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!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, August 17

The Big Bang Theory - "The Allowance Evaporation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon and Amy have their first fight since moving in together, and Koothrappali is shocked at the realities of financial independence when he stops receiving support from his father.

Kevin Can Wait - "Kenny Can Wait" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin strikes up an unlikely friendship with Harry Connick Jr., but gets caught in a web of lies trying to impress his new friend. Harry Connick Jr. guest stars as himself.

Great News - "Snowmageddon of the Century" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After organizing a poorly attended staff karaoke night, Carol (Andrea Martin) is convinced that everyone at "The Breakdown" needs some office bonding time. When Greg (Adam Campbell) refuses to help, Carol enlists the help of God, causing a huge snowstorm to trap everyone in the building overnight. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) takes an interest in working with Katie (Briga Heelan), which Portia (Nicole Richie) convinces Katie is romantic.

The Guest Book - "Story Four" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Christy heads up to the mountains to try and bond with her new boyfriend Paul and his 8-year-old daughter, but she self-medicates because of her anxiety and ends up revealing some skeletons in her closet.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 14)

Thursday, August 17

  • Jay Ellis (Insecure/The Game) - Catch Jay on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Rami appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent) - Kathryn is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Julia visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond) - Ray drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect) - Sherri is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Yara Shahidi (black-ish) - Yara shares her thoughts on the Emmy nominations and her new ‘girl power’ campaign on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon discusses his new Netflix show Naked on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Christopher Meloni (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) - Aziz makes his Chew debut and cooks with Mario Batali on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagmenet/Reno 911!) - Wendi teams up with Clinton Kelly for a delicious bite on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:15am.
  • Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) - Drake performs on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Ellie talks about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) - Tasha talks about TV One's When Love Kills on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.