Monday, May 10, 2010 2010-11 Upfront Preview: NBC and Fox

Next week is the big week in the TV world--the network upfronts! And as usual, the week prior to the upfronts, we preview on what we think the networks will do! NBC and Fox are up first next Monday (May 18), so we will preview them first. So let's get right to it!

NBC has been stuck in fourth place for a handful of years now and they are trying to come back but have failed so far. Will this be the year? The pilots sound promising, but that doesn't mean anything as we saw what happened to Studio 60 some years back.
Here is the NBC 2010-11 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Undercovers (drama), The Event (drama), Love Bites (drama), Law & Order: LA (drama) and Outsourced (comedy).
Already Renewed Returning Series: 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Community, The Biggest Loser, The Marriage Ref, Who Do You Think You Are?, Celebrity Apprentice (Spring), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Parenthood, and The Office.
Likely Returning Series: Chuck, Law & Order, Minute to Win It, and of course Dateline.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: Heroes, Trauma, Mercy, The Jay Leno Show and 100 Questions (summer burn-off).
Likely Additional New Series Pick-Ups (our picks): Chase (drama for fall), Kindreds (drama for fall), Friends with Benefits (comedy for fall), The Rockford Files (drama for fall), This Little Piggy (comedy for mid-season), and Perfect Couples (comedy for mid-season).


7:00PM Football Night in America
8:00PM Sunday Night Football

8:00PM The Apprentice
9:00PM Undercovers (NEW!)
10:00PM The Rockford Files (NEW!)

8:00PM The Biggest Loser
10:00PM Love Bites (NEW!)

8:00PM Parenthood
9:00PM Kindreds (NEW!)
10:00PM Law & Order: SVU

8:00PM Friends with Benefits (NEW!)
8:30PM Community
9:00PM The Office
9:30PM Outsourced (NEW!)
10:00PM Chase (NEW!)

8:00PM Who Do You Think You Are? / Minute to Win It
9:00PM Dateline
10:00PM Law & Order: LA (NEW!)

8:00-11:00PM Repeats

COMMENTS: NBC's Jay Leno Show experiment bombed badly and now NBC has a lot of holes to fill. This past spring they used reality series as a replacement to so-so numbers and scripted drama Parenthood, which shows some potential. Couple of veteran series might not be back, with Heroes the most likely not returning.
NBC has some buzzworthy pilots, but they still need to prove it will work on air, which NBC has not done with really anything since Heroes' first season. They have picked-up four pilots already (not counting Law & Order: LA) as of this writing, and they will probably pick-up up to four more by the time the schedule is announced next week. The Rockford Files will likely get picked-up, but will it break the mold of remakes that last more than one season? Undercovers from J.J. Abrams has a lot of buzz and is already picked-up could be anchored for Mondays and the already picked-up comedy Outsourced sounds promising and could work out of The Office on Thursdays. If the latter happens, it probably means 30 Rock will be on the move or will be held to mid-season (which I think they will do). I also think they will launch one more comedy to the 8pm hour to get more buzz, so this could mean Parks and Recreation could be held to mid-season as well because Community shows more promise. Or maybe NBC will bring a third hour of comedy to the night at 10pm? Could happen, but I went with a new drama at 10. I can't see them adding another hour of comedy on any other night because NBC would likely need a returning show and none of comedies are big enough besides The Office to jump start a new comedy. I think NBC will hold upcoming serialized drama The Event (already picked-up) until January and perhaps air it for 13 straight weeks.
NBC is bringing back the original The Apprentice for the fall (or so they say), so it will likely air Mondays or Wednesdays at 8. I think Mondays would be better as we saw what a Wednesday edition did previously. Chuck could return in mid-season for a final season perhaps in its Mondays at 8 slot, but I don't think Heroes deserves to come back. Law & Order will likely return for a 21st season, but I can see them holding it until mid-season. Perhaps a final season for that, too? When Sunday Night Football ends, I can see NBC airing the original Law & Order there at 10pm with Celebrity Apprentice and The Marriage Ref leading in.
NBC needs some serious life to every night of the week. The fall is always saved by Sunday Night Football, so I expect many changes to each night. Promising drama Parenthood could work better in an earlier slot, perhaps Wednesday at 8, giving way to already picked-up dramedy Love Bites on Tuesday at 10 following The Biggest Loser. Plus it looks like Love Bites won't be serialized.

Remember, next Monday (May 18) is the actual date when we will find out NBC's plans for the 2010-11 season. So, come on back next Monday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong). Stay tuned next week for the official fall line-ups for all the networks. I love this time of year!
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own!

