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Upfronts Scorecard: NBC

Woo hoo, the upfronts are finally here! All these past few weeks of conjecture and rumor will finally be dissipated as the networks officially announce their fall schedules to advertisers in New York. (What will we all talk about now? This summer's reality series Treasure Hunters? Maybe...)

In advance of today's NBC upfronts, below is a sneak peek at the fall schedule that they'll be unveiling. But before we get to that, there was more good news in the form of a series order for the Untitled Tina Fey project, whose studio was obviously able to reach a deal with star Alec Baldwin. The series, which also stars Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, and Tim Meadows, will now be known by the rather curious moniker of 30 Rock. (Yes, I get that it's the network's NYC address--30 Rockefeller--but still, for the name of a series?)

In a release issued by NBC, Kevin Reilly, President of NBC Entertainment, had this to say about the network's new schedule:

"The face of NBC is changing. We took the first step this season with Thursday hits 'My Name Is Earl' and 'The Office.' Next season we'll add momentum and excitement with the addition of 'Sunday Night Football' and establish a foundation of quality across the week by standing behind shows that each say something about who we are."
I see. But without further ado, I give you... NBC's fall schedule.


8-9 pm: Deal or No Deal
9-10 pm: HEROES
10-11 pm: Medium

9-10 pm: KIDNAPPED
10-11 pm: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

8-9 pm: The Biggest Loser
9-9:30 pm: 20 GOOD YEARS
9:30-10 pm: 30 ROCK (formerly known as Untitled Tina Fey)
10-11 pm: Law & Order

8-8:30 pm: My Name Is Earl
8:30-9 pm: The Office
10-11 pm: ER (to be replaced by THE BLACK DONNELLYS in Jan. 2007)

8-9 pm: Deal or No Deal
9-10 pm: Las Vegas
10-11 pm: Law & Order: Criminal Intent

8-9 pm: Dateline Saturday
9-11 pm: Drama Series Encores


9-10 pm: The Apprentice
10-11 pm: RAINES

For those of you keeping track of such things, here's how the NBC schedule stacks up.

Returning Series:
Deal or No Deal, Medium, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Biggest Loser, My Name is Earl, The Office, Las Vegas, Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Dateline

New Series:
Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Kidnapped, 20 Good Years, 30 Rock, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Black Donnellys (midseason), Football Night in America/Sunday Night Football

New Timeslots for Returning Series:
My Name is Earl and The Office (moving to Thursdays at 8 and 8:30 respectively), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (moving to Fridays at 10 pm)

Midseason Launches/Returns:
The Apprentice, Scrubs, Raines, The Singles Table, Andy Barker, P.I., Crossing Jordan, America's Got Talent

Surface, Four Kings, Joey, E-Ring, Conviction, Teachers

Overall, more of a remix than a real reinvigoration of NBC's schedule. ER is staying put for the meantime, to be replaced midseason with Paul "Crash" Haggis' drama, The Black Donnellys. (Will ER return later in the season?)

Heroes and Kidnapped get plum 9 pm posts, after Deal or No Deal and new series Friday Night Lights respectively. But I never thought that football-themed Lights would get a 8 pm berth. I always figured it for a 9 pm timeslot.

I'm curious as to who came up with the odd idea of pairing two comedies with numbers in their titles (20 Odd Years and 30 Rock) right after one another. While it's not a dealbreaker, it just seems a rather bizarre fit. And who thought up the title for 30 Rock? While it's certainly better than Untitled Tina Fey, I think it's back to the drawing board on that one...

I'm glad that NBC was smart enough to keep comedy highlights Earl and The Office together and with Studio 60, they could provide a real two-hour comedy block powerhouse. That said, I'll miss my Thursdays at 9 fix...

I'm rather bummed that Scrubs is missing from the schedule (the long-running comedy and Crossing Jordan were both listed as "returning in the future") and that Andy Barker, P.I. won't make in onto the airwaves until mid-season. And, Kevin Reilly, you couldn't have done us a favor and killed off The Apprentice already?

Stay tuned all week for additional Scorecard sessions as the networks unveil their fall schedules. Next up: ABC.


Anonymous said…
I am really shocked at the Friday Night Lights placement. If it's anything like the movie, it's not an 8:00 show. Methinks they watered it down, which would be sad. But not surprising.

At least Scrubs was mentioned.
Todd said…
They renewed Apprentice before this disastrous cycle, reportedly.
Jace Lacob said…

Yeah, possibly, but deals are made to be broken. Just look at Reba.

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