Yesterday was officially Mother’s Day but, when NBC announced its projected fall lineup, it felt more like Christmas. How about another analogy? Sure. Upfronts are like the NFL Draft, they mark the end of one season and the start of the next, but its still be months before anything plays out. So what does NBC’s draft class look like? If comedies were offensive lineman, than NBC drafted like a lot of right guards. We had reported that they picked up a zillion (or seven) new sitcoms but it’s still interesting to look at. If you include SNL, NBC has comedic programming five nights a week, which is a lot of nights. Thursday night remains similar to what we expect from it, with the Lorne Michaels Hour followed by the Greg Daniels Hour but there will also be two new comedies on Wednesday and Tuesday. AND Community is moving to Friday with Whitney. It’s a lot so check out the line-up below:
NBC FALL 2012-13 SCHEDULE*New programs in UPPER CASE; comedies in boldMONDAY8-10 p.m. - The Voice10-11 p.m. - REVOLUTIONTUESDAY8-9 p.m. -The Voice9-9:30 p.m. - GO ON9:30-10 p.m. - THE NEW NORMAL10-11 p.m. - ParenthoodWEDNESDAY8-8:30 p.m. - ANIMAL PRACTICE8:30-9 p.m. - GUYS WITH KIDS9-10 p.m. - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit10-11 p.m. - CHICAGO FIRE THURSDAY8-8:30 p.m. - 30 Rock8:30-9 p.m. - Up All Night9-9:30 p.m. - The Office9:30-10 p.m. - Parks and Recreation10-11 p.m. - Rock Center with Brian WilliamsFRIDAY8-8:30 p.m. - Whitney8:30-9 p.m. - Community9-10 p.m. - Grimm10-11 p.m. - Dateline NBCSATURDAYEncore programmingSUNDAY (Fall 2012)7- 8:15 p.m. – Football Night in America8:15-11:30 p.m. – NBC Sunday Night FootballSUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)7-8 p.m. - Dateline NBC8-9 p.m. - Fashion Star9-10 p.m. - The Celebrity Apprentice10-11 p.m. - DO NO HARM SAVE ME, 1600 PENN and NEXT CALLER set for mid-season.
It’s odd and cool move. On one hand, sitcoms, especially the single-camera variety, are expensive and unwieldy beast. On the other, when a sitcom connects, like Modern Family, the effect is damn near seismic. Hit sitcoms, at this point, are a billion dollar business. To that effect, NBC chief Bob Greenblatt told Deadline, “Comedy once was the backbone of NBC, and I think we need to really plan for the future. It is good for the health of the network. People are open to comedy more than they have been in long time.”
Greenblatt’s play is definitively be filed under the throw things against the wall to see what sticks model of programming. It seems reasonable; they can’t all fail. (Right)? The result is programming becomes more democratic than ever, as the ratings and cultural penetration this fall will dictate which shows get picked up for the spring.
Still, some are in better situations than others. Namely Matthew Perry’s Go On, which is definitely in the Peacock’s post-Voice catbird seat. As it should be, as Go On has the Friends familiarity advantage and right now looks like the best of the new bunch. As the clips below suggest the show is starting from a particularly dark place, which will immediately separate it from the rest of the sitcoms on the big four networks. A comedy about a guy trying to move on after his wife’s death sounds more like cable than broadcast, and I mean that as a compliment. Also, hopefully Brett Gelman and Seth Morris (who better be playing a version of Bob Ducca) are always part of the therapy group, as both are adept at getting laughs out of darker material. Check out the clips for Go On and the rest of the shows below. What are you excited about? And conversely, which one stars Dane Cook?