NBC has announced their Fall 2007 TV Schedule, which includes five new dramas, one new comedy and a couple new unscripted shows. They hope to continue with their, â€œfirst be best, then be firstâ€ strategy for bringing the network back to its once dominating top spot amongst ABC, CBS, The CW and FOX.
Update 8-21-2007: Check out the Ultimate Guide to the Fall 2007 TV Schedule.
The most interesting thing about NBCâ€™s scheduling is the extending of shows past the normal 22-24 episode seasons. The most notable is the edition of Heroes: Origins. It will consist of six standalone episodes that will introduce new characters and tell their back-stories. They will most likely air in the middle to end of the season. Fans will be able to vote on their favorite and then that character will be added to the show during its third season. With 24 regular episodes that will bring Heroes to a total of 30 episodes next season. Also, My Name Is Earl and The Office will each have 25-episodes, but five episodes of The Office will be an hour long. These episodes will air when a shortened 18-episode final season of Scrubs takes a week off.
NBC seems intent on figuring out how to minimize the long hiatus and the number of repeats that are shown. That includes the above super-sized episode orders and the Sunday night lineup post football, which will run straight through to the end of the season sans repeat.
So, what does the new NBC Fall 2007 Schedule look like?
Football Night in America
Sunday Night Football
Law & Order (New night and time) â€“ The original returns for its 18th season.
Medium (New night and time)
Lipstick Jungle â€“ NBC attempts to find a Desperate Housewives type show of their own with this dramedy based on the best selling novel of the same name by Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City). It is the story of three high-powered women in New York and their ups and downs in business and love. Stars Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan), Lindsey Price (Beverly Hills, 90210) and Kim Raver (The Nine, 24).
Deal or No Deal â€“ At least this is only scheduled for twice a week this season.
Heroes â€“ Will have 24 regular episodes and 6 standalone Heroes: Origins episodes. What do you think of this extension of the show? Sounds a whole lot better than taking six weeks off before airing the final five episodes like this season.
Journeyman â€“ This one sounds interesting. It is being billed as a romantic mystery drama. It is the story of a newspaper reporter in San Francisco that suddenly develops the ability to jump through time and make changes in peopleâ€™s lives. He then has to deal with trying to explain his absences to his boss and wife. He also has to deal with whether or not to make changes that would affect him during these journeys. Could be a good fit with Heroes, as nothing worked in this timeslot last season. Just ask Aaron Sorkin (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), Paul Haggis (The Black Donnellys) and Ashton Kutcher (The Real Wedding Crashers).
The Biggest Loser
Chuck â€“ A comic spy caper show about a computer geek that unwittingly views an e-mail encoded with government secrets, which get implanted in his brain. This launches him into a new career. He now must be protected at all cost, as the fate of the world now rests on the knowledge he now posses. Stars Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect), Adam Baldwin (Day Break, Firefly) and Sarah Lancaster (What About Brian). Created by Josh Swartz (The O.C.) and director McG (Charlies Angels). If this is like, Seth Cohen super spy, it could be a lot of fun.
Law & Order: SVU
Deal or No Deal
Bionic Woman â€“ A woman struggling just to get by and support her younger sister is involved in a horrific car crash. She could die or she could be helped by a top-secret technology that would allow her to live and gain new abilities. This new life comes at a price, as she must work for those who have upgraded her. She must learn how to use her abilities for good while making personal sacrifices in her life. Stars Michelle Ryan (EastEnders) as Jaime Sommers, Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan), Chris Bowers (Rescue Me) and Molly Price (Third Watch). Episodes will also replay on Sci Fi Channel.
Life â€“ A cop drama about a detective who was falsely accused gets a second chance at life and on the job when his conviction is overturned. Stars Damien Lewis (Band of Brothers), Robin Weigart (Deadwood) and Adam Arkin (Chicago Hope). Episodes will replay on cableâ€™s USA.
My Name Is Earl â€“ Has a 25-episode order.
30 Rock (Earlier time)
The Office (Later time) â€“ Has an order for 25 episodes, five of which will be an hour long.
Scrubs â€“ This will be its final season. The Office will expand to an hour to fill the gap on the nights when the shortened 18-episode season takes a week off.
ER â€“ Made a bit of a come back last season. Will it sustain that new momentum or finally peter out. Noah Wyleâ€™s Dr. Carter will be back for a few episodes this season, as he finishes out his contractual obligation to the show.
1 vs. 100/The Singing Bee â€“ The Singing Bee will be a game show where contestant will have to complete the lyrics of a song when the band stops playing. NBC is going to try and make this timeslot into a â€œGame Night.â€
Las Vegas â€“ Only needs 13 episodes for the show to hit the magic number of 100 for syndication purposes. May not last past the fall, unless it was to see some kind of ratings resurgence with Tom Selleck having now been added to the cast.
Friday Night Lights (New night and time) â€“ One of the best new shows from last season, unfortunately not many people watched it on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. Now on Friday, which makes sense, but maybe not in the third hour of primetime. That seems a bit late, even on a Friday, for what is essentially a family drama. I hope it does well and am really glad to see it back. It took over for the departed Everwood last season as the best pure family drama on TV.
Drama repeat â€“ These spots will probably be filled by replays of new shows for the first few Saturdays of the season.
Drama repeat â€“ Then they will probably revert back to replays of the Law & Order franchise. Most notably, this is where you will probably find episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which has been shifted off NBC to its cable sister, USA, for first run episodes next season.
Jerry Seinfeld returns to the network with 20 live action â€œminisodesâ€ inspired by his upcoming animated feature film, Bee Movie. This is basically just a bunch of commercials for the upcoming movie, but why not, it worked pretty well for NBC and American Express when Seinfeld and Superman got together for a similar project a few years ago.
The Apprentice could return at some point and Law & Order: Criminal Intent will air its upcoming 22-episode season on USA and then replay on NBC, most likely on Saturday nights or possibly as a replacement for something that falters.
The shows that wonâ€™t be returning are 20 Good Years, Andy Barker, P.I., The Black Donnellys, Crossing Jordan, Grease: You’re the One That I Want, Identity, Kidnapped, Raines, The Real Wedding Crashers, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Thank God You’re Here.
New shows waiting in the wings are The IT Crowd, a comedy based on a British show about the people who keep those computers running at a large corporation, and World Moves, a team dance competition brought to you by Randy Jackson (American Idol).
The shows that sound interesting to the TVaholic at this point are Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman, The IT Crowd and, of course, the Heroes: Origins episodes.
What new NBC shows look good to you? What shows are you sad to see didnâ€™t make it? What do you think of NBC’s Fall 2007 TV Schedule?