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 2012 NBC television schedule is going to look like.
8 pm – After two seasons in the spring NBC calls on The Voice to hold down the fort and kickoff the work week in the fall as the network hopes to capitalize on a little ratings magic coming out of the Summer Olympics. America’s Got Talent will continue to fill this spot on the schedule likely into September but will transition to the network’s only true hit.
9 pm – Why mess with a good thing as hour number two of The Voice gets underway. Now if only they could light a fire under the seat of Carson Daly’s pants to get him to show a little enthusiasm.
10 pm – If it’s not broke don’t fix it. While not the ratings smash that the NBC brass no doubt hoped for, Smash reclaims its throne behind The Voice. NBC fired season one showrunner Theresa Rebeck hoping to make the show a bit broader in its appeal.
8 pm – The Biggest Loser biggest loser returns to its longtime home starting with two hour episodes which will once again shrink to 60 minutes when it’s time for…
9 pm – The results show of The Voice to once again claim the middle of Tuesday night as its home. The ratings of the results show held up rather formidably on Tuesday this spring, posting over a 50% improvement on hour number two of The Biggest Loser.
10 pm – Parenthood returns to close out Tuesday night. A consistent performer for NBC and a show that critic continue to heap praise on could see an early return for NBC this fall to take advantage of the possible America’s Got Talent lead in. Look for Parenthood to once again end its season in January to free up a spot for a mid-season drama debut in 2013.
8 pm – NBC’s attempt to launch a second night of comedy on the schedule continues this season with a mix of returning and new comedies. The night kicks off with 30 Rock returning to its shortlived season one home for what will likely be the last season. Following Liz Lemon and company is The New Normal from Glee impresario Ryan Murphy which tells the story of a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family.
9 pm – Fellow newbie Save Me features Anne Heche as a woman in a broken marriage who goes through a transformation where she becomes the best version of herself and creates miracles along the way. To close the Wednesday night comedy block Up All Night relocates from Thursday.
10 pm – Returning for yet another season finds Law & Order: SVU, occupying its traditional time slot. Rating slipped for the veteran series this season but that is what happens when you have to follow Rock Center.
8 pm – I so very much wanted to bring back the three hour comedy block but with the collapse of ratings on Thursday night this spring I’ll keep it to two. The duo of Community and Parks and Recreation kick off the night. This is likely Community’s final season.
9 pm – The Office reboot or not leads into Go On starring Matthew Perry as an irreverent yet charming sportscaster who tries to move on from loss and reluctantly finds surprising solace from the members of his mandatory group therapy sessions.
10 pm – Law and Order mastermind Dick Wolf doubles his number of series on the Peacock with Chicago Fire which follows the lives of the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department.
8 pm – Trying to solidify the network’s genre street cred Friday night begins with the JJ Abrams / Eric Kripke ensemble drama Revolution which follows a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.
9 pm – Essentially the only real success story on the network in 2011 was the self-starting Grimm which will be back for another season of twisted fairy tails and (unlike Portlandia) a Portland where it seems to be always raining.
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.
For midseason I suspect we’ll see Do No Harm (brilliant neurosurgeon who wrestles with his dangerous alter-ego), Country (please be ER! please be ER!), and Hannibal (the man who would like to eat you with some fava beans and a nice chianti) on the drama side along with comedies Animal Kingdom (a veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners), 1600 Penn (starring Bill Pullman as the patriarch of a disfunctional family who also happens to be the President), and Guys with Kids (30-something dads struggling with not being grown up enough to parent). Don’t forget about Rock Center who will return after taking a short fall break along with Fear Factor, Fashion Star, and The Sing Off.