15 May 2006

NBC's announces fall 2006-07 schedule

With the new Sunday night football eating up all of that night on NBC, the Peacock network is rebuilding their schedule in hopes they can get out of fourth place next season.

The Upfronts began this week, with NBC ordering two new comedies and four new dramas. As mentioned, Sunday is Football, while the game show Deal or No Deal returns and will lead off Monday, followed by Heroes, a new sci-fi hybrid drama from Crossing Jordan creator Tim Kring. Former Alias co-star Greg Grunberg is part of a group of people who discover that they have extraordinary powers, ranging from the ability to fly to hearing other people's thoughts. Medium, returning for season three, fills out the night.

Tuesday begins with Friday Night Lights, the small screen spin-off of the movie and book of the same name. Peter Berg, who directed the motion picture version, helmed the pilot and will produce with veteran show runner Jason Katims (Roswell). Former Early Edition hunk, Kyle Chandler stars. Next up will be Kidnaped, a serialized drama about the kidnaping of a wealthy New York family's teenage son that leads to a high-stakes showdown between the criminals, the FBI and a private recovery team hired by the family. Former Angel co creator David Greenwalt will be the show runner and stars Jeremy Sisto, Delroy Lindo, Timothy Hutton, Dana Delany and Mykelti Williamson. Law & Order: SVU returns to finish out the night.

Wednesday brings back The Biggest Loser followed by two new comedies, 20 Good Years and 30 Rock. Years stars veteran comedy actors John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor as two middle-aged men decide to make the most of their upcoming golden years. Meanwhile, NBC will have two shows with similar premises, with 30 Rock coming from SNL head writer Tina Fey, who takes us behind the scenes of a show not unlike Saturday Night Live. The original Law & Order returns for year 17 and fills out the night.

With Will & Grace gone now and NBC already having trouble finding a matching show, will move returning My Name is Earl and The Office to lead off the night. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is the new Aaron Sorkin created drama starring Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley, Timothy Busfield and