Monday, May 16, 2011

NBC's Fall Schedule: fairly awful

Well before today's official announcement of their fall 2011 primetime schedule, NBC's schedule leaked and was published on a number of websites late last night and appears below. There was plenty of insider chatter late last week about the titles, details and overall large amount of series which the 4th place network was officially picking up for the 2011-2012 season but it appears that the network in need of the most help and the most daring scheduling has played it extremely safe for the fall.

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
(new series in ALL CAPS)

With NBC opting to sign a whopping six new comedy series, placing only half of them on the fall schedule says that they are either serious about having more first-time content (no repeats) airing or that the other three series are straight-up awful. Two of the remaining three sitcoms, Bent and BFFs are reportedly only signed for six episodes each but before you pass judgment on that fact, The Office began with a mere six episode run and that seems to have turned out quite well. No real details have been released regarding Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea which is based on one of comedian Chelsea Handler's books.

On the drama side, opting again for six new hours, only three of the six have made their way on to the fall schedule. The missing dramas are Smash, The Firm and Awake.

Bigger news, at least to me, is the fact that NBC is kicking off their week with two nights of back-to-back two-hour reality blocks.The Sing Off, which seems cheap to me, is supposed to build a young-skewing base for their current hit The Voice which returns for a second season in January 2012 but I have to wonder if people will really sit through upwards of three months of a cheap singing show with no real payoff or if NBC truly doesn't give a shit about Monday's ratings and is more than happy to win a few advertiser dollars and call it a day. Let's face it, ABC's Dancing With the Stars will crush the cheap Sing Off and won't do much to build toward the second season of The Voice.

By not realizing, too, that people are getting sick of fatties losing weight on The Biggest Loser and saying that Wednesday evening was the only place to launch a second evening of comedies, they are effectively dooming their entire Wednesday lineup and while ABC's first hour of their Wednesday comedy block isn't huge, it is stable and watchable. People give new shows only one shot and unless the new NBC comedies have people pissing their pants from laughter, they are toast.

My best guess is that by mid-October there will be more than a couple shows pulled from NBC's fall schedule and they'll be scrambling to fill those holes -- something you'd never see CBS do. This is why NBC is in 4th place and will continue to remain there for the forseeable future.

1 comment:

Reuben said...

the funny part of this post to me is all the NBC vs. CBS stuff. All the networks are completely interchangeable to me. If any of the networks are doing anything strategic to make themselves stand out from the others, I haven't noticed. I've been watching Biggest Loser off and on for years and I still have to ask my wife what network it's on any time I want to watch it online.

Also, no matter how long I watch any of them, I have no idea which news anchors are on which channels, or which call signs are associated with which channels. I can't even remember which tv channels are associated with which stations.

I can spot Sven Sundgaard from a mile away, but I sure as hell couldn't tell you what channel he's on.

I'm never sure if I just don't care, or if I'm just stupid.