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Saturday, July 2, 2011

FALL TV PREVIEW: NBC

NBC

MONDAYS: The biggest change on Mondays is that, for the first time in five years, CHUCK is no longer occupying the 8 pm hour. Instead, NBC has called up THE SING-OFF to use up the first two hours of the night, followed by the new drama THE PLAYBOY CLUB. In mid-season, THE VOICE will take over the first two hours, which is actually a smart move - assuming THE SING-OFF doesn’t tank or get lost amid the arrival THE X FACTOR. If SING-OFF fails, there won’t be a strong lead-in to THE PLAYBOY CLUB.
What I Will Watch: I wasn’t a fan of THE SING OFF, so I will be passing on it, but THE PLAYBOY CLUB is one of the shows I am most looking forward to in the fall, so you bet I will be there to watch sexy Eddie Cibrian and the bunnies.
HOURS of NBC I will watch: 1.00 (PLAYBOY CLUB)
GRADE: B- (I am excited to see NBC try something new for the night, though 2 hours of reality probably wont do the trick.)

TUESDAYS: Nothing new on this night. THE BIGGEST LOSER from 8 to 10, followed by the third season of PARENTHOOD.
What I Will Watch: I don’t like LOSER, but I do tend to catch up on PARENTOOD over the summer, which I did last summer and I will do again this summer. That said, PARENTHOOD is not on the top of my priority list.
HOURS of NBC I Will watch: 1.00 (PARENTHOOD)
GRADE: C- (Even though this is a proven night for LOSER, I was hoping NBC would have held off on it. I think it’s ratings have slipped, and will only continue to do so in the fall. It’s hard to get excited about this night, at least for me.)

WEDNESDAYS: For the first time in YEARS, NBC is adding another night of comedies outside of Thursdays. Kicking off the night are newcomers UP ALL NIGHT starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett and FREE AGENTS starring Hank Azaria. HARRYS LAW moves from Monday nights to the 9 pm hour, followed by long-running LAW & ORDER SVU.
What I Will Watch: UP ALL NIGHT and FREE AGENTS. Of course, for how long depends on their quality. I am not a huge fan of Arnett or Azaria, so it might be hard on me to stick with them.
HOURS: 1.00 (Up All Night and Free Agents)
GRADE: C+ (Launching two new comedies is a risk in the hour, but what drags the night down are the low-rated Harry’s Law and the long-in-tooth SVU. There isn’t a synergistic flow from hour to hour. It feels like something for everyone…or no one.)

THURSDAYS: It’s comedy as usual for the first two hours, with COMMUNITY kicking things off, PARKS N REC returning to its original timeslot, THE OFFICE back in its usual slot, and multi-camera newcomer WHITNEY taking over the old OUTSOURCED slot. 30 ROCK won’t be back til midseason to accommodate Tina Fey’s pregnancy. Maria Bello’s PRIME SUSPECT scores the plum 10 pm slot.
What I Will Watch: COMMUNITY, PARKS, THE OFFICE, WHITNEY
HOURS: 2.00
GRADE: A- (This is a return to Must See TV, with the first 3 shows all highly acclaimed. Let’s hope WHITNEY is of the same caliber. And PRIME SUSPECT is a return to solid drama in the 10 pm hour)

FRIDAYS: CHUCK moves to Friday, something I thought would happen to the low-rated spy show for the last couple of years. This leads into the new fairy-tale drama GRIMM, followed by DATELINE.
What I Will Watch: CHUCK is one of my top ten favorite shows, so I will be there to support it in it’s final season of 13 episodes. I am also looking forward to seeing what the genre show GRIMM is all about.
HOURS: 2.00
GRADE: A- (NBC hasn’t aggressively aired scripted shows on this night for years, so it’s great to see them do so. Let’s hope the other nets do as well.)

SUNDAYS: FOOTBALL
What I Will Watch: Not NBC
GRADE: A (Even though I don’t like football, it’s still a great platform to keep NBC in the ratings gold area, and to launch the rest of their sked)

MID-SEASON: SMASH, AWAKE, BENT, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER and ARE YOU THERE VODKA ITS ME CHELSEA are the newcomers, with SMASH and VODKA two of the network’s shows I am most looking forward to. With THE VOICE, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE and 30 ROCK all returning mid-season, I am more excited about the winter than I am the fall for NBC.

OVERALL FALL GRADE: B

NBC RANKINGS, based on preview clips
1. SMASH (A+)
2. THE PLAYBOY CLUB (A)
3. ARE YOU THERE VODKA, ITS ME CHELSEA (A-)
4. GRIMM (A-)
5. WHITNEY (B)
6. AWAKE (B)
7. BENT (B-)
8. UP ALL NIGHT (B-)
9. FREE AGENTS (B-)
10. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (C+)
11. PRIME SUSPECT - C
12. THE FIRM (Preview Not Available)

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