Those of you who have been reading this blog for the past two years know that May is when I tell you all about the Fall TV schedules. But due to the Writers’ Strike, nothing about this fall is going to be normal since there has not been an actual pilot season this year and many shows have been ordered without a pilot even being shot.
NBC has decided to take that even further by totally redoing how they do business and creating a year-round programming schedule, which they revealed earlier this month (with little fanfare) to beat its competitors to the punch.
Before I tell you what you can see on NBC this fall, let me just remind you that this year-long programming idea is not a new concept since FOX tried it a couple of years back. Their attempt, however, was a complete failure and I fear that NBC is also biting off more than it can chew.
Of course, a big part of me would love to see the schedule crash and burn because it would probably get Ben Silverman fired and maybe, just maybe it would tarnish Jeff Zucker’s golden boy reputation that I have no idea how he obtained…
First, let me give the good news to fans of these shows by telling you that “Lipstick Jungle” and “Life” will be back. Bubble show “Friday Night Lights” will also be back, thanks to a deal with DirecTV, which allows the satellite provider to air the 18 episodes first beginning in October.
Here’s a look at NBC’s complete fall schedule:
10--My Own Worst Enemy
“Enemy” is the new action drama starring Christian Slater. Obviously, NBC is looking for a testosterone-charged evening.
8--The Biggest Loser: Families
9:30--Kath & Kim
10--Law & Order: SVU
“Kath” is a remake of the Australian show of the same name starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair as a dysfunctional mother and daughter.
9--Deal or No Deal
“Knight” becomes a series after a backdoor pilot TV-movie earlier this season.
8--My Name Is Earl
9:30--The Office/SNL Thursday Night Live
Because of the Presidential Election--and SNL’s blossoming popularity due to its political parodies--“SNL” will do a series of Thursday night episodes focusing on political comedy.
9--Deal or No Deal
“Crusoe” is a drama based on “Robinson Crusoe.”
9--Knight Rider encore
10--Law & Order: SVU encore
7--Football Night in America
8:20--NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC’s midseason replacements are: “The Philanthropist” about a renegade billionaire who uses his money to help those in need; “The Office” spinoff, which has no title, no star attached and no script written as of yet; “Merlin,” a fantasy set in Camelot but inspired by 21st century storytelling and “Kings,” a drama starring Ian McShane about a city under siege. “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “Medium,” “Law & Order” and “Friday Night Lights” are also scheduled to return.
I’m not going to bother to give you NBC’s complete winter schedule, because if this experiment turns out to be anything like FOX--and I’m pretty sure it will--it will get changed before any of it airs. I’m also not going to bother to tell you the Summer 2009 schedule that NBC released for the same reason.
Normally, I break the schedule down by looking at the best and worst moves, but since I know absolutely nothing about the new shows, I can’t really do that this time. However, I will say that I’m amazed NBC learned nothing from FOX about the conceit of introducing year-round programming. In order for the schedule to stay as announced, every single one of the new shows will have to be a hit and that’s just not going to happen--especially when every new show is a retread of an old idea. And what happens when a show is a hit and it’s scheduled to go on hiatus, a la FOX’s “Prison Break” dilemma two years ago?
FOX has already attacked NBC for stealing its ideas, but I’m not sure this is an idea I would want to take credit for. It’s truly sad how NBC has fallen on such hard times over the last few years and I really don’t see anything here to change that…