NBC Schedule Recapped
NBC has unveiled a safe new schedule and followed up on CEO Jeff Zucker's threat from last fall - family hour will be filled with inexpensive unscripted fare. Kudos to the network for bringing back a true gem "Friday Night Lights," although in a disputable new timeslot.
Although both "Deal Or No Deal" and "Heroes" have been weakened by ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," Monday nights should start off quite strong leading into the well-received time-traveling drama "Journeyman."
The night begins with more reality courtesy of "The Biggest Loser" followed by a quirky new drama "Chuck" from The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz and its lead-out "Law & Order: SVU." I am not sure how good of a show "Chuck" will be, but airing between these two solid performers should give it a decent initial sampling.
This is the night where NBC has no foothold and needs to get a tentpole up. After yet another edition of "Deal Or No Deal" (how long before this suitcase shtick wears thin?) the lovely Michelle Ryan takes over in a re-imagined update of "The Bionic Woman," a fantasy-based drama I am personally looking forward to. The cop-drama "Life" then airs in the same timeslot where "Kidnapped" failed a year ago.
The night remains intact and that is a good thing, if of course we bid the final farewell to NBC's veteran drama "ER." It's time to go. As for the "Comedy Night Done Right" it is great to see Zucker kept his word not to ruin at least one 8 p.m. slot with reality. The golden days of TV are almost back as we get 30 new half-hours of "The Office" (5 of those as hour-long episodes) and 25 new half-hours of "My Name Is Earl." "Office," by the way moves to the 9 p.m. timeslot as it has been the most successful performer in the 18-49 demo. Will the fierce competition hurt its ratings?
I read "Friday Night Lights" creator Peter Berg was hoping to get Monday at 10 or Sunday at 9 for his show. Although I am not sure how serious he was when he said that, I do suppose he is somewhat disappointed with NBC's choice. This is after all the night when football fans really are away from television enjoying a football game. But this is not necessarily a show for them and it may benefit from weaker competition. Still, Friday at 9 may have been a better choice.
Dateline and repeats of Law & Order: CI (originals will air on USA Network) should keep the night at acceptable levels. After all nobody does any business on the night.
Sunday Night Football is of course a sure ratings smash. As for the January line-up though, poor "Medium" moves again, this time to battle "Desperate Housewives" (if that is where ABC is keeping that show). Even worse, just because HBO used to air "Sex and the City" on the night, does not mean Sunday at 10 will be a great place for "Lipstick Jungle" especially if ABC retains the same line-up. Also pairing off the drama with "Medium" reminds me of pairing off "Heroes" with "Studio 60" and we all know how that ended.
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