UPFRONT: NBC Unveils Fall Picks
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/14/2007 10:25:00 AM
Fourth-place NBC added a little weight this season – thanks to the success of Heroes and Deal or No Deal. "The goal next season, said entertainment chief Kevin Reilly, is to "bulk up."
"We’re going to add some mass with new shows that build on the creative accomplishments of last season," said Reilly.
The new diet of shows include Journeyman, about a time traveling newspaper reporter, which will air Monday nights at 10 p.m. after Heroes; the comedic spy thriller Chuck Tuesdays at 9 p.m.; and Lipstick Jungle, the new drama from Candace Bushnell, which will air Sundays at 10 p.m.
NBC also will launch two new dramas on Wednesday -- Bionic Woman starring Michelle Ryan as an average girl who contracts superhuman powers after a car accident (9 p.m.) and Life,with Damian Lewis as a police detective who returns to the job after a stint in prison for a crime he didn’t commit (10 p.m.)
NBC will attempt to stem the rerun/hiatus audience erosion that dogged Heroes this season with a six-episode spin-off called Origins: Heroes featuring new characters. Origins will air in Heroes Monday-night time slot during the latter’s hiatus.
The network has also increased orders of My Name is Earl to 25 episodes and The Office, which moves to Thursdays at 9 p.m. next season – to 30.
"We’re going to fill out the year," said Reilly. "There will not be a lot of repeats. There will not be a lot of hiatuses. We’re going to keep pedal to the metal [throughout the season]."
Over the weekend, NBC announced that it will renew Law & Order for an 18th season, while spin-off Criminal Intent will premiere first-run episodes on NBC Universal-owned cable channel USA Network. Dick Wolf, the creator/executive producer of Law & Order, renewed his deal with the company through 2012.
The network picked up a new game show, The Singing Bee. The show is a spelling bee/karaoke hybrid to alternate on Friday nights at 8 p.m. with the Bob Saget-hosted 1 vs. 100, leading into Las Vegas at 9 p.m. NBC will move the critically-acclaimed but struggling football drama Friday Night Lights from Wednesdays to Fridays at 10 p.m.
Reilly stressed that Alec Baldwin, who expressed a desire to leave 30 Rock, will in fact honor his contract, while Fred Thompson, who is said to be seeking the Republican nomination for President, is unlikely to return to Law & Order.
Jerry Seinfeld will return to NBC, producing 20 live-action "minisodes" culled from his experiences on the feature Bee Movie, due in theaters in November. The shorts will run on the network as well as NBC.com.
Studio 60, Raines,Crossing Jordan and Wedding Crashers didn’t make the cut. Remaining episodes of Studio 60 will air this summer, said Reilly. The Apprentice is also absent from the fall schedule, but Reilly conceded that the network is still talking to executive producer Mark Burnett and producer/star Donald Trump about a new cycle of the flagging reality show.
"We love [Trump,]" said Reilly, "and we want to stay in business with him. The Apprentice," he added, is "not dead yet."
"Crossing Jordan" and the "Law and Orders" (SVU,CI, etc.)were the only shows I watched on NBC. ER lost me years ago.
Linda - 5/24/2007 11:16:00 PM EDT
Crossing Jordan was/is an amazing show. Its really sad to see a show that still had so many stories to be told be cancelled. I'm really sad about the choice. It was the one show every week that I made time no matter what to see. I'm going to miss my weekly trips to Boston to see all my friends. Yeah that's it. Its like losing a group of friends. I miss my friends.
Andrea - 5/24/2007 4:46:00 PM EDT
I've watched Crossing Jordan since the first season. Have always loved the depth of the characters. Don't cancel- move it back to Sundays!
leigh - 5/20/2007 10:38:00 AM EDT
I can''t believe NBC dropped a smart savvy drama like Crossing Jordan to make way for a round of wishy washy, recycled fluff. Crossing Jordan was the lifeboat that kept us from drowning in the sea of bad reality television. What was NBC thinking? At least give us a two-hour made for TV movie, tie up the loose ends, give us some closure. Show us that you respect us at least that much after 6 years of loyal viewership. In my opinion it is the VERY LEAST we deserve!
Cheryl Hughes - 5/20/2007 7:27:00 AM EDT
I've watch crossing Jordan since the very first show and I hit the exact middle of NBC new "target audience" (18-35). I will miss this show, the writing, the actors, everything that is CJ. I have never miss an episode with the invention of tivo I have watch many of them over and over. I will never understand this decision there is not a show on network TV I would stop my life for like this show. I will miss also miss NBC; Crossing Jordan was the last show I watched on that channel and the new line up DOES NOT INTEREST ME. I will also miss the advertisers of this show Wendy's, McDonaldâ€™s, Red Lobster, KFC, (I need to eat better anyway) Dove, Olay, Venus Breeze, Air Wick, (none of which I use so they won't miss me), and Expedia (I find cheaptickets cheaper anyhow). I apologize to these companies but if you can represent yourselves on a network that devalues its customers (fans) then how can I know that you will be any different. I value myself, my money, and my time and I will not share any of those this with a company or network that does not also value them.
Rosie - 5/20/2007 4:41:00 AM EDT
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