show follow some reality shows, but how does the network expect to launch a new show following two reality shows that aren’t doing that well in the ratings anyways?
  • SAVE ME [Comedy – Midseason]: Stars Anne Heche as a woman, who after having a near-death experience, discovers she has become a prophet…yeah…At the very least, this is a comedy and they’re not making some serious stuff out of it, but I still don’t think this sounds entirely promising.
  • 1600 PENN [Comedy – Midseason]: It’s a family show that is set in the White House. There’s really no other way to describe it, and yet I do think it is worth a look. What surprises me though is that they are not putting this on in the fall, especially with it being election time (or maybe that is especially why they decided against it).
  • NEXT CALLER [Comedy – Midseason]: The show is set at a satellite radio station featuring a foulmouthed DJ (played by Dane Cook) who now has to contend with a young feminist for a co-host. Another we’ll see about this.
  • INFAMOUS [Drama – Midseason]: It was bound to happen. With the success of Revenge over on ABC, NBC is attempting to its own murder mystery drama. This one stars Meagan Good as a detective tasked with uncovering the murder of a wealthy socialite, who was once her best friend when she lived as the daughter of the family housekeeper. Murder, mystery, intrigue…count me in! Not to mention Victor Garber (Jack Bristow!) and Tate Donovan (Jimmy Cooper!)? Sold.
  • HANNIBAL [Drama – Midseason]: Consider this the origins of Hannibal Lecter, before he became the man we knew from The Silence of the Lambs. Should be interesting, but I can’t help but wonder if this might be a better fit for the cable networks.

Other notable points in the schedule:

  • Looks like NBC is going forward with having The Voice on twice a year. Don’t get me wrong, you know I love the show but once a year is MORE than enough. Too much of a good thing is going to be a bad thing; it’s called over-saturation. NBC must be really desperate or don’t have enough faith in their pilots if they are going with this route. Also, does this mean they are going to have different coaches each season? Because there is definitely no way Adam, Blake, Cee-Lo, (maybe) Christina will agree to do this twice a year. Hello, they are successful music artists with careers! They’ve got touring and promo to do!
  • Community is moving to Fridays @ 8:30, following Whitney @ 8 (I still don’t understand how Whitney got renewed). Happy that Community got renewed, not so happy about this timeslot.
  • Rock Center with Brian Williams follows the Thursday night comedy line-up of 30 Rock, Up All Night, The Office + Parks and Recreation. I also don’t understand how Rock Center is still on and it gets that slot @ 10? What a waste! I still contend that they should’ve done a 3 hour comedy night, moving the 2 Friday comedies, move Grimm to 8 on Fridays, and then follow that up with Rock Center.
  • Smash is being held off until midseason, which I must say is probably for the best, giving it more time to develop itself after its uneven first season.
  • Officially Cancelled: Are You There Chelsea, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Harry’s Law, The Firm

For a complete look at the new shows and how the schedule is going to look, head on over to Deadline.com

Tomorrow morning, it’s Fox’s turn.

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