Monday, May 09, 2011

SitcomsOnline.com 2011-12 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 16), so we will preview them first. So let's get right to it!

NBC has been stuck in fourth place for a many years now and they are trying to come back but have failed so far with the exception of reality hit The Voice. Will this be the year they finally get a scripted hit? All of their "buzz worthy" shows (Undercovers, The Cape, The Event) this past season fizzled or just plain bombed.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com NBC 2011-12 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Betty White's Off Their Rockers (reality) - last year at this time, they picked up many scripted pilots.
Already Renewed Returning Series: 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Community, The Biggest Loser, Who Do You Think You Are?, The Sing-Off and The Office.
Likely Returning Series: Parenthood, The Voice, Law & Order: SVU, Harry's Law, Minute to Win It, Celebrity Apprentice (pending Trump's Presidential bid) and of course Dateline.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: Chase, The Event, Undercovers, Outsourced, The Paul Reiser Show, Perfect Couples, School Pride, America's Next Great Restaurant, Law & Order: LA, The Cape, Friday Night Lights, Outlaw and yes Chuck.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups (our picks): Whitney (comedy for fall), Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea (comedy for fall), Alpha Mom comedy for fall), Smash (drama for fall), Prime Suspect (drama for fall), The Firm (drama for fall), Playboy Club (drama for fall), Metro (drama for fall), REM (drama for mid-season), and Help Wanted (comedy for mid-season).

OUR FALL 2011 PREDICTION:

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

Mondays
8:00PM Minute To Win It / Betty White's Off Their Rockers (NEW!)
9:00PM Prime Suspect (NEW!)
10:00PM Metro (NEW!)

Tuesdays
8:00PM The Biggest Loser
9:00PM Whitney (NEW!)
9:30PM Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea (NEW!)
10:00PM Parenthood

Wednesdays
8:00PM Smash (NEW!)
9:00PM Law & Order: SVU
10:00PM The Firm (NEW!)

Thursdays
8:00PM Alpha Mom (NEW!)
8:30PM 30 Rock
9:00PM The Office
9:30PM Parks & Recreation
10:00PM Playboy Club (NEW!)

Fridays
8:00PM Who Do You Think You Are?
9:00PM Dateline
10:00PM Harry's Law

Saturdays
8:00-11:00PM Repeats

COMMENTS: NBC needs major revamping once again. Once again, as with last season, NBC has some buzz-worthy pilots, but as I keep saying, they still need to prove it will work on air. Last season they picked-up five pilots at this time and none of those ended up working. It goes to show you that it is all about scheduling and promotion and NBC has been very poor at that since about 2004. Mondays needs a total revamp (again!). Ideally, they should try and go female, but Dancing will kill that. They tried to go young men and that failed due to Monday Night Football. Perhaps they can go with an older audience and with a game show starting it off, like Minute To Win It and then later in the fall Betty White's Off Their Rockers, which looks like it could do well with the Betty White craze. At 9pm, perhaps one of their best pilots is Prime Suspect. A crime drama might be a good alternative to Dancing and CBS comedies. And this could have more mass appeal than Fox's Chicago Code. At 10pm, perhaps another crime drama such as Metro, but Chase didn't work either, so who knows. On Tuesdays, The Biggest Loser will continue to lead-off, but perhaps it is cut down to just one-hour? Multi-camera comedies might be a good option in the 9pm hour like with Whitney Cummings and a comedy from Chelsea Handler. The women theme would continue at 10pm with Parenthood, which skews well with young women. NBC's big hit The Voice will likely NOT be used in the fall, so it would probably return in February (after the Super Bowl)? Perhaps the comedies or Parenthood will finish their seasons by then.
Wednesdays right now is a hot mess, save for SVU. Perhaps a Glee-like dramedy like Smash is the way to go to lead off the night? Former NBC star Debra Messing stars. At 9pm, I hate to do this, but SVU would leave 10pm again and air at 9pm leading into a new drama, perhaps The Firm, which is near a 22-episode pick-up already. On Thursdays, the comedies are very low rated or declining like The Office and 30 Rock. Without Steve Carrell, this night might be even more down, so perhaps a new comedy could start the night off because Community is not cutting it. The single-camera comedy starring Christina Applegate might be the way to go. Lorne Michaels is involved, so 30 Rock would be a good lead-out. The Office and Parks & Recreation would follow. NBC doesn't have as strong of a comedy block like CBS Monday or ABC Wednesday, so 10pm comedies are likely gone. Perhaps the period drama Playboy Club would air at 10pm. It would repeat horribly, though. Something else could air in mid-season, like REM. Community and perhaps another comedy will be on the bench if needed for 8-10pm. Fridays is likely cheap from 8-10pm, but I think Harry's Law would be a good option for them at 10pm. I don't think it does well enough in 18-49 to air on Mondays at 10 again. And Saturdays is just repeats, like always.
NBC's fall savior Sunday Night Football could be delayed or not airing at all due to the NFL lock-out. I am not sure what NBC could do if the NFL does have a delay or a lock-out. I'm sure the schedule they release next week will not have any shows on Sundays and will have Sunday Night Football. Anyway, with The Voice and the Super Bowl (if there is an NFL season) next season, NBC will likely grow but they still need to find SOME other hits to go anywhere near the leaders. No scripted series have worked in such a long time. Will multi-camera comedies change that?

