Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NBC: No Breakout Comedies

NBC, having finished first - first! - among viewers in the 18-49 demographic (a demographic I'm about to leave soon) and second among overall viewers, is out of the ratings basement, and so it doesn't seem to want to take chances going into the 2015-16 season. Only six new shows debut this fall, and only one them is a comedy. Monday night has a two-hour edition of the voice, followed by a one-hour version on Tuesday night; the 9 PM Eastern slot Tuesday has been given over to "Heartbreaker," a medical drama about a female heart surgeon who's tops in her field.  Monday night at 10 PM Eastern is another new drama called "Blindspot," a crime drama about a woman who doesn't remember anything but whose body is covered in tattoos, each of them a clue to a crime that hasn't been solved yet.
Ooh - kay . . ..
Thursdays feature a return of "The Blacklist," sandwiched between a thirteen-episode miniseries sequel to the old drama "Heroes," called - what else? - "Heroes Reborn," and "The Player," a Las Vegas drama starring, as a top casino security officer . . . Wesley Snipes.
I'm so excited.
As a mid-season replacement, "Coach" - the old Craig T. Nelson sitcom - might be remade and with Craig T. Nelson himself reprising his role as Hayden Fox.  Far more likely to succeed is "Superstore," a sitcom starring America Ferrera and set in a Wall-To-Wall-Mart-type store (also for mid-season), while "People Are Talking," NBC's sole new fall sitcom, is described as "an unabashed comedy about two diverse couples who are neighbors and best friends who "analyze and obsess about everything."
That's sort of what I do here on my own.
As noted, "About a Boy," one of the few shows I watch on TV anymore, is no more.  Maybe TV viewers had their fill of Minnie Driver from her guest appearances on "Will & Grace" (a little Minnie goes a long way?), but I certainly enjoyed that show.  Funny thing is, very few people expected it to be renewed for a second season in May 2014, due to its poor ratings, and fewer people still expected it to be renewed this time for a third season.  I'm beginning to think I was the only person watching.
As noted before, Jason Katims was the producer of two NBC shows when this calendar year began. Now he's longer the producer of anything on any broadcast outlet. But he is going to be producing a new show that's going directly to . . . Hulu. Hulu. Sadder than sad. (Sad for Katims, or for the future of broadcast television?)
With NBC investing very little in sitcoms, and with the few comedies on tap having no appeal to me, I think I'll stop watching NBC altogether.  It seems like many more people may do so.
Unless they like variety shows and musicals.  Neil Patrick Harris hosts a variety show on Tuesday nights, at least through to November.  Dolly Parton is producing Coat of Many Colors, a TV movie about her childhood partly based on the song of the same name, while NBC's first-Thursday-of December live musical play this season will be The Wiz, the black version of The Wizard of Oz.  Just as long as they don't get a singer who can't act to play Dorothy, it should be fine. Am I calling attention to Diana Ross in the ill-fated 1978 movie version?  Actually, I was thinking more of Carrie Underwood in the NBC live production of The Sound of Music from December 2013.  I never saw it, but friends of mine who did all said the same thing - as an actress, Carrie Underwood is a hell of a singer. 
Right, here's the NBC 2015-16 lineup (all times are Eastern, new shows in boldface):  
Fall 2015


8:00 PM - "The Voice"
10:00 PM - "Blindspot"


8:00 PM - "The Voice"
9:00 PM -  "Heartbreaker"
10:00 PM - "Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris" / Chicago Fire (November)


8:00 PM - "The Mysteries of Laura"
9:00 PM - "Law & Order: SVU"
10:00 PM - "Chicago P.D."


8:00 PM - "Heroes Reborn"
9:00 PM - "The Blacklist"
10:00 PM - "The Player"


8:00 PM - "Undateable"
8:30 PM  -"People Are Talking"
9:00 PM - "Grimm"
10:00 PM - "Dateline"


8:00 PM - "Dateline Mystery"
10:00 PM - "SNL Classics"


7:00 PM - "Football Night in America"
8:20 PM - "Sunday Night Football"

Unscheduled, Mid-Season 2016:

DRAMA: "Chicago Med," "Game of Silence," "The Night Shift" and "Shades of Blue"

COMEDY: "Hot and Bothered," "Coach," "Crowded," "Superstore" and "You, Me and the End of the World"
REALITY: "American Ninja Warrior," "America's Got Talent," "Celebrity Apprentice," "The Biggest Loser," "Food Fighters," "Last Comic Standing," "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" and "Hollywood Game Night"
MINISERIES: "The Reaper"

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