NBC Lineup for Fall – Better Than Last Year?
In general the only time I watch NBC is for the Thursday night comedy block – 30 Rock, The Office and Parks and Recreation. After viewing the upfront for next year’s new shows I believe Thursday night will remain my only night scheduled with NBC. This might be because I’m a guy in my mid-20’s and these shows just appeal more to the soccer mom. Or maybe because the shows just aren’t that good. They do seem to be a higher caliber than last year’s new entries.
While I wasn’t overly impressed with any of the networks’ new shows I do think NBC has some potential hits. I may not be interested in any of the new shows as a must watch for me, but a couple of them might make the B-team or have huge appeal with another audience. NBC focused primarily on comedies but I don’t see any of them livening up their still weak overall roster.
One show that has the possibility to grab my attention is Go On. After other failed attempts to break back on the scene, Matthew Perry returns to NBC for a melodramatic comedy. In Go On, Perry’s character attends group therapy after the passing of his wife. Matthew Perry’s character then livens of the depressed group with antics reflecting of characters Chandler Bing and R.P. McMurphy. While I do not anticipate setting my calendar, I can see some entertainment value here.
Another comedy, Animal Practice, has all the characteristics of a show that I usually begin to shamefully enjoy – only to have it get yanked mid-season. Justin Kirk, previously of Weeds, plays a misogynistic veterinarian with a big heart. Teamed up with a monkey sidekick Kirk runs an unorthodox animal hospital that is being stifled by the strict new hospital director. This show does have the potential to suck me in but not it’s not an immediate winner.
Guys With Kids, is a family comedy that has the potential for a few laughs. From executive producer Jimmy Fallon, Guys with Kids is about three men each with new babies. This comedy is possibly the most accessible to the widest audience. Two of the fathers are married while one is single and uses the newborn to get dates. Guys With Kids could be the only new NBC comedy to attract a large enough audience for survival.
The New Normal is a dramedy where a single mom striving for a better life carries a child for two men. While I will not be watching this show I could see its appeal to the 18-30+ female demographic. The New Normal strikes me as an effort to appeal to this demographic for a couple of seasons before the audience loses interest. Not sure if it has staying power or not.
The last two new series are dramas, both with hints of familiarity.
Chicago Fire is a fast paced firehouse action drama set in the new New York of television, Chicago. Fire looks to have great action shots and will deliver exciting rescue scenes if you’re into that instead of laughs. The one downside to this new series – it used to be called Rescue Me and was allowed racier content on a basic cable net.
Having said that, Chicago Fire will appeal to those seeking action without the substance abuse and antisocial behavior subplots of Rescue Me (unfortunately?). By taking the place of the fading police dramas, I would expect Chicago Fire to stick around if the story lines are engaging.
The second action drama to be appearing next season is Revolution. Revolution is an apocalyptic series in which all electronics cease to work. Militias and warlords becomes the reigning power and cities are reduced to villages. One family goes on a Lord of the Rings like quest to find out the truth of the blackout. This genre does not appeal to me and seems to be overdone however there are many who will make this an obsession. While I do not believe Revolution will even come close to the appeal of Lost I do think that is what NBC is looking for. I predict that Revolution will last through the first season and hobble through a second.
NBC’s lineup of new series is in line with the other networks this year, meaning there are few standouts. NBC has high hopes for the new shows this year but will probably gain more on ones returning from last year. By focusing on comedies the net hopes to gain a winner that can replace the ending 30 Rock.
Editor’s Note: Last year we panned almost all of NBC’s new comedies while we were split on offerings like the Playboy Club, which was canceled. Last year’s Grimm received the most cancellation votes from the panel and it was picked up for season 2 this year proving it just didn’t resonate with our crowd. We were accurate on the also-cancelled Awake as well, saying that it lacked sustainability.