My goodness, the joy, the happiness, the wonder – NBC has released its schedule for the 2007-2008 television season! That’s right, the upfronts have begun, NBC is trying to figure out a way to stop the bleeding, something that they said last year would happen with this past fall lineup (Studio 60, anyone?). Needless to say, those plans didn’t quite work out and despite airing professional football in primetime, the network still saw its ratings drop. At least they’ve gone back to arguing that their shows are quality, and they say that quality is what they wanted all along in their press release.
Well, until they start scrambling and changing things around before September even gets here, this is what NBC unveiled as their lineup, with new shows in bold (Sunday is the schedule for once NFL football ends in January):
|Deal or No
|Deal or No
|My Name is Earl||1 vs. 100
|The Office||Las Vegas||Drama
Of course, one of the most interesting things to note isn’t in that grid: NBC-Universal will have USA Network air new episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent before they air on NBC (CI is not currently on the network schedule, but it will appear… eventually). This won’t help the ratings on the broadcast network, but may help USA (ah, the brave new world of massive, behemoth, ridiculously huge media corporations).
Happily, Scrubs is back for, allegedly, the final season. Friday Night Lights is too (they’re not saying it’s the final season, the ratings are). Maybe NBC is trying to be a niche network, not a broadcast one, after all, they’re airing 30 new half-hours of The Office, which I like but just doesn’t do all that well in the ratings (again, they argue they’re going for quality shows, but that’s out as they are still airing Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100).
NBC announced several new shows today, including: Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman, The IT Crowd, Lipstick Jungle, and Life. I will reserving judgment on the shows until I see them (cause that’s the right thing to do), but what follows is a brief taste on what these things are actually about.
Bionic Woman, though it seems like an odd choice, is produced by David Eick who is part of the new Battlestar Galactica, which is a wonderful update. Two other producers, Jason Smilovic and Michael Dinner were a part of Kidnapped, a show cancelled before its time.
Keeping in the sci-fi realm, Journeyman is about a newspaper reporter who can travel through time and Chuck focuses on a tech-support guy who manages to download server containing spy information directly to his brain. Then there’s The IT Crowd, a mid-season comedy replacement focusing on IT types and imported from England.
Life is a different kind of cop show (never heard that one before, have you?) where the cop in question just got out of prison (I wonder if he’ll have a problem with authority and will break the rules on a regular basis).
Speaking of “different kind” of shows, there’s Lipstick Jungle, a Sex in the City-esque thing from Sex in the City creator Candace Bushnell. It’s the same, but it’s different, it’s updated, and it’s based on her novel Lipstick Jungle, not Sex in the City.
NBC is also initiating a “Game Night” on Fridays, with a rotation of various game shows in the 8pm hour, before heading into Las Vegas at 9 (the city being all about games) and Friday Night Lights at 10 (football being another game). For those of you that don’t know this yet, Thomas Magnum has signed on as a new star (James Caan is out after the premiere).
And, it should be noted that ER is coming back… again. Now if they can only get Noah Wyle to come back too they’d really have something.
There’s certainly lots of new, different, and weird taking place on NBC this fall. Will they save the world? Only time will tell.
And, while you’re waiting, let’s see if the new bionic woman can help…