NBC 2012 Fall Schedule Analysis

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For those that weren’t paying attention last week, all of the networks (and the CW) trotted out their schedules for the coming fall season. The proceedings covered renewals (Whitney?), cancellations (RIP, Awake), and pilot teasers. In uncertain times like these, you should be comforted to know that the TV Czar is here to make sense of the madness.

First up, we’ll tackle everybody’s favorite whipping boy, NBC. Fresh off an exhilarating 3rd place finish, NBC defiantly trotted out their new schedule for the fall. (Did they finish 3rd solely because of the Super Bowl? Yes, but we’ll let them have this one anyway. They need a win… or at least a less horrible loss.) There are some rather quizzical decisions to go along with the highly anticipated return of all of their low-rated, critic-attracting comedies. Let’s break it down:


revolution nbc

Are you ready for a double dose of The Voice next year? Ready or not, you’re going to get it. NBC has now committed to running a fall and a spring season. I know that a lot of people have said that NBC is going to run its only moderately successful franchise into the ground. I understand and respect that premise, but what choice do they have really? They have to try to launch new shows with something.

Attempting to be the new show launched by The Voice, Revolution enters the television fray. The trailer certainly makes the show seem interesting. Plus, I’ll watch Giancarlo Esposito act in anything. That alone should be enough to gather in a few eyeballs for a few weeks. Whether it turns out to be hot garbage (© Andy Greenwald) or not is anyone’s guess. At the very least, I’m watching the pilot.


How about another hour of The Voice to tide you over? Why not. The results show will be jumping off point (NBC hopes) of two new comedies: The Matthew Perry vehicle Go On and Ryan Murphy’s The New Normal. I can see both of these shows being exceedingly decent, with Go On clearly having the highest ceiling.

Still, Matthew Perry couldn’t be a sad man at the center of a kooky cast of characters on ABC, so I’m not sure how he is going to fare much better on NBC. That being said, this show seems to have a heart. An effective mixing of comedy and heart may allow Go On to hold on to some of it’s The Voice lead-in. Time will tell.


Animal Practice - Season Pilot

With the exception of Law and Order: SVU at 9 (where it has never been successful), NBC trots out newbies to fill their Wednesday not. They’ll start off with a comedy block featuring monkey humor, and some dad-related humor. Animal Practice strikes me as one of those shows that really could be a hit. Who doesn’t appreciate monkey hijinks? It’s enough to get me to watch the pilot at least. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Guys with Kids. I really like Anthony Anderson, but there is a strong chance that this show turns out to be miserable and can’t hold any of the Animal Practice lead-in.

At 10 PM, we get our first look at Jesse Spencer attempting to carry a television series in Chicago Fire. I’ve liked Spencer’s work on House, but I don’t think he’s quite ready to carry his own show. In the trailer, he’s having enough trouble maintaining his American accent. Why not just let him be an Austrailian firefighter? Does Australia not have those? I’m hoping for the best from this one, but Wednesdays at 10 PM isn’t the greatest timeslot. I suspect we’ll see about 10 episodes before that one bids us adieu.


On Thursday, NBC features its only day of continuity. All 5 shows featured in the 3 hour block are returners. Granted, most of them are extremely low-rated returners, but they are returners none the less. 30 Rock returns for a final run of 13 episodes so Tina Fey can tidy everything up. I feel certain that hilarious hijinks will ensue. Parks and Recreation earned itself a full season order. It doesn’t matter that people still don’t watch, it’s the best comedy on television. Up All Night probably folds at 8:30 because it couldn’t get eyeballs after The Office and now enjoys 30 Rock as its lead-in. We’re going to run back The Office one more time, but I can’t think many people care all that much.


Community The First Chang Dynasty Season 3 Episode 20 (3)

If you want to see a night with zero flow from show to show, then watch NBC on Friday night. The audience that watches Whitney probably doesn’t visit Greendale Community College all that often and vice-versa. That being said, there is even less overlap between Community and a show like Grimm.

Then, once your finished enjoying your supernatural crime drama, stay on for some hard-hitting journalism on Dateline. Yikes. All of the Community disciples have to pleased with the pick-up, but boy howdy does it seem like a backhanded compliment at this point.


do not harm nbc

Once we get passed football season, NBC doubles down on reality with Fashion Star and Celebrity Apprentice. I have nothing else to add.

At 10 PM, they have an intriguing Jekyll and Hydeish show starring Steven Pasquale of Rescue Me fame called Do No Harm. The idea may be intriguing, but we’ve proven that NBC can’t launch a high concept show, let alone on Sunday nights with all of the nasty competition that cable has to offer. This show will likely die a quick death.

What do you guys think of the new NBC schedule? Will you be following Community to Fridays or checking out Revolution? Sound off in the comments below.

The TV Czar

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