Among NBC's new fall shows: Parenthood remake, Heroes, more Amy Poehler and The Soup's Joel McHale
For evidence, check out the list of new shows this fall coming from the network, released this morning.
We've got: a TV version of a 20-year-old movie, a medical drama about paramedics (which TNT tried a couple of years ago), a medical drama centered on nurses (which Showtime is already tackling next month in Nurse Jackie, with an amazing pilot episode featuring Sopranos alum Edie Falco), and a drama which takes place one day after the end of the world (CBS' Jericho, anyone?)
Among shows definitely coming back this fall: Heroes, new cop drama Southland, Amy Poehler's comedy Parks and Recreation and the Thursday editions of Weekend Update which proved so popular in an election year last fall, now dubbed Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday.
What NBC didn't reveal: Will they renew Chuck, the Monday adventure comedy which has mobilized a serious cult following among TV nerds and critics (okay, often the same people)?
(UPDATE: TV industry journalists/pals such as Time's James Poneiwozik and Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello are reporting from a NBC presentation today that Life is indeed dead, Medium hasn't yet been renewed, Heroes won't be paired with Chuck on Mondays and Rod Blagojevich is still featured in promotional photos for the reality show I'm a Celebrity....Get Me Out of Here).
Still the list includes more new programming than some may have expected, including four dramas -- "Trauma," "Parenthood (above)," "Mercy" and the Event Series "Day One" -- as well as two comedies, "Community" and "100 Questions"
In a way, the writing's been on this wall since NBC decided to give it's 10 p.m. hour to Jay Leno and benched ambitious drama Kings for the more conventional cop show Southland. The network lost a lot of money this year with expensive productions mostly designed to show that entertainment head Ben Silverman could play with the big boys in network TV.
Now that Crusoe, My Own Worst Enemy, Kath & Kim, Kings and Knight Rider have all stumbled badly, it's back to basics for the peacock network, which will wait until May 19 to announce which of its current series will survive to fall and where all this new stuff will land.
I'm betting Chuck gets renewed, but some other stuff -- Life (at left), Knight Rider, Kath & Kim, Medium and perhaps even flagship series Law & Order -- doesn't.
Showbiz blogger extraordinaire Nikki Finke sez insiders are telling her Chuck, L&O and Medium are all coming back. my only question: With Leno taking up 30 percent of prime time, when will all these shows air?
Along the way, we're all going to get glimpse of the future of TV -- and right now, it don't look too pretty.
Click below to read details on NBC's new shows...
2009-2010 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
From the executive producers of the box-office hit "Parenthood" -- Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (Oscar winners for "A Beautiful Mind"), and writer/executive producer Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights") -- this contemporary re-imagining of the blockbuster film depicts the colorful and imperfect Braverman family -- four grown siblings sharing the headaches, heartaches and joy of being parents. The star-studded cast includes Peter Krause, Maura Tierney, Craig T. Nelson, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen and Sarah Ramos. When Sarah Braverman (Tierney, "ER"), a financially strapped single mother, returns home to her parents and siblings in Berkeley, Calif. after packing up her Fresno apartment and uprooting her two inconvenienced kids, Amber (Mae Whitman, "In Treatment") and Drew (Miles Heizer, "ER"), she is greeted by her opinionated father, Zeek (Nelson, "Family Stone," "Coach"), and strong mother, Camille (Bedelia, "Heart Like a Wheel"), who are privately dealing with their own marital issues. As Sarah is reunited with her siblings -- sister, Julia (Christensen, "Traffic"), and brothers Crosby (Shepard, "Baby Mama") and Adam (Krause, "Six Feet Under") -- all struggling with issues of their own, it's clear that the Braverman reunion is just what they need to face the everyday challenges of modern family life. "Parenthood" is a production from Imagine Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. Emmy winner Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing") directs the pilot.
Executive producer Peter Berg (NBC's "Friday Night Lights") delivers "Trauma," the first high-octane medical drama series to live exclusively in the field where the real action is. Like an adrenaline shot to the heart, "Trauma" is an intense, action-packed look at one of the most dangerous medical professions in the world: first responder paramedics. When emergencies occur, the trauma team from San Francisco General is first on the scene, traveling by land, by sea or by air to reach their victims in time. From the heights of the city's Transamerica Pyramid to the depths of the San Francisco Bay, these heroes must face the most extreme conditions to save lives -- and give meaning to their own existence in the process. Starring in "Trauma" are Derek Luke ("Notorious"), Cliff Curtis ("10,000 B.C"), Anastasia Griffith ("Damages"), Aimee Garcia ("George Lopez"), Kevin Rankin ("Friday Night Lights") and Jamey Sheridan ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"). "Trauma" is a production of Universal Media Studios and Film 44. Berg, Sarah Aubrey ("Bad Santa," "Friday Night Lights"), Dario Scardapane and Jeffrey Reiner ("Friday Night Lights") serve as executive producers. The pilot was written by Scardapane and directed by Reiner.
"Mercy," a new medical drama with a unique point of view, portrays the lives of the staff at Mercy Hospital as seen through the eyes of those who know it best -- its nurses. Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling, "Dark Matter") returns to Mercy from a military tour in Iraq -- and she knows more about medicine than all of the residents combined. Together with fellow nurses Sonia Jimenez (Jamie Lee Kirchner, "Rescue Me") and Chloe Payne (Michelle Trachtenberg, "Gossip Girl"), Callahan navigates through the daily traumas and social landmines of life and love both inside the hospital and out in the real world. The cast also includes: James Tupper ("Men in Trees") as Dr. Chris Sands, a new doctor at the hospital who complicates Veronica's life; Diego Klattenhoff ("Supernatural") as Mike Callahan, Veronica's husband; and Guillermo Diaz ("Weeds") as Nurse Angel Lopez. "Mercy" is a production from Universal Media Studios and Berman Braun. Joining writer/executive producers Liz Heldens (NBC's "Friday Night Lights") and Gretchen Berg & Aaron Harberts ("Pushing Daisies," "Pepper Dennis") are executive producers Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun. Emmy Award winner Adam Bernstein (NBC's "30 Rock," "Rescue Me") is the director.
From executive producer/writer Jesse Alexander ("Heroes," "Lost," "Alias") and director Alex Graves ("Fringe," "Journeyman"), "Day One" tells the story of life on earth following a global catastrophe that has devastated the world's infrastructures. Beginning with the immediate aftermath of the cataclysmic event, an eclectic band of survivors -- played by Adam Campbell ("Date Movie"), Catherine Dent ("The Shield"), Julie Gonzalo ("Eli Stone"), David Lyons ("ER"), Derek Mio ("Greek"), Carly Pope ("24"), Thekla Reuten ("Sleeper Cell") and Addison Timlin ("Cashmere Mafia") -- strives to rebuild society as they unravel the mysteries of what happened and face their uncertain future. The group, all residents of one apartment building in suburban Van Nuys, Calif., embarks on a quest for survival and discovers that hope is found in small victories -- and heroes are born every day. "Day One" is a Universal Media Studios production.
100 QUESTIONS (fka "100 Questions for Charlotte Payne")
Emmy winner James Burrows ("Will & Grace," "Friends") directs "100 Questions," a new comedy series written and executive-produced by Christopher Moynihan ("For Your Consideration") that provides hilarious answers to 100 questions about love. Charlotte Payne (Sophie Winkleman, "Peep Show") is looking for love and has rejected multiple marriage proposals -- but she has yet to meet Mr. Right. When she joins a popular online dating site, she gets a little help from her dating counselor Ravi (Amir Talai, "The Ex List") – who requires her to take a 100-question compatibility test. The questions aren't easy for Charlotte to answer, and each one requires her to recount a poignant and humorous time in her life with friends Leslie (Elizabeth Ho, "Women's Murder Club"), Jill (Joy Suprano, NBC's "Law & Order"), Mike (Christopher Moynihan "For Your Consideration") and Wayne (David Walton "Quarterlife"). The test becomes a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte who begins to realize what she truly wants in a relatio nship. Ron West ("Psych"), Kelly Kulchak ("Psych") and Michelle Nader ("King of Queens") join Moynihan as executive producers. The series is produced by Universal Media Studios and Tagline.
From Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo ("Arrested Development") comes "Community," a smart comedy series about higher education -- and lower expectations. The student body at Greendale Community College is made up of high-school losers, newly divorced housewives, and old people who want to keep their minds active. Within these not-so-hallowed halls, "Community" focuses on a band of misfits, at the center of which is a fast-talkin' lawyer whose degree has been revoked (Joel McHale, "The Soup"), who form a study group and end up learning a lot more about themselves than they do about their course work. In addition to McHale, the series also stars: Gillian Jacobs ("The Book of Daniel"); Yvette Nicole Brown ("Rules of Engagement"); Danny Pudi ("Greek"); Alison Brie ("Mad Men"); and comedy legend Chevy Chase ("Saturday Night Live"). "Community" is a Krasnoff Foster Entertainment, Harmonious Claptrap and Russo Brothers production in association with Sony Pictures Television and Universal Media Studios. Russ Krasnoff ("The Soloist"), Dan Harmon ("The Sarah Silverman Program"), Joe Russo ("Arrested Development"), Anthony Russo ("Arrested Development") and Gary Foster ("The Soloist") serve as executive producers. Joe and Anthony Russo directed the pilot that was written by Dan Harmon.
NBC ANNOUNCES AMBITIOUS LINEUP OF PROGRAMMING DOMINATED BY NEW SCRIPTED SERIES FOR 2009-2010 PRIMETIME SEASON THAT EXTENDS THE NETWORK'S QUALITY BRAND
New Series Include Four Dramas: "Trauma," "Parenthood," "Mercy" and the Event Series "Day One" as Well as Two Comedies: "Community" and "100 Questions"
Returning Series Pickups Include "Heroes," "Southland," "Parks and Recreation" and Six New Episodes of "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday"
NEW YORK CITY – May 4, 2009 – NBC unveiled today a strong lineup of broad and diverse quality programming for the 2009-2010 television season announcing the pickups of six new series featuring four new dramas including "Trauma," "Parenthood," "Mercy" and the event series "Day One," as well as two new comedies including "Community" and "100 Questions." Four returning series pickups were also announced today including "Heroes," "Southland," "Parks and Recreation" and the addition of six new episodes of "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" skewering today's top stories in live half-hour primetime shows.
The new and returning series will launch next season and the epic event series "Day One" is slated to premiere out of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
"The Jay Leno Show" will be broadcast Monday-Fridays, 10-11 p.m. ET beginning in the fall. Previously announced series pickups include "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Biggest Loser," "The Celebrity Apprentice," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Friday Night Lights," and new alternative series "The Marriage Ref," "Breakthrough With Tony Robbins" and "Who Do You Think You Are?"
Additional series pickups will be announced May 19, when NBC announces its 2009-2010 schedule.
NBC unveiled pickups for the upcoming broadcast season in the first of a series of presentations today and tomorrow to key advertisers from Studio 8H-the home of NBC's "Saturday Night Live"-at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Presentations will continue in Chicago on May 7 and Los Angeles on May 12.
"We are thrilled to be announcing such an awesome slate of new series that build on our existing quality brand and deliver emotional, human stories," said Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "NBC will strive to make viewers feel and our shows represent the full range of human emotion from laughter to tears. We can't wait to share these concepts with our audience and our advertising partners."
"These new series will showcase fresh talent and bold, original concepts that are extremely well executed," said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios. "We are grateful to the producers, casts and crews -- and our team -- who have delivered incredibly compelling and entertaining new series."
In response to an evolving media marketplace and the changing needs of advertisers, NBC has created a more innovative, client-centric approach to its traditional Upfront with a series of one-on-one client presentations, which began today in New York City. These presentations are interactive and, unlike other networks' Upfront presentations, will include a Q & A with advertisers and NBC sales and entertainment executives.
NBC will also host advertisers and affiliates at a "Night of Comedy" featuring appearances by some of its biggest comedy stars including Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Rainn Wilson and Tracy Morgan on Tuesday, May 19 in New York City.