Remember, next Monday (May 16) is the actual date when we will find out NBC's plans for the 2011-12 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 good season and Glee grew but then slowed down. American Idol is still is the number one show on TV, but they will need some more hits, especially in the fall with House now declining.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com Fox 2011-12 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Terra Nova (drama) and The X-Factor (reality).
Already Renewed Returning Series: The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, American Dad!, Bones, Glee, Raising Hope, Fringe, Hell's Kitchen, Mobbed, Cops, and of course American Idol.
Likely Returning Series: House, Kitchen Nightmares, Million Dollar Money Drop, Breaking In, Lie To Me, Chicago Code, Cops, and America's Most Wanted.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: Good Guys, Lone Star, Running Wilde, Traffic Light, Human Target.
Likely Additional New Series Pick-Ups (our picks): Family Album (comedy for fall), Weekend at Bellevue (drama for mid-season), Alcatraz (drama for fall), Exit Strategy (drama for mid-season), The New Girl (comedy for fall), Allen Gregory (animated comedy for mid-season), and Napoleon Dynamite (animated comedy for mid-season).

OUR FALL 2011 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM NFL Overrun / Animated Encores
8:00PM The Simpsons
8:30PM Bob's Burgers
9:00PM Family Guy
9:30PM American Dad!

Mondays
8:00PM Alcatraz (NEW!)
9:00PM House

Tuesdays
8:00PM Glee
9:00PM Family Album (NEW!)
9:30PM Raising Hope

Wednesdays
8:00PM The X-Factor (NEW!)
9:30PM The New Girl (NEW!)

Thursdays
8:00PM The X-Factor Results (NEW!)
9:00PM Terra Nova (NEW!)

Fridays
8:00PM Bones
9:00PM Lie To Me

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

Comments: Fox will try to take the same timeslots of American Idol in the fall with the Simon Cowell series, The X-Factor. The series is all but set to air on Wednesdays from 8-10pm and Thursdays 8-9pm. The performance show will likely be reduced to 90-minutes in early October, so perhaps a comedy will air at 9:30pm. House has weakened, so I think it will be on the move on Mondays, but moving to 9pm. They should use the 8pm slot to try and launch the JJ Abrams new drama Alcatraz. If you recall, LOST started as an 8pm series as well. As for Tuesdays, I think Glee will remain in the slot leading into two comedies. Raising Hope will be back, but perhaps it will slide to 9:30pm to make room for a new comedy, like the Mike O'Malley vehicle Family Album. On Wednesdays, as mentioned The X-Factor will air in the current 90-minute Idol slot leading into a new comedy, perhaps the Zooey Deschanel series The New Girl. That seems like a good fit. On Thursdays, X-Factor will be at 8pm, perhaps leading into the hyped series Terra Nova. The series was set to preview this May, but it wasn't ready so they will hold it until the fall. Fridays will likely be scripted this time because they have a lot of shows to use, so it looks like Bones will finally make that Friday move. Either Lie to Me or The Chicago Code would make a good companion at 9pm. I don't think Human Target has a chance over those two series. Saturdays will probably remain intact, but Fox is trying repeats of Chicago Code this summer, so maybe that will be an option? A long shot, I'd say. As for Sundays, animation domination will continue of course with a mix of the 5 series they have already, but likely one will be benched to January because of NFL overruns. Perhaps Cleveland Show will be that series. Fox also has two animated series that I believe were ordered for mid-season 2012, so this night could have potentially two new series next winter/spring. I think of the series I mentioned that have a shot of returning, the one with the least chance is Breaking In, because they just don't have the room. But I would bring it back.
So, Fox hopes to do explode in the fall (like they do in mid-season) with reality and trying to duplicate Idol with The X-Factor and not So You Think You Can Dance's one season in the fall. Look for Fringe to likely be benched until January and be used if anything fails or back on to Fridays at 9 out of Bones, like it did on Thursdays. And finally, Fox could also use Mobbed and Million Dollar Money Drop in December or so. Will Fox find major success in The X-Factor or has NBC's The Voice stolen that audience before it could even air? Only time will tell...

Remember, next Monday (May 16) is the actual date when we will find out Fox's plans for the 2011-12 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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, April 18

The Big Bang Theory - "The Inspiration Deprivation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The concept of what it would mean for women everywhere if Amy were to win a Nobel Prize causes Amy to have a meltdown. Also, Koothrappali and Wolowitz try to relive the good old days after Wolowitz buys a scooter that looks like the one he had years ago. Oscar-winning actress Regina King returns as Janine.

Life in Pieces - "Jungle Push Resort Anniversary" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When the Short family arrives at their vacation resort in the Yucatan, their accommodations aren’t quite what they expected. Also, Heather is ridiculously overprotective of Sophia during the family activities; Jen and Greg discover that Matt and Colleen have been duping everyone; and John and Joan get separated from their tour group in the jungle. Nat Faxon guest stars as Hayes, an expat proprietor at a Yucatan eco-resort.

Mom - "Lumbar Support and Old Pork" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie has an unexpected reaction when she learns that Adam’s bar is doing well. Also, Christy and Tammy go on a double date.

Life in Pieces - "Demo Nosebreath Surgery Match" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Colleen and Matt try to impress a potential birth mother, they have a hard time competing against another rich, swanky couple. Also, Jen’s pregnancy takes a toll on Greg; Heather lets John take credit for her housekeeping while Joan recovers from knee surgery; and Tim arranges for Tyler to record a demo at a friend’s studio. Joey King guest stars as Morgan, a 17-year-old pregnant teen who is considering placing her baby for adoption with Matt and Colleen.

Superstore - "Easter" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Suspicious that people are making fun of her, Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) spy on Cloud 9 employees through the security system, while Dina (Lauren Ash) tries to track down an unsanctioned Easter Bunny in the store. Glenn (Mark McKinney) preps for his church’s Passion play.

A.P. Bio - "Personal Everest" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack is outraged when his old high school bully is hired as a motivational speaker at Whitlock. Meanwhile, Mary, Stef, and Michelle set their own personal goals of female empowerment, unintentionally causing a rift between Helen and Durbin.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Bimbo" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Holt and Jake investigate a case at Kevin’s university. Back at the precinct, Terry and Amy take the squad out for lunch.

Abby's - "Book Club" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When it’s revealed that Fred has a crush on a bar patron, Abby and Beth encourage a reluctant Fred to start dating.

Better Things - "Easter" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam helps Max and bakes for Phil.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Thursday, April 18

  • Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) - Catch Sharon and Rob on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. They will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Lake Bell (Bless This Mess/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bill Hader (Barry) - Bill is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Tichina guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Beth Behrs (The Neighborhood/2 Broke Girls) - Beth is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James chats about Life in Pieces on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country/Murphy Brown) - Lily drops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP/Scream Queens) - Keke guest co-hosts ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) and Rick Fox (The Game/Mr. Box Office) - Holly and Rick talk about Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Morning Show Mysteries on Access Live, so check your local listings. Holly will also be on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Fiona Gubelmann (Wilfred) - Fiona appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April)

Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season

02/05 - Family Guy - Part 1 - Volumes 1-5
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 2 - Volumes 6-10
02/05 - Family Guy - Part 3 - Seasons 10-14
02/05 - First Lady of Television - Betty White Collection (40 rare and acclaimed episodes from her early days in television)
02/05 - Mama's Family - Seasons 1-6 - The Complete Series
02/12 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-3 (Blu-ray)
02/12 - Step by Step - The Complete Fourth Season
02/26 - What I Like About You - The Complete Fourth Season
03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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03/22 - Fri-Yay: Original Comedies at Netflix; ABC Announces April Finales, Including TGIF
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