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2014 Fall Preview: NBC

20 Sep

RETURNING SHOWS

Football Night in America (9/7)
Sunday Night Football (9/7)
The Biggest Loser (9/11)
The Voice (9/22)
The Blacklist (9/22)
Chicago Fire (9/23)
Law & Order: SVU (9/24)
Chicago PD (9/24)
Parenthood (9/25)
Dateline (9/26)
Saturday Night Live (9/27)
About A Boy (10/14)
Grimm (10/24)

NEW SHOWS:
The Mysteries of Laura (9/17)
Bad Judge (10/2)
A to Z (10/2)
Marry Me (10/14)
Constantine (10/24)
State of Affairs (11/17)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Parenthood (Final Season.   I wish I could watch the Bravermans forever but I’d rather them go out on their own terms.)
The Blacklist (Who is Berlin and what is his connection with Red and Keen?  Is Tom really dead…I don’t think so.   What is Red’s commotion to Keen?  I don’t think he’s her dad then who is he to her?)
About A Boy (Favorite new comedy of last season.   Will it be as good in S2?)
Grimm (Nick has lost his Grimm powers.  Now what?)
Marry Me (This preview looked fantastic and it’s Casey Wilson so I’m in.)
A to Z (While I’m liking the cast, how does the show maintain telling the story of these two dating when the premise is that they date for 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days and 1 hour?   The assumption is they get married at that point but maybe it’s something else?)
State of Affairs (I like the premise but can Katherine Heigl pull off being a CIA analyst?)

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
None

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Bad Judge
The Mysteries of Laura
The Voice
The Biggest Loser
Law & Order: SVU

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Parenthood’s Last Season. Parenthood has NEVER gotten the respect it deserves and anyone who reads my blog or listens to my podcast knows, I have been screaming about people shunning Parenthood for years. From the lack of Emmy love to the weak scheduling of the show, Parenthood was the best show nobody gave respect to. Last year, Parenthood did get some love with a 22 episode season.   It wasn’t great in the ratings but the fan base was very loyal.   It reminded me of Chuck in that regard.   Never was a ratings juggernaut but wow did their fans love that show.   Parenthood is one of the best dramas on TV.  And the one thing I will give NBC credit for is that they are very good at giving shows like this their chance to say a good-bye to their fans with a shortened final season.   They did it with Chuck, The Office, Parks and Rec, ER, Friday Night Lights.    Shows that never were huge ratings getters (except for ER but not at the end) but had very loyal fans and NBC made sure these were wrapped up in a way to give their fans a chance to say good-bye.   I’m a big fan of these shortened seasons because there isn’t a lot of room for fluff.  And Jason Katims has done very well with short seasons of Parenthood…making each episode count.   But form what I’m hearing, this will be the biggest tear jerker season of them all (and that’s saying something with this show) due to a death in the family.   Who will it be and how will it end?
The Blacklist Time Shuffle.  Last year I thought The Blacklist would be a hit for NBC.   Please, please, stop throwing money.  Ok that wasn’t a HUGE stretch but since my prognosticating is historically bad, I’m proud I got that one right.  It was my favorite new show of the season.   I was never a James Spader fan and I fell in love with him in this show.   People will argue this role is not a big stretch for the typically smug roles Spader plays.   I don’t care.   He’s perfectly cast here.   Megan Boone was the wild card.   Could she hold her own with a powerhouse like Spader?   At first, not even close.   But she came into her own later in the season.   I still think she’s a bit stiff.  I know part of it is the character but I think part of it was Boone getting more comfortable with the character.   The cast was great, the storyline was riveting, and I’m already anxious for next Monday to get here!   But I’m concerned over the change in air date.    NBC hasn’t had a bona fide drama hit (not including reality shows) since Heroes in 2006.   It’s hard to argue that Friday Night Lights, Medium, and Chuck were hits.  Even though they all lasted multiple seasons and some received rave reviews and had rabid fan bases, they scratched and clawed to get renewed each year.  And yes, Heroes did crash and burn quickly but out of the gate, it was a huge hit and the buzzy show everyone was talking about.   That’s The Blacklist.  Everyone was talking about this show.   Fans couldn’t wait for it to come back.  So what does NBC do to it’s most buzzed about show?   Decides to put it on Hiatus in November for Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs and then return on a different night and time.   Why?   Why not Chicago Fire or Chicago PD?   Why pick your best show?   Just because people are tuning in Mondays at 10pm for The Blacklist, doesn’t mean they’ll tune in for State of Affairs…especially since so many people can’t stand Heigl and she hasn’t gotten the best reviews for this show.  So I’m curious to see how that impacts the show.   Viewers don’t like it when you move their shows around and history shows that it’s usually disastrous when you move new shows around.  If it’s established like Bones or Supernatural, those shows can typically survive it.   But if you’re new or relatively new (see what ABC did to Cougar Town) it can hurt your chances of renewal.  I don’t think that will happen here, but I will be keeping an eye on it.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
There are two pilots I’ve seen and the rest I haven’t.   Of the two I saw, one I think has potential to be good but it’s not there yet.  The other, dreadful.   But let’s start the positive shall we?

I enjoyed A to Z.   The pilot had some promise and I really liked the two leads Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti) who had some nice chemistry.   I think this show has room to grow and the cast gets a better feel for their characters.  It is a bit cliché in the sense that Zelda is the type A with no time for relationships and Andrew is a young man looking for the love of his life and is a total romantic.   In their relationship, he may be looking a little too hard for something that is or isn’t there while she is so closed off, she can’t see what’s right in front of her.   It’s a little reminiscent of “How I Met Your Mother” and not just because the titular Mother was played by the same actress playing Zelda.   But after fans being so disappointed with how HIMYM ended up, will they be willing to try another comedy following the love story of two people?   Marry Me is the one I’m most looking forward to.   It stars Casey Wilson and Ken Marino as Annie and Jake, a couple who have been dating for six years and are trying to figure out if they are ready to take that next step.   When they get back from a trip in which Annie thought Jake would propose (and didn’t) she calls him out and unloads years of frustrations about their relationship and the people in it.   Unfortunately for Annie, Jake was behind her on one knee and all the people Annie just destroyed emotionally were hiding in the background ready to yell surprise as Jake popped the question.   Oops.  It’s a show that seems very tight out of the gate and could be the best new comedy of the season.

As for the absolutely no, that would be The Mysteries of Laura and Bad Judge.   I watched the pilot of TMOL (please feel free to read the full recap on the main page) and it wasn’t pretty.   The show is completely disjointed, the writing isn’t good, and the dramedy has no part of either comedy or drama.    It’s a shame for the cast because Debra Messing, Josh Lucas, and Laz Alonzo are fantastic…just woefully miscast or trying to do the best they can with a bad script.  I don’t buy Messing as a top detective.   I can’t stand Lucas’ character.   The kids are so awful it’s hard to believe any child can be that disgusting.   Plus, I’m really tired of the stereotype show that lays out the premise of “buttoned up in my professional life and a hot mess in my personal life.”  Which is the perfect segway to Bad Judge.   Oh my word.  This show looks so bad I can’t even get through the 10-15 second promos.   Kate Walsh, what were you thinking?   This show isn’t funny, it’s embarrassing.   I’m also thinking this could be one of the first (if not the first) show of the season that is canceled.

In the “I’m not so sure” realm, we have Constantine and State of Affairs.   I have a feeling I’ll be watching Constantine because that is right up my husband’s alley.   A cross between Supernatural and Arrow..there’s no way we’re not watching.   Constantine follows John Constantine (Matt Ryan) who is about to give up the fight of protecting innocent people because his soul is already damned to hell.   But a series of events thrust him back into superhero mode and now Constantine is back protecting the innocent and sending the evil spirits back to where they came.    In November, State of Affairs takes over The Blacklist’s time slot.   SoA stars Katherine Heigl as a top CIA analyst (Charlie Tucker) who has close ties to President Connie Payton (Alfre Woodard.)    Tucker was engaged to her son and her son was killed as a result of a terrorist attack.   Now both women want the men/women responsible for killing him brought to justice and together they are working to make that happen…as well as deal with the every day dealings at the White House.   Normally this is the type of show that is right up my alley.   But I don’t know if I can buy Heigl in this role.   Early reviews are that she isn’t puling it off.   I’m willing to give this show, and Heigl, a chance.    But it does have a short leash.

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One response to “2014 Fall Preview: NBC

  1. sportsattitudes

    September 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I too have no idea what NBC is doing with The Blacklist’s time slot and flow of episodes but the things are always subject to change. One unforeseen cancellation or one night gone awry ratings-wise and they may have to rethink jerking the viewers around. I know the networks more and more are concerning themselves with live viewing plus 7 days out but advertisers still want to see any shows they can have a large part of the audience watching as it airs. As for the show itself, my wife and I watch for the sheer enjoyment of Spader’s over the top, chew up the scenery spectacular acting. The logic of some of the characters and the dialogue…you can drive an 18-wheeler through some of the holes. Yet, it’s great “popcorn” entertainment. Let’s hope it keeps the slot that made it a hit.

     

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