Last week, NBC got off to an early start and announced their schedule for Fall 2008, Winter 2009, and Summer 2009. We already talked about the fall schedule, now let’s take a look at what is presently planned for us next winter.
The best news is the return of Friday Night Lights. NBC has partnered with DirectTV to bring the series back for a third season. It will play exclusively on DirectTV during the fall and then play on NBC during the winter. Similar to what they did with Law & Order: Criminal Intent playing first on USA and then on NBC this season.
Sunday nights will be the home of two new dramas and the return of Medium, as well as specials and miniseries. They will include The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards, the four-hour miniseries The Last Templar and XIII (see below for descriptions).
NBC is attempting to minimize the number or repeats throughout the year by having some shows share a timeslot like My Own Worst Enemy in the fall and The Philanthropist in the winter on Monday nights or playing miniseries and specials.
Note: New show descriptions were pulled from NBC’s press release, which means each show will sound like the greatest thing ever to hit TV.
NBC Winter 2009 TV Schedule
Merlin – “Merlin brings to life a new legend for a modern audience. Merlin is an exciting, hour-long fantasy series set in the mythic city of Camelot — but inspired by 21st Century storytelling. Before Merlin (Colin Morgan, Doctor Who) and Arthur (Bradley James, Lewis) became legends, they were ambitious young men looking for adventure, hoping to live up to their family’s expectations, discovering love and finding their own true destiny, making mistakes along the way. The innovative, action-packed drama has cross-generational appeal and paints a picture of Merlin and Arthur’s early life that audiences have never witnessed before. Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Richard Wilson (A Passage to India), Angel Coulby (Magicians) and Katie McGrath (The Tudors) also star. A FremantleMedia Enterprises distribution of a Shine production for BBC.”
TVaholic’s Take: Sounds a lot like they are giving the Smallville treatment to the Merlin and Arthur story.
Kings – “Kings is an inspiring exploration of the timeless David vs. Goliath struggle. The show is set in a modern metropolis under siege where the fighting has gone on for too long and cost far too many lives. When David Shepherd (Christopher Egan, Resident Evil: Extinction), a brave young soldier, rescues the king’s (Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, Deadwood) son from enemy territory, he sets events in motion that will finally bring peace. Suddenly, David is thrust into the limelight, earning the affections of women — including the king’s daughter. When he’s promoted to captain, he becomes the reluctant poster boy for hope. But for David, the line between his allies and enemies will blur as the power players in the kingdom go to great lengths to see him fall. From the director (Francis Lawrence) of the blockbuster movie I Am Legend comes the ultimate story of David vs. Goliath, and there’s no telling who will win. Sebastian Stan (Gossip Girl) also stars. Kings is a production of Universal Media Studios; Michael Green (NBC’s Heroes) is the executive producer. Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) is the director and executive producer and Erwin Stoff (I Am Legend) also is executive producer.”
TVaholic’s Take: Not sure what to make of this one, as I can’t create a picture of what this might look like.
The Philanthropist – “This one-hour drama is about a rebel with a cause. Teddy Rist loves women, money and power. After the tragic death of his only child, Teddy has an awakening and becomes the world’s first vigilante philanthropist — a renegade billionaire who uses his wealth, connections and power to help people in need. He’ll do anything to achieve his goals — bargain with the self-righteous, trade with the nefarious and even tell the truth. Instead of spending $25,000 a plate at a fundraiser, he’s dodging bullets in third-world countries to hand-deliver vaccine. It’s a global adventure that will take viewers to the ends of the Earth and will inspire them as well. The Philanthropist is produced by Universal Media Studios, Original Media and the Levinson/Fontana Company. Tom Fontana (Homicide: Life on the Street), Barry Levinson (Homicide: Life on the Street) and Charlie Corwin (L.A. Ink) are the executive producers; Jim Juvonen is a co-executive producer.”
TVaholic’s Take: The premise sounds like one of those shows sold directly into syndication that you used to see on Saturday afternoons or late at night. But, with the Levison/Fontana pedigree, it piques my interest, although right now, this picture of Richard Branson running around the world with a gun is floating in my head.
The Biggest Loser: Couples – Runs 90 minutes.
Kath & Kim
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Deal or No Deal
Law & Order
My Name Is Earl
The Office Spinoff – “From Greg Daniels, the executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning American version of NBC’s The Office, comes the most highly anticipated comedy of the season in The Office Spinoff. Audiences will follow another comic journey, complete with new faces and new locations, but with the same unique sense of humor and brand of quality from Daniels and his creative team. It’s the next chapter of what viewers have come to know and love about The Office.”
TVaholic’s Take: Spinoffs always worry me a bit, but the “new faces and new locations” puts me at ease, as I can’t think of anyone I would like to see leave the original.
ER/The Celebrity Apprentice
Deal or No Deal
Friday Night Lights – Yay!
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Encores)
Law & Order (Encores)
Winter 2009 Miniseries
The Last Templar – “In this four-hour miniseries, Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) stars in an epic action-adventure tale about the greatest mystery of our time. At the New York Metropolitan Museum, four horsemen dressed as 12th century knights storm the gala opening of an exhibition of Vatican treasures and steal an arcane medieval decoder. For archaeologist Tess Chaykin (Sorvino) and FBI agent Sean Daly (Scott Foley, The Unit), this is just the start of a suspenseful game of cat and mouse as they race across three continents in search of the enemy — and the lost secret of the Knights Templar. The miniseries is produced by MUSE Entertainment Enterprises. Victor Garber (Alias) and Omar Sharif (Doctor Zhivago) also star. Emmy Award-winning television impresario Robert Halmi Sr. (Tin Man, Gulliver’s Travels), Robert Halmi, Jr. (The Poseidon Adventure, The Christmas Card), and Michael Prupas (Human Trafficking) will executive-produce the miniseries.”
TVaholic’s Take: Sounds very National Treasure like, which sounds good to me, as I really like both of those movies and the cast looks really good too.
XIII – “XIII is a high-stakes cat-and-mouse thriller starring Val Kilmer (The Doors) and Stephen Dorff (World Trade Center). This adrenaline-charged miniseries begins dramatically as the first female U.S. President is shot dead by a sniper during her Veteran’s Day speech. Three months later, a wounded man is found tattered in a forest with no memory of his identity. The only clue is a tattoo on his neck, ‘XIII.’ Could his lightning-fast reflexes and killer instincts betray him as the presidential assassin that the U.S. is desperately searching for? Submerged in a far-reaching conspiracy, which threatens to overthrow the entire government, XIII’s identity becomes the key to unraveling a complex and dangerous secret that will shock and excite. From the first bullet, this gripping action-thriller will leave audiences gasping for more. XIII is produced by Prodigy Pictures and Cipango.”
TVaholic’s Take: How very Bourne Identity.
What do you think of NBC’s Winter 2009 TV Schedule?