Sunday, May 16, 2010
NBC's Fall Schedule
Unscripted is out. As in reality shows and prime time talk shows (like Jay Leno's).
Scripted TV dramas are back and NBC has got them.
That's the message I'm getting from the leaked fall NBC TV schedule which won't be officially unveiled until Monday at the "Upfronts" in Manhattan.
last season NBC gambled on five nights a week at 10 p.m., figuring a low budget show featuring Leno could out rate those hugely popular procedural dramas on CBS and ABC.
the ratings stank. The revenues dried up. And finally the affiliates belly ached that the 10 p.m. disaster was wrecking the ratings of their local news at 11 and severely impacting Conan O'Brien's revamped Tonight Show at 11:35.
So fall will be scripted shows at 10 with Leno already back at 11:35 and Conan nursing a grudge (and a $45 million payout).
Instead NBC is returning to the basics with orders going out to such proven producers as Dick Wolf (Law & Order), Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI) and J.J. Abrams (Alias).
And the stars seem a proven lot , too, including Dana Delaney and Jimmy Smits.
On Mondays the low rated but critically lauded Chuck leads off the night into The Event (described as a chase thriller) with Jason Ritter and into Bruckheimer's Chase all about U.S. marshalls in action. It will be up against the Bruckheimer hit CSI:Miami which NBC thinks may be aging.
On Wednesday it's going to be two hours of Law & Order --first the returning hit SVU and then the new Law & Order: Los Angeles with a new hour drama Undercovers at 8 (from Abrams).
On Thursdays, long a comedy night going back to Friends and Seinfeld, NBC adds the sitcom Outsourced at 9:30 and the hour comedy Love Bites with Parks & Recreation being held back for later in the year.
On Fridays Jimmy Smits is back in series TV with Outlaws --remember Fridays is very low rated these days and the audience is older and more traditional. Maybe they'll remember Smits from L.A. Law or how about NYPD Blue?
And for midseason NBC has such shows standing by as The Cape, Friends With Benefits, Perfect Couples, Harry's Law and The Paul Reiser Show.
Got all that?