Fox is coming off a decent season and has developed Glee into a hit, but American Idol is falling finally so they will need to develop more scripted hits in this tough time to find hits.
Here is the Fox 2010-11 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: None.
Already Renewed Returning Series: The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, American Dad!, Glee, Fringe, Hells Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Cops, and of course American Idol.
Likely Returning Series: House, Bones, Human Target, and of course America's Most Wanted.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: Lie to Me, Brothers, 'Til Death, Dollhouse, Sons of Tucson, Past Life and 24.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups (our picks): Midland (drama for fall), Breakout Kings (drama for fall), Traffic Light (comedy for fall), Keep Hope Alive (comedy for fall), Jamie Foxx Sketch Comedy (fall), Terre Nova (drama for mid-season), Bob's Burgers (animated comedy for mid-season), and Security (comedy for mid-season).


7:00PM NFL Overrun / Animated Encores
8:00PM The Simpsons
8:30PM The Cleveland Show
9:00PM Family Guy
9:30PM American Dad!

8:00PM House
9:00PM Midland (NEW!)

8:00PM Glee
9:00PM Traffic Light (NEW!)
9:30PM Keep Hope Alive (NEW!)

8:00PM Human Target
9:00PM Breakout Kings (NEW!)

8:00PM Bones
9:00PM Fringe

8:00PM Kitchen Nightmares
9:00PM Jamie Foxx Sketch Comedy (NEW!)

8:00PM Cops
8:30PM Cops
9:00PM America's Most Wanted

Comments: With 24 ending and American Idol weakening, Fox will need to find a few new hits. House will likely still lead-off Mondays, leading into a new drama, perhaps Midland. It won't have 24 in back-up in January if that fails, so maybe a new drama like Terre Nova from Steven Spielberg would be ready by then. As for Tuesdays, I think Glee will likely kick off the night leading into two comedies. When Idol comes, Glee would likely move back to 9pm or perhaps another night (like Wednesday) if the comedies work. I think the comedy Security sounds good (stars Odette Yustman!), but it will have a tough time finding a companion, so I left it off the fall schedule but could see a mid-season birth. On Wednesdays, I think they will start with Human Target but that won't be high rated as we have already seen this season. So maybe Lie to Me returns instead? But why are they airing new episodes this summer then? A new drama will likely air at 9pm, perhaps Breakout Kings. If that hits, it could move to 8pm in the winter, with Idol at 9. I think Bones would likely remain on Thursdays at 8pm, as could Fringe at 9pm unless they want something more in the vein of Bones. Fridays will likely not have scripted, so something like Kitchen Nightmares and the Jamie Foxx sketch comedy could work (if it is even being developed for primetime). I need to ever talk about that? Fox will never change that. As for Sundays, animation domination will continue of course with the same line-up, as nothing new will be ready for fall. Perhaps Bob's Burgers will be ready by mid-season.
So, we have the usual again...Fox hopes to do decent in the fall with some help given by the World Series and look to explode in the winter/spring. Question is can Glee do these numbers it is doing now or the numbers it was doing last fall? Will it turn into House type numbers without the Idol help? We'll have to see.

Remember, next Monday (May 18) is the actual date when we will find out Fox's plans for the 2010-11 season. So, come on back next Monday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong). Stay tuned next week for the official fall line-ups for all the networks.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own!

Stay tuned tomorrow for our prediction for ABC!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 23

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In an encore of last season’s Halloween episode, Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart, only to reanimate him; Homer wakes up with short-term memory loss; and Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse get super powers from radiation.

Bob's Burgers - "Teen-a-Witch" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
With Halloween quickly approaching, Tina reveals her brilliant idea that will finally win her first place in the annual costume contest. When Tammy steals her idea, Tina is forced to seek the help of Mr. Ambrose, who leads her to alternate and other-worldly methods of winning. Meanwhile, Bob is on a mission to figure out who is stealing his perfectly crafted pumpkins.

The Simpsons - "Trust But Clarify" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa and Bart investigate Krusty’s suspicious new “Krustaceans” candy. Meanwhile, Homer wants a promotion at the nuclear plant and asks Marge to help him dress the part, and news anchor Kent Brockman struggles to find his feet in the changing media world.

Son of Zorn - "A Taste of Zephyria" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After learning how Zephyria is depicted in the media, Zorn attempts to teach Alan about his culture. Meanwhile, Edie wages war with her new neighbors over their talking garden gnome.

Family Guy - "Inside Family Guy" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
FAMILY GUY takes viewers behind the scenes of a regular “FAMILY GUY” production week, with James Woods as the guide. See the ins-and-outs of what goes into the making of a “FAMILY GUY” episode and watch the drama unfold as Peter is replaced and ends up in the office of Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman to pitch his very own new series.

The Last Man on Earth - "Five Hoda Kotbs" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A post-apocalyptic road trip has everyone at war with each other and Gail is really pushed to her breaking point.

Bizaardvark - "Spoiler Alert: Belissa Returns" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Paige and Frankie hit a writing slump and other bad things start happening to them, Paige begins to think they are cursed; Amelia and Dirk are at odds when the lifestyle Diva declutters the Dare Lair.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Sunday, October 23

  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 24
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.