We are less than a week away from network upfronts. Up first…NBC.
Ok, now all of you need to stop laughing right now. I know NBC has had it rough the last several years but each year I have faith the peacock network will break out of its shell. It may have done it this year if it premiered Bent and Best Friends Forever and Smash in the fall instead of Free Agents, Whitney, and The Playboy Club. But what are you going to do. But that’s been NBC’s problem in my opinion…not having bad shows (although Free Agents was HORRIBLE) but picking the wrong shows to air fall vs. mid-season (or late season for BFF and Bent.)
So what is the early buzz? Looks like 30 Rock will be back (according to Deadline.com) but it will only be back for 13-14 episode and season seven will be its final season. I think it’s time. 30 Rock was one of the best comedies on TV in its heyday. But last season and surely this season have not been as strong. It’s really a shadow of its former self. But that happens and now it will have 13 or 14 episodes to go out the way it wants, which it deserves.
In the same note, Community and Parks and Rec look to also return next season with abbreviated seasons. Although no word has come down whether or not these will be final seasons or not. I hope not for either one but I can understand it for Community more so than Parks and Rec. When Community is on, it’s the best comedy on TV. It’s smart, witty, and very clever. But when it’s off, it’s the worst comedy on TV. It’s awful. Unfortunately, Community still has too many of the awful episodes to make it a truly great show, in my opinion.
NBC has already picked up 1600 Penn, Go On, Save Me, Animal Practice, and The New Normal. One thing I already like that NBC is doing, is ordering new and returning shows to shorter runs. We already discussed 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and Community and it appears as if all the new comedies will get 13 episode orders as well. Unless something really hits it big, that’s all they are going to get.
I like this very much. It will give NBC year round original programming and fewer gaps between new episodes since all the shows are on abbreviated schedules. It’s actually a very good idea. Since the Olympics are taking over NBC summer programming, NBC has decided to air most its new comedies, right after the Olympics in August. It’s a big risk since most people are getting their last-minute vacations in before the fall and viewers aren’t really in “fall programming mode” yet, but it could be a risk with great rewards. It will have the power of the Olympics to really pump their new programming. If you are going to take that type of risk, why not use the viewing power of the Olympics to promote it? It could work.
I’ve vented about programming before where I hate when shows are off the air for extended periods of time only to come back for one episode, then off for 2 weeks, then on for 2 weeks, then off for 3 weeks, then on for 2, then off for 2…it’s incredibly annoying! So if NBC decides to give shorter schedules to show more original programming, I say kudos! They would basically be managing their network scheduling as cable networks do with their original programming lasting 10-12 episodes a season.
What do you think of the early news from NBC? Do you like where they are heading next season? It’s certainly too early to tell but I think at this point, NBC has to try something, so why not?