Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blogging The 2008 Upfronts: Day 1

Once again I let the upfronts sneak up on me. Unlike my coverage last year, I'm going to take the time to actually go back and cover the Day 1 NBC upfronts.

What I won't be doing is covering every facet of the vaunted NBC 52-week schedule. We're here for the fall schedule and the fall schedule is what I'm gon' give ya.

[New shows in CAPS; data via The Futon Critic]


8-9 PM: "Chuck"

9-10 PM: "Heroes"



8- 9:30 PM: "The Biggest Loser: Families"

9:30-10 PM: "KATH & KIM"

10-11 PM: "Law & Order: SVU"



9-10 PM: "Deal or No Deal"

10-11 PM: "Lipstick Jungle"


8- 8:30 PM: "My Name Is Earl"

8:30-9 PM: "30 Rock"

9- 9:30 PM: "The Office"

9:30-10 PM: "The Office"/ "SNL THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE"

10-11 PM: "ER"


8-9 PM: "CRUSOE"

9-10 PM: "Deal or No Deal"

10-11 PM "Life"


8-9 PM: "Dateline NBC"

9-10 PM: "KNIGHT RIDER" (Encores)

10-11 PM: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Encores)


7- 8:20 PM: "Football Night in America"

8:20-11 PM: "NBC Sunday Night Football"

As for the new shows...

My Own Worst Enemy looks like they took Chuck to the next logical step and implanted an entire secret agent into the hapless so-and-so. That hapless so-and-so (and his lethal alternate personality) is being played by Chrstian Slater, who's well past being as adorable as Zachary Levi. Still, it solidifies something of an "adventure bloc" on Mondays, which holds together better, theme-wise, than other nights.

Kath & Kim is the Australian import with Molly Shannon playing that middle-aged tacky divorcee she pretty much perfected on SNL. Selma Blair plays her daughter, and people seem to like her okay. As a half-hour comedy sandwiched in between The Biggest Loser and SVU, I'm not sure how it'll stay afloat, and opposite Dancing With The Stars to boot. I don't think I'd get attached to it.

Knight Rider is a show you may have heard of before. Airing opposite Pushing Daisies and (likely) America's Next Top Model, I doubt I'll be seeking it out any more than that.

Crusoe promises all the timeliness of the Robinson Crusoe tale with the high-octane adventure typical of the Fridays at 8 PM TV audience. Can't lose!

As for the rest of the schedule:

Friday Night Lights (as part of the still-unspecified DirecTV deal), the Office spinoff, and a second season of Celebrity Apprentice are set for mid-season, along with what I think are the two most interesting new series on the NBC slate:

Kings, which is the IanMcShane David-and-Goliath-in-a-futuristic-metropolis drama that I have made the decision to just go with and see where it takes me. Ian McShane, cocksuckers!

Merlin which I believe is an era-appropriate (but stylistically modern) telling of Arthur and his wizard pal. Hell, Anthony Stewart Head nabbed a role, so I kind of have to.

So taking a look at the schedule, I'm thinking Mondays and Thursdays are the only nights that hold even a bit of appeal, and honestly, if I end up losing interest in Heroes, Chuck's gonna start looking awfully lonely at 8 PM.

While I'm on the subject, doesn't the re-launch of Heroes become one of the more intriguing stories of the fall season? After an almost universally-acknowledged underwhelming second season and a very long hiatus, it's almost as if the show is going to have to start from square one. I'm hoping for the best, but it's walking a thin line.

Anyway, Tuesdays and Wednesdays don't seem like they hold together in terms of the demographics they're courting at all, with the only unifying theme being the fact that they're shows I'm not interested in. A primetime SNL offering on Thursdays is...interesting, though if Amy Poehler's out on maternity leave that could end up hampering the show from the outset. A pretty middling effort overall.


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