Here goes nothing as it’s time to jump into the mind of NBC Chief Bob Greenblatt and attempt to predict the future and give my best guess on what the Fall 2011 NBC television schedule is going to look like.
8 pm – The home of Chuck for the past four seasons is no longer as the weakening of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and FOX’s House leaves room to grow on Monday which is where the rumored female-centric night of programming will land kicking off with an hour of comedies. I like the Untitled Emily Spivey Comedy starring Christina Applegate and Are You There, Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea which is loosely based on Chelsea Handler’s novel and stars Laura Prepon.
9 pm – Moving over a day and up an hour is Parenthood which might just benefit from moving up an hour into a more family friendly hour, with a heck of a lot more eyeballs.
10 pm – Ending my female skewing day on NBC is the much more adult Playboy which is set in the 1960s and centers on a Chicago attorney who is also a key holder at the glamorous, exclusive Playboy Club.
8 pm – Shrinking down to an hour is the reliable but fading Biggest Loser which should benefit from the tighter focus required by a 60 min duration.
9 pm – A sure fire renewal after opening large this spring, The Voice finds its way onto the fall schedule. While the first few episodes will likely take up both the 9 and 10 pm hours, once The Voice shrinks back to 60 min there will be plenty of time to introduce its very compatible lead out program…
10 pm – Which is a new show called Smash. Smash is a musical drama series from Stephen Spielberg and tracks the development of a Broadway musical inspired by silver screen icon Marilyn Monroe. Debra Messing (Will and Grace), Jack Davenport, Angelica Huston, and American Idol alum Katharine McPhee star.
8 pm – Almost everything NBC tried this year simply did not work on Wednesdays this past season which means it’s back to the drawing board for the Peacock. Wednesday will start off with R.E.M. which centers on Detective Mark Britten (Jason Isaacs) who wakes up after an accident to find he is living in two different realities, one in which he has killed his son Rex and one in which he has killed his wife Hannah in a car accident.
9 pm – NBC decides to go all crime on Wednesday and schedules its second new show of the night Prime Suspect, which stars Maria Bello as the female head of a homicide squad who leads her team in solving homicides while juggling her personal life. Aidan Quinn is set to costar as her boss.
10 pm – Here we find NBC stalwart Law & Order: SVU, occupying it’s honorary time slot.
8 pm – I expect NBC to keep its three hour block of comedies but do just a bit of housekeeping by starting the night with 30 Rock and then Outsourced which will be renewed.
9 pm – The Office and Parks and Recreation stay the same in the middle hour of the Thursday night lineup.
10 pm – The relocated Community leads off the hour followed by new comedy My Life As An Experiment which centers on magazine immersion journalist A.J. Wilder (Jon
Dore), who explores all sorts of unique experiences. Admittedly the NBC Thursday night comedies could swap spots with each other.
8 pm – It has been moved, but it’s not dead yet, Chuck returns for a final 13 episodes to kick off Friday night.
9 pm – Harry’s Law moves to Friday to match its older skewing audience to the oldest skewing night on television.
10 pm – How could you live without your weekly dose of Dateline at 10 on Friday?
Saturday will be an all repeat lineup for NBC while Sunday will be Sunday Night Football assuming the NFL clears up its current labor issues. It will be interesting to see if NBC would preannounce some type of contingency plan, however I would doubt it.
For midseason I suspect we’ll see Metro (drama depicting a complex web of crime, policework and politics in Los Angeles), the no explanation required Wonder Woman, and Bent (romantic comedy about a recently divorced single mother who tries hard not to fall for the sexy surfer-dude contractor she hires to re-do her kitchen), Family Practice (a young doctor who spends as much time taking care of his parents as he does his patients), and Help Wanted (a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings) on the comedy side. And don’t forget Minute to Win It is available to fill all programming holes.