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2011 NBC Fall Preview

04 Sep

RETURNING SHOWS:

  • Sunday Night Football (9/8)
  • Football Night in America (9/11)
  • Parenthood (9/13)
  • The Sing Off (9/19)
  • The Biggest Loser (9/20)
  • Harry’s Law (9/21)
  • Law & Order: SVU (9/21)
  • Community (9/22)
  • Parks and Recreation (9/22)
  • The Office (9/22)
  • Dateline (9/23)
  • Chuck (10/21)
NEW SHOWS:
  • Up All Night (9/14)
  • Free Agents (9/14)
  • The Playboy Club (9/19)
  • Whitney (9/22)
  • Prime Suspect (9/22)
  • Grimm (10/21)
SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
  • Sunday Night Football
  • Parenthood
  • Chuck
  • Community
  • The Playboy Club
  • Grimm
  • Prime Suspect
SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
  • The Office
SHOWS I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT:
  • Up All Night
  • Free Agents
  • The Sing Off
  • The Biggest Loser
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
  • The Final Season of Chuck: Chuck has always been the little show that could.   If Chuck was on any other network, I don’t think it would have lasted past 5 episodes (maybe it would have had an entire mid-season run the first year but then been canceled.)  NBC’s schedule had been so bad the last few years that a show like Chuck could make it 5 seasons.  And I don’t mean that as a knock on Chuck.  It just never got the big ratings.  It had consistent ratings and a rabid following (myself included.)  It’s a shame that the majority of America only seems to like two types of shows…procedural and “reality.”  Anything that strays from that, doesn’t work…shows like Chuck, The Cape, Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies.  The only show that was able to break that mold was Lost.  I’m just happy for the writers that at least they know this is their swan song.  The last 3 seasons they had 12 episode renewals only to get extended to 19 or 21 and waited on pins and needles to see if they would get renewed.  Now, they know they have 15 episodes to make the best final season they can and I am really looking forward to it…with a tear in my eye!
  • The Office without Steve Carell: I did an extensive post for “Goodbye Michael.”  That was one of the best episodes I have watched of The Office in years.  And I bawled my eyes out.  I said it then and I’ll say it again, I don’t think The Office can survive without Carell.  That is not a knock on the rest of the cast who are fantastic but Michael Scott was the heart and soul of the show.  And much of the show stemmed from him and his relationships and interactions with everyone.  It’s just not going to work the same with a new boss.   The Office has also been a show on decline from a creative standpoint in my opinion for the last few seasons.  I just know why they didn’t just decide to end the series with Carell leaving but I can understand them wanting to try it out.  I just think it’s going to fail.  I hope I’m wrong.
  • L&O: SVU and Harry’s Law Cast Changes: Both shows had some significant casting shake ups in the off-season.   Starting with SVU, Christopher Meloni is gone and Mariska Hargitay is reducing her number of episodes this season.  For SVU fans, this is a big blow.  Danny Pino (Cold Case) and Kelli Giddish (Chase, The Good Wife) have been cast to fill those voids.  In a really smart move, NBC also brought back fan favs Stephanie March (Mrs. Bobby Flay) and Diane Neal as ADAs Alexandra Cabot and Casey Novak.  So it will be interesting to see how the show fares and how the fans react to this new casting this season.   Also on Harry’s Law, Brittany Snow and Aml Ameen were cut from the show at the end of last season.  Most people, myself included, were surprised by this.  It’s wasn’t as if their story lines weren’t working and Jenna (Snow) has been with Harry for a long time and followed her everywhere she went.  Now all of sudden she’s gone?  And Harry gave Malcolm (Ameen) this great opportunity and believed in him when no one else would and now he’s gone also?  I wonder how they are going to tie that up.  But the show brought on Mark Valley (Fringe, Human Target, Boston Legal) and Karen Olivo (The Good Wife, Broadway’s West Side Story and In The Heights) as series regulars and new hires at Harriet’s Law and Fine Shoes.  I guess the fine shoe portion is going along with Jenna?   Most importantly, the best character on the show, Tommy Jefferson (played by Christopher McDonald) is now a series regular.
EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
  • The NBC new shows are actually shows I have seen so I can comment on a little more intelligently.   What I liked was Grimm, Prime Suspect, and The Playboy Club.  I was luke warm on Whitney and Up All Night.  And I out right hated Free Agents.   Free Agents was so bad, that 10 minutes to a 22 minute comedy, I turned it off.  But hey, if out of six shows, I only disliked one, that’s not bad!!!  I have to say, NBC has REALLY stepped it up in the drama department this season.  Grimm is fabulous.  It is so unique and different and as soon as I stopped watching, I couldn’t wait for the next episode.  The things I worry about are being on Friday nights, having Chuck as a lead in, and the fact that as I mentioned before, audiences typically don’t like interesting and different.  I hope it finds a niche because it was a great pilot.  The Playboy Club was my next favorite.  This was another show where I couldn’t wait for the next episode.  The cast is terrific and the premise is great.  The one thing I will say is that you can tell the pilot was changed from the original rough cut.  Some scenes were cut and some scenes were brand new to expand and explain certain story lines and to set them up better and other scenes added some more dimension.  And I think the changes they made were just right.  They deleted what was unnecessary and added further development in the most appropriate story lines.  If you watch the pilot you will be able to tell which scenes were added later.  Amber Heard, who plays Maureen, had shorter hair that styled very differently.  In the reshot scenes, her hair is much longer and doesn’t look as coiffed.  It’s very noticeable.  I can already tell that Carol-Lynne (played by Tony Winner Laura Benanti) will be my favorite character.   Prime Suspect was solid and Maria Bello is fantastic.  This is the American version of a the British show.  Bello plays Homicide Detective Jane Timmony of the NYPD.  The rest of her division is all men and they aren’t happy to have her there and give her a brutally hard time.  Already I like the fact that while she holds it together in front of her colleagues, you see her breakdown to her boyfriend at home.  She’s not made of stone and at first I was worried that was how she was going to be.   The cast is solid except for Aiden Quinn.  I don’t buy him as the head of the division.  He comes across as a bumbling drunk who uses his good old boys network to get his job done.   Maybe that’s what the character is supposed to be, but he rubs me the wrong way.   As for the comedies…Whitney was the best of the three.  It starts off a little stiff and there are many times during the pilot I think the entire cast is trying too hard to play their designed parts.  It doesn’t always come across as natural and that they are trying too hard for the laugh.  In the scenes where it is natural (like the kitchen scene where Whitney is trying to seduce Alex) it’s pretty funny.  So I will be watching.  Up All Night was alright.  I didn’t necessarily laugh but I did find Christina Applegate as charming as ever.  I love her!  Will Arnett is much better in this role than he was in Running Wilde.  But Maya Rudolph’s character is gratingly annoying.  She’s VERY over-the-top.  Her character alone might make me not want to watch.  But there were times when she settled down that I actually enjoyed her so there is a glimmer of hope.  And I will give it the benefit of the doubt and watch a few episodes to see how it goes.  And Free Agents is a no go for me.  I won’t be watching.  Not only was it not funny, I hated the storyline and didn’t like one character.   Watch it become the number one comedy on TV!!!!  It just wasn’t for me.
  • I think NBC is shaping up to have one of it’s best seasons in a long time.  I really enjoy in the new shows and there are some mid-season shows coming that are just as strong….wait until you see Smash!   Way to go NBC!!!!  If you have written off NBC, this is the year to come back.
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2 Comments

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Fall Preview, NBC, Season Premieres

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “2011 NBC Fall Preview

  1. Girish

    September 18, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Maybe it had something to do with the cancellation of Heroes, but I’ve not seen NBC shows since, save a few episodes here & there of Chuck since it was against Supernatural & I had to see what the big fuss was about. Anyways, the shows which I want to follow this season on NBC are Grimm (but I don’t know if I can) & The Playboy Club.

     

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