NBC announced their Fall 2010 TV schedule along with new shows coming at midseason yesterday. They have eight new shows for fall and another six coming in 2011. These include eight hour-long dramas (well they aren’t all dramas), four half-hour comedies, and two alternative/reality series. FOX announced today, ABC tomorrow, and CBS on Wednesday, and The CW on Thursday. Take a look at NBC’s offerings. Bold Italic below denotes new shows.
Chuck – It may presently only be for 13 episodes, but the fact that it is coming back for a fourth season is good enough for me right now.
The Event – Conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker, played by Jason Ritter (The Class, Joan of Arcadia), an Everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancé and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including: newly elected U.S. President Martinez, played by Blair Underwood (Dirty Sexy Money), Sophia, played by Laura Innes (ER), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Sean’s shadowy father-in-law, played by Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind. Ian Anthony Dale (Daybreak, Damages) also star in the ensemble drama.
Chase – A fast-paced drama from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI franchise) and executive producer Jennifer Johnson (Cold Case) that drops viewers into the middle of a team of U.S. marshals hunting down America’s most dangerous fugitives. Kelli Giddish (Past Life) stars as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down the violent criminals on the run. Cole Hauser (K-Ville), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break), Rose Rollins (The L Word), and Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives) also star as members of Frost’s elite team.
The Biggest Loser
Undercovers – Acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe, Lost, Alias) serves as co-writer, executive producer – and also directs his first TV series pilot since Lost brings this sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership. Outwardly, Steven Bloom, played by Boris Kodjoe (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion, Soul Food, Resident Evil: Afterlife) and his wife, Samantha, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Doctor Who, Bonekickers), are a typical married couple who own a small catering company in Los Angeles and are helped by Samantha’s easily frazzled younger sister, Lizzy, played by Jessica Parker Kennedy (Smallville). Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA’s best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash, played by Carter MacIntyre (American Heiress) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw, played by Gerald McRaney (Deadwood, Major Dad, Simon & Simon) to locate and rescue Nash. The pair is thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe — and Steven and Samantha realize that this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing. Also starring is Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation).
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – Every time I see this show in this time period, it makes me laugh that NBC canceled Southland stating that the subject matter was too much for the same time period.
Law & Order: Los Angeles – A procedural crime drama that will follow the theme and storylines similar to the canceled Law & Order, but set in Los Angeles.
30 Rock – Takes the place of Parks & Recreation, which has been moved to midseason.
Outsourced – A comedy where the Midwest meets the exotic East in a hilarious culture clash. The series centers on the all-American company Mid America Novelties that sells whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon — and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India. Todd Dempsy, played by Ben Rappaport (off-Broadway’s The Gingerbread House) is the new company’s manager who learns that he’s being transferred to India to run the operation. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world. But as strange as America seems to his eclectic sales team, Todd soon realizes that figuring out India will be more than a full-time job. Rizwan Manji (Privileged), Sacha Dhawan (BBC’s Five Days II), Rebecca Hazlewood (BBC’s Doctors), Parvesh Cheena (Help Me Help You), and Anisha Nagarajan (Broadway’s Bombay Dreams) also star as members of Dempsy’s off-shore team. Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) and Jessica Gower (Network Ten’s The Secret Life of Us) additionally star.
Love Bites – Emmy Award-winning writer-producer Cindy Chupack (Sex and the City) brings this hour-long romantic comedy anthology series that features three loosely connected, modern stories of love, sex, marriage, and dating. Each episode contains multiple vignettes, all illuminating the theme of love with an edgy, irreverent spin. Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) stars as Annie and Jordana Spiro (My Boys) stars as Frannie, the last two single girls standing after all of their friends get married. Annie is an infectiously bubbly optimist and Frannie is an always-a-bridesmaid realist. Their story will anchor the series, while other romantically-challenged characters will come and go each week. The pilot’s guest cast includes Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer), Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Craig Robinson (The Office), Jason Lewis (Sex and the City), Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle), Larry Wilmore (The Daily Show), Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up), Pamela Adlon (Californication), Stacy Galina (Hidden Hills), Brian Hallisay (Privileged), Kyle Howard (My Boys), and Steve Howey (Bride Wars).
Who Do You Think You Are?/School Pride – Executive producers Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Denise Cramsey (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) brings this proactive, alternative series that tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools. While transforming the school, the community also restores its sense of value and school pride. The cameras follow students, teachers, and parents as they roll up their sleeves and rebuild their own schools, concluding with the unveiling of a brand new, completely transformed school. They are motivated by a quartet of community organizers and personalities — SWAT Commander Tom Stroup, interior designer Susie Castillo (House of Payne), comedian and former substitute teacher Kym Whitley (‘Til Death) and political correspondent Jacob Soboroff (AMC News). Together, the team of experts will lead the community through the makeover process. Months later, cameras will revisit the school to discover the lasting effects of the transformation — a renewed sense of school pride and an increase in student achievement score.
Outlaw – Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue, The West Wing) stars in this new legal drama. He plays Cyrus Garza, a U.S. Supreme Court justice who abruptly quits the high-level position. A playboy and a gambler, Garza had always adhered to a strict interpretation of the law until he realized the system he believed in was flawed. Now that he’s quit the bench and returned to private practice, he’s determined to represent “the little guy” and use his inside knowledge of the justice system to take on today’s biggest legal cases, all while making plenty of powerful people unhappy along the way. Jesse Bradford (The West Wing), Carly Pope (24), Ellen Woglom (Californication), and David Ramsey (Dexter) also star.
Drama encores – Will start the fall off with encore episodes of Undercovers, Chase, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Football Night in America
NBC Sunday Night Football
Minute to Win It
The Celebrity Apprentice
New Midseason 2011 Shows:
America’s Next Great Restaurant
The Cape – A one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (ER) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife and son. Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes “The Cape,” his son’s favorite comic book superhero. Rounding out the cast are James Frain (The Tudors) as billionaire Peter Fleming who is a twisted killer, Keith David (Death at a Funeral) as Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape, Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City, and Dorian Missick (Six Degrees) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday.
Friends With Benefits – A half-hour comedy revolving around a group of twenty-something singles as they navigate the difficult, and often confusing, world of dating. Ben Weymouth, played by Ryan Hansen (Party Down) is on the hunt for the perfect woman who meets his unique set of standards, while his best friend, Sara Maxwell, played by Danneel Harris (One Tree Hill), is just looking for a man to settle down with and raise a family. Ben and Sara have fallen into the habit of turning to each other for moral and physical support as they wait for Mr. and Ms. Right to arrive. Their friend Aaron, played by Fran Kranz (Dollhouse), a romantic at heart, doesn’t approve of Ben and Sara’s complicated friendship, but he, along with womanizer Hoon, played by Ian Reed Kesler, and straight shooter Riley, played by Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield), are all distracted with their own dating trials and tribulations.
Harry’s Law – Emmy Award-winning creator David E. Kelley (The Practice, Boston Legal) brings his unique storytelling to this series about fate and the people it brings together. It stars Academy Award winner Kathy Bates (Misery). She plays Harriet, who along with Matthew, played by Ben Chaplin (Me and Orson Wells), and Malcolm, played by Aml Ameen (Kidulthood), couldn’t be any more different. Harriet is a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer who, having just been fired from her cushy job, is completely disillusioned with her success and looking for a fresh start. Her world unexpectedly collides with Malcolm’s, a young man trying to figure out life. When he finds out Harriet is a lawyer, he begs her to represent him in an upcoming criminal case. Matthew, a dreamer at heart and also recently fired from his job as a high school teacher, is introduced to Harriet through Malcolm, a previous student of his. When these three cross paths, they realize they’re all looking for a fresh start. Now, the most unlikely of people are starting a law practice in the most unlikely of places, a rundown shoe store. Also stars Brittany Snow (Hairspray) as Harriet’s assistant, Jenna Backstrom, and Beatrice Rosen (Dark Knight) as Eve, a high school French teacher.
The Paul Reiser Show – A new single camera comedy from Emmy and Golden Globe nominated comedian-author-producer-actor Paul Reiser (Mad About You) and writer-producer Jonathan Shapiro (Life). The show stars Paul Reiser as…Paul Reiser. It’s been a few years since Paul’s hit TV series went off the air. Since then, he’s been enjoying the quiet life at home with his lovely wife and kids and generally minding his own business. Lately, however, Paul has been thinking that it’s time he did something new, something meaningful. As to what that next thing might be, he has no idea. In his quest to figure it out, Paul is helped and hindered by his new “friends.” Like most men his age, Paul didn’t choose these friends. They’re the husbands of his wife’s friends, the dads of kids that his boys go to school with. Thrown together by circumstance, Paul and his friends form an unlikely comradeship and a horrible basketball team. In addition to Reiser, Ben Shenkman (Angels in America) stars as Jonathan, Omid Djalili (The Infidel) as Habib, Duane Martin (All of Us) as Fernando, Andrew Daly (MADtv) as Brad, Amy Landecker (A Serious Man) as Claire, Brock Waidmann as Zeke, and Koby Rouviere (Greenberg) as Gabe. The pilot is executive produced and written by Reiser and Shapiro.
Perfect Couples – Depicts the misadventures of three engaging couples as they struggle to find out what makes the ideal relationship and how to maintain it through humorous trial-and-error. The series explores their heroic journey in search of the perfect relationship without destroying each other in the process. Dave, played by Kyle Howard (My Boys), and Julia, played by Christine Woods (Flash Forward), are the relatable, normal couple, but Julia’s hope of remaining the cool, low-maintenance chick is tested by Dave’s attempts to keep both his wife and his needy best friend Vance, played by David Walton (Heist), equally happy. Vance, along with the neurotic Amy, played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), are the high-passion, high-drama couple who bring out the best and worst in each other. The third duo features Rex, played by Hayes MacArthur (She’s Out of My League), a reformed party guy, and his wife, Leigh, played by Olivia Munn (Attack of the Show), who considers herself as the group’s mother hen. Believing that they are relationship experts, Rex and Leigh have attended every class and seminar on relationships and regard themselves as the “perfect couple.”
Returning at Midseason: Parks & Recreation and The Marriage Ref.
Canceled Series: Heroes, The Jay Leno Show, Law & Order, Mercy, and Trauma.
Concluding Thoughts: Based on information so far, I am most interested in new NBC Fall 2010 TV shows The Event, Outsourced, and Undercovers. I am also really glad that NBC decided to renew Chuck for a fourth season. As for the midseason shows, I look forward to seeing more about The Cape, Friends With Benefits, and The Paul Reiser Show.
What do you think about NBC’s Fall 2010 – Midseason 2011 offerings?