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THE PROGRAMMING INSIDER
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
 

NBC Unveils 2009-10 Blueprints:

Six New Scripted Series; Ten New Series in Total

 
Ratings Box:
What’s Hot/What’s Not
 

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Note: The overnight (metered market) rating results for Monday, May 4 were not available at press time. Fast affiliate rating results for Sunday, May 3 are also still delayed, but the Saturday numbers are now available at PIFeedback.com.

 
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NBC Unveils 2009-10 Blueprints:

Six New Scripted Series; Ten New Series in Total

 

Two weeks prior to upfront week, NBC has announced its programming initiatives for the 2009-10 season at its “infront” presentation in New York. But specific time periods have not been officially confirmed, and the future of on-the-fence series Chuck, Law & Order, Medium and My Name is Earl remain uncertain.

 

With five nights (and five hours) of talker The Jay Leno Show filling the weeknight 10 p.m. hour, plus the return of football on Sunday (and a lack of original options other than Dateline on low-HUT level Saturday), the main concern is the Monday to Friday 8-10 p.m. block. With that in mind, the network will roll out six scripted series throughout the season: dramas Parenthood, Trauma, Mercy and Day One; and comedies 100 Questions and Community. Day One will launch out of the 2010 Winter Olympics, while start dates for the remaining entries are pending. The Leno talker, meanwhile, is expected to remain in production for 46 weeks. NBC will also air six new episodes of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday. And there are three non-scripted series on the agenda: The Marriage Ref (from former golden boy Jerry Seinfeld), Breakthrough With Tony Robbins and Who Do You Think You Are?

 

Despite the Jay Leno project inheriting an unprecedented 23 percent of the prime-time real estate, NBC has announced several series renewals including Heroes, The Biggest Loser, Law & Order: SVU, The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Celebrity Apprentice, and the recently introduced Southland and Parks and Recreation. Heroes is expected to remain in the Monday 9 p.m. hour, while The Biggest Loser will continue to anchor Tuesday (although it may be trimmed down from two hours). Law & Order: SVU will air on Wednesday (likely at 9 p.m.), but the future of series stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay is up in the air. Thursday 8-10 p.m. will feature the ongoing two-hour sitcom block, while Friday will consist of two scripted dramas leading into Leno. The official NBC schedule will be announced on May 19.

 

While the network, of course, cannot be critiqued until the specific time periods are revealed, common consensus among the press at the New York presentation was positive, particularly for the new crop of scripted series.  

 

Here are the new program descriptions:

 
Drama
 
MERCY

The daily events inside a hospital are seen through the eyes of three nurses. Taylor Schilling (Dark Matter), Jamie Lee Kirchner (Rescue Me) and Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) star. 

 
PARENTHOOD

Based on the 1989 Ron Howard theatrical, four grown siblings share the “headaches, heartaches and joy” of being parents. Peter Krause, Maria Tierney and former Coach star Craig T. Nelson lead the ensemble cast. (Footnote: Parenthood, a failed half-hour comedic version of the movie aired briefly on NBC in the fall of 1990). 

 
TRAUMA

First responder paramedics are the focus of this medical drama set in San Francisco. Derek Luke (Notorious), Cliff Curtis (10,000 B.C.), Anastasia Griffith (Damages) and Jamey Sheridan (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) star.

 

DAY ONE

A diversified group of survivors strive to rebuild society after a global catastrophe has devastated the world. The cast includes Adam Campbell (Date Movie), Catherine Dent (The Shield), Julie Gonzalo (Eli Stone), Carly Pope (24) and Addison Timlin (Cashmere Mafia).