NBC Shakes Up Schedule With Six New Scripted Series

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CHICAGONBC held a special “in-front” announcement yesterday, two weeks in front of the standard upfront presentations and revealed six news series for the fall while leaving some beloved programs up in the air. On the bubble shows “Southland” and “Heroes” were renewed, but the jury is still out on “Chuck,” “Medium,” “Law & Order,” and “My Name is Earl”.

Of course, the focus of the peacock network in yesterday’s presentation was on “The Jay Leno Show,” which will air five nights a week in primetime, reducing time slots for new and returning programming. Consequently, if your favorite show doesn’t make it to the fall, blame Jay.

The NBC event did not unveil the actual complete schedule, just making a few announcements about new programming, so there are still a few question marks about some of its bubble shows but struggling “Southland,” “Heroes,” and “Parks and Recreation” did get the reprieve for the fall. They said they would decide soon on the other four.

Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

With six new shows and half of the bubble programs already returning, along with five hours of programming gone to Leno, one has to wonder where all the shows will go. Don’t expect all four bubble shows to come back. Industry insiders are placing bets on “Chuck” and “Medium,” with the latter probably returning mid-season. Yes, this means that the original “Law & Order” may finally be done. However, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” has already been renewed.

Even though they touted six new shows, only three will premiere in the fall with the others serving both as mid-season replacements but also clearly as back-up in case “The Jay Leno Show” bombs.

Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

We did find out a bit about the schedule. “Heroes” stays put on Mondays with a new show between it and Leno. “The Biggest Loser” kicks off Tuesdays and could be two hours long or launch new programming in between. “SVU” is probably going to be on Wednesdays with another drama. Thursdays will stay largely unchanged unless a new comedy replaces the faltering “My Name is Earl”. Finally, two reality shows will precede Leno on Fridays. Woohoo.

SVU” may have been renewed but the return of its stars is still in question with negotiations still ongoing with stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay. Marc Graboff, co-chariman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Music Studios said to the LA Times, “Our offer is on the table and we hope they accept it. The show’s coming back with or without them.”

Official NBC renewals include “Southland,” “Heroes,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “The Office,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Celebrity Apprentice,” and “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday,” which will return for six episodes.

Official NBC cancellations tragically include the underrated “Life”. Also gone are some of the more lackluster new shows of the last few years including “Lipstick Jungle,” “Kath & Kim,” “Knight Rider,” “Kings,” “My Own Worst Enemy,” and “Crusoe”.

Official descriptions of the new NBC programming, courtesy of Mediaweek:

Day One
Day One
Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC


The daily events inside a hospital are seen through the eyes of three nurses. Taylor Schilling (Dark Matter), Jamie Lee Kirchner (Rescue Me) and Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) star.

Based on the 1989 Ron Howard theatrical, four grown siblings share the “headaches, heartaches and joy” of being parents. Peter Krause, Maria Tierney and former Coach star Craig T. Nelson lead the ensemble cast. (Footnote: Parenthood, a failed half-hour comedic version of the movie aired briefly on NBC in the fall of 1990).

First responder paramedics are the focus of this medical drama set in San Francisco. Derek Luke (Notorious), Cliff Curtis (10,000 B.C.), Anastasia Griffith (Damages) and Jamey Sheridan (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) star.

“Day One”
A diversified group of survivors strive to rebuild society after a global catastrophe has devastated the world. The cast includes Adam Campbell (Date Movie), Catherine Dent (The Shield), Julie Gonzalo (Eli Stone), Carly Pope (24) and Addison Timlin (Cashmere Mafia).

Photo credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC


“100 Questions”
A woman (Sophie Winkleman) looking for love joins an online dating site and revisits various times in her life as she takes a 100-question compatibility test. Directed by Emmy winner James Burroughs (Cheers, Will & Grace).

A band of misfits is the focus of life at fictional Greendale Community College. Chevy Chase and Joel McHale (The Soup) star.


“The Jay Leno Show”
The soon-to-be former host of The Tonight Show heads to prime-time in a nightly hour featuring comedy skits, big stunts and well-known segments like “Headlines” and “Jaywalking.”

“The Marriage Ref”
Comedy Legend Jerry Seinfeld is the creator and producer of this non-scripted look at marriage as celebrities, comedians and sports stars decide who is right…and who is wrong…in real-life disputes between real-life spouses.

“Breakthrough With Tony Robbins”
Best-selling author and philanthropist Tony Robbins attempts to inspire people to search out the tools to forever change their lives.

“Who Do You Think You Are?”
A different celebrity each week embarks on a journey of self discovery, revealing stories that are often linked to events in American history.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

CinemaFanAnn's picture

NBC Shakes Up Schedule article

Great job BrianTT on the article on the Fall 2009 TV line up for NBC.
Thanks for the information. Where did you get your info from? Did you use Broadcasting and Cable magazine or another source? I’m interested to find out about the same subject for the CW network and ABC TV.

Cinema Fan Ann :)

Matty C's picture

Looks like a bunch of

Looks like a bunch of yawners except for maybe Community. And if Chuck is canceled while Heroes is renewed, I may stop watching TV altogether.

Robert's picture

Leno is gonna bomb and I cant wait for it

The whole Leno-in-Primetime-Experiment is gonna be a monumental failure. He isn’t now and never was funny. Taking off a fantastic show like “Life” to put on this talentless loser 5 nights a week, is the most idiotic thing I have ever seen in Network TV. Hey NBC, I think you have a saboteur in your midst. And whats with “The Biggest Loser” being renewed. I don’t like reality TV to begin with. but TBL is just the meanest concept ever. What kind of sadistic morons tell obese people they will help them lose weight (and possibly save their lives), only to tell them they if get voted off, they are on their own. What is wrong with you people ? Why don’t you just help them lose the weight, and be helpful, instead of treating these poor people like they are garbage, because they aren’t popular enough, or they can’t win a physical challenge ?
What a bunch of jerks the producers are. I think the title is appropriate if they are referring to the producers.

Justmyluck's picture

I can't believe NBC cancelled Life

Life is one of the best new shows on tv and NBC is so dumb that they are cancelling it. This show was incredible, I tried to watch the new show Southland but it was boring and predictable. I am so tired of the drama shows that are all the same. Reality shows and bad dramas are all that tv producers are putting on TV. The money they spend on this junk and on Jay Leno what a joke, is money that can be spent of bringing some true quality to tv, well I guess the dumbing of America must continue.

Anonymous's picture

Life's fan.

electro's picture

What a bunch of jerks the

What a bunch of jerks the producers are. I think the title is appropriate if they are referring to the producers.

jogos do mario's picture

NBC originally planned to

NBC originally planned to publicize its fall schedule in front of advertisers in New York on Monday, kicking off the week-long series of U.S. ads on the network known as the “upfronts.” Tipping his hand a day earlier, NBC has a jump on the competition. Fox will announce its program on Monday. ABC next Tuesday, and CBS and The CW, closing the week on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

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