On Wednesday, April 2nd, NBC announced their schedule for the next 65 weeks, Fall 2008, Winter 2009 and Summer 2009. We will start off by focusing on the Fall 2008 TV Schedule announcement and get to the others in the next couple of days.
This is quite early for a network to be making this type of announcement, as they usually take place in May, and will mostly likely be subject to change. NBC changed their Fall 2007 schedule last May, right after the other networks finished announcing theirs. So, it wouldn’t surprise me at all that by the time Fall 2008 rolls around that the NBC landscape doesn’t look a bit different than it does right now.
The network has rethought its programming philosophy in the face of this past season’s interruption by the writers’ strike. They have decided to go with a more year round approach that doesn’t focus so much on bringing new shows to the air for the fall, but on putting new shows in the pipeline all the time and then broadcasting them whenever they are ready.
Note: New show descriptions were pulled from NBC’s press release, which means each show will sound like the greatest thing to ever hit TV.
Update 5.18.2008: See what the rest of the networks are doing for Fall 2008.
NBC Fall 2008 TV Schedule
Football Night in America – Will run from 7:00 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. Eastern.
NBC Sunday Night Football – Will start at 8:20 p.m. Eastern.
Heroes – Updated 5.28.2008: Premieres on September 22nd with a one-hour clip show followed by a two-hour third season premiere. Chuck and My Own Worst Enemy premiere the following week, September 29th.
My Own Worst Enemy – “Henry Spivey (Christian Slater, Bobby) is a middle-class efficiency expert living a humdrum life in the suburbs with a wife, two kids, a dog, and a minivan. Edward Albright is an operative who speaks 13 languages, runs a four-minute mile, and is trained to kill with his teeth. Henry and Edward are polar opposites who share only one thing in common — the same body. When the carefully constructed wall between them breaks down, Henry and Edward are thrust into unfamiliar territory where each man is dangerously out of his element. My Own Worst Enemy explores the duality of a man who is literally pitted against himself. And it raises the question: who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself? The series is produced by Universal Media Studios. Jason Smilovic (Kidnapped) is the executive producer; David Semel (director of the American Dreams, Heroes and Life pilots) is the director and executive producer.”
TVaholic’s Take: Sounds interesting and I have always liked Christian Slater, but I still wish that Journeyman would have been given another shot.
The Biggest Loser: Families – Will run 90 minutes.
Kath & Kim – “They’re the most dysfunctional duo in suburbia. Kath Day (Molly Shannon, NBC’s Saturday Night Live) is the mom, a foxy, 40-something divorcée who finally has time for herself and her valiant search for love. Kim Day (Selma Blair, Hellboy, Hellboy II) is the daughter, a self-absorbed princess recently separated from her husband who finds consolation in stuffing her face. When Kim decides to move back home, Kath reluctantly agrees — but to Kim’s chagrin, Kath is not about to cater to her every whim as she has in the past. Based on the most successful comedy in Australia of the same name, Kath and Kim are two brassy women who prefer the finer things in life like acrylic nails, big hair and faux diamond chips. The series is produced by Universal Media Studios and Reveille. The executive producer/writer is Michelle Nader (The King of Queens) and the executive producer/director is Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, The Office). Gina Riley, Jane Turner and Rick McKenna also are executive producers.”
TVaholic’s Take: Sort of a weird timeslot, but it has worked for similarly scheduled Samantha Who? over on ABC, although The Biggest Loser is not quite the ratings phenom that Dancing With the Stars is. I will definitely be checking it out though.
Updated 5.28.2008: Kath & Kim will now play on Thursday nights and The Biggest Loser will run two hours and begin after America’s Got Talent ends its summer run. Law & Order: SVU premieres September 23rd.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Knight Rider – “On the heels of NBC’s hit movie, the iconic 1980s television classic comes roaring back to life as an updated drama series showcasing the new customized KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) Ford Mustang. As the sequel resumes, KITT is absolutely the coolest car ever created: its supercomputer capable of hacking almost any system; its weapons systems efficient; and its body — thanks to its creator’s work and nanotechnology — is capable of actually shifting shape and color. It is the ultimate car — and someone will be willing to do anything to obtain it. Knight Rider stars Justin Bruening (Cold Case), Deanna Russo (NCIS), Sydney Tamiia Poitier (Veronica Mars) and Bruce Davison (Breach). David Bartis (Heist, The O.C.), Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity) and Gary Scott Thompson (Las Vegas, The Fast and The Furious) are executive producers and David Andron serves as supervising producer and writer. Based on characters created by Glen Larson, Knight Rider is from Universal Media Studios and Dutch Oven Productions.”
TVaholic’s Take: They better have done some serious work under the hood of this show, cause it needs to be significantly better than the two hour movie to make it as a series.
Updated 5.28.2008: Premieres September 24th, as does Lipstick Jungle. Deal or No Deal begins after the America’s Got Talent season finale.
Deal or No Deal
My Name Is Earl
The Office/SNL Thursday Night Live – “Dubbed ‘TV’s funniest and most influential political player’ by Entertainment Weekly, SNL expands its ‘Weekend Update’ coverage to Thursdays in primetime for three live half-hour shows beginning October 16. With all of the excitement and attention around Saturday Night Live during the presidential primaries, the anticipation for the show’s take on this Fall’s election will be at a fever pitch, SNL Thursday Night Live will keep the momentum — and the laughs — going. The program is a production of Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios. Lorne Michaels is the executive producer.”
TVaholic’s Take: “Weekend Update” is usually the best part of SNL, so an expanded version might be fun. Most people seem to be worried about the return of one-hour episodes of The Office, but I didn’t find them as bad as everyone else seemed to last season.
Updated 5.28.2008: Kath & Kim, originally schedule on Tuesday nights, will begin playing after The Office starting on October 9th. Which means that the SNL Thursday Night Live shows will move up into the 30 Rock timeslot as of October 9th and play for three weeks, with 30 Rock premiering October 30th. My Name Is Earl and The Office both premiere September 25th with one-hour episodes. ER premieres on September 25th as well.
Crusoe – “Based on the legendary novel by Daniel Defoe, this is the tale of Robinson Crusoe. A young man leaves his true love to embark on an adventure — only to end up shipwrecked on a remote tropical island for 28 years, completely detached from the life he once knew. His desire to return to his wife and his strong and unlikely friendship with Friday are the only things that keep him sane. While stranded, Crusoe encounters enemies and braves the elements. Equal parts MacGyver, Castaway and Pirates of the Caribbean, this series is an inspirational tale of survival rife with action and comedy. Crusoe is produced by Power. Juston Bodle is the executive producer.”
TVaholic’s Take: Hopefully, they are talking about the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie and not its sequels.
Updated 5.28.2008: Crusoe premieres on October 17th, so this timeslot will now be filled with America’s Toughest Jobs beginning September 12th. Then it will move into the Deal or No Deal slot after the two-hour premiere of Crusoe. Life premieres on October 3rd.
Deal or No Deal
Life – Donal Logue (Grounded for Life) joins the cast as Captain Brian Tidwell, “a seen-it-all New York cop whose weaknesses include the track and the ladies. He isn’t going to fit in Los Angeles, and he could care less.”
Knight Rider (Encore)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Encore)
I like that the Fall 2008 TV Schedule is pretty light on reality/game show content. I really like that Friday Night Lights will be returning, even if those of us that don’t have DirectTV have to wait until Winter 2009 to find out what has been going on down in Dillon, TX.
What do you think of NBC’s Fall 2008 TV Schedule?
I’d really like to have seen “Bionic Woman” given another shot. It definitely had that “Alias” vibe and could have played out successfully for NBC for seasons to come. I like the rest of the line-up, especially the keeping of “Life.” But where’s “L&O”?
Christina, I think that Bionic Woman could have turned into something good too, given a little more time and some behind-the-scenes stability. Maybe, in a few years they can revisit the idea. Like ABC is doing with Cupid. As for Law & Order, it returns to Wednesday nights in Winter 2009, taking over for Lipstick Jungle.
You hit the nail on the head twice with NBC. I am very skeptical about Knight Rider(I will watch it for awhile, just because of the car), but I can’t promise I can make it all season. And I am very disappointed over Journeyman. I was really starting to get into that show!
Matt, Journeyman was one of my favorite new shows last fall and Knight Rider is a definite wait and see. “Skeptical” on its prospects would be a good way to put it.
It would be nice if NBC fired their top execs instead of the people working on hit shows. You totally screwed the pooch when you let James Caan and Nikki Cox go on Las Vegas. And you proved you were really stupid by thinking Tom Selleck could ever fill the void. Then you proved that you need an optirectumy since you obviously have your head up your butt by cancelling the show. If viewers ran your network instead of the idiots you have now you might not suck as much as you do.
Jim, I agree, NBC shouldn’t have cancelled the show, at least not without resolving the way things were left hanging at the end of what turned out to be the final episode. But, I believe that James Caan left of his own accord, because he wanted to return to working in films. So, they had to replace him with someone and I thought Tom Selleck filled the void quite nicely.
I think NBC should have given Bionic Woman another shot. This was a good show and potentially a great addition to the network.
Exceedingly weak. The encore programming is the cheap way out, Biggest Loser is pathetic in so many ways. Of all the shows to bring back, Knight Rider is a terrible choice. It was a terrible show the first time around. I’d like to see them, if they’re going to bring back old shows, bring back a revamped NBC Mystery Movie wheel format, with a new McCloud, McMillan and Wife, Peter Falk as Columbo, and Banacek. Something other than these poor choices like Knight Rider and last year, Bionic Woman.
I just found out through the comments that they cancelled Las Vegas?!?!?!? What is going on at NBC?? And I agree with most, that they should have given Bionic Woman and Journeyman more time to gel (or is that jell??). It seems apparent that game shows and “reality” programming are favored by execs who are so high up in that “black tower” that the lack of oxygen has affected their decision making process. I was glad that Journeyman was able to kind of wrap some things up, but extremely unhappy that it is gone. Why can’t SciFi channel pick these things up?
I saw the Knight Rider movie and think it has potential and I was so worried that Life was going to get cancelled – I love that show, and am really glad to see Adam Arkin on a show again!
I knew from the moment it aired that NBC was going to do a Knight Rider series. I think the movie did OK because people wanted to see what they could do with today’s technology. I don’t think it’s good enough to survive as a weekly series (I’m sure a fair amount of people tuned in to see Hasselhoff’s cameo). Bionic woman was fair,, it got worswe as it progressed. My main disappointment was with the lead, they didn’t make her “hot” enough. If you look at most shows, there’s at least one really nice looking female. I think they deliberately make the lead look less attractive than she is. NBC’s sitcoms have really deteriorated. They used to have funny shows, now they aren’t. My name is Earl and 30 Rock are good but that’s it. I tried to watch the office when it first came out but was stunned by it’s quality of humor. The other promblem I have with “Office” is that Steve Carrell’s character is just plain UNLIKEABLE. You can have stupid, but unlikeable is just not for me. I’m still amazed that so many people actually like/watch it. CBS is where the FUNNY sitcoms are. I watch more TV than anyone around (except for maybe those who are paid to watch it) Scrubs was also much funnier than Office.
I’m really sad they moved Life to Fridays. That is usually reserved for the shows they plan to cancel. I just watched Friday’s preview on NBC.com and it was really good. I guess it will go just like Jericho…aww nuts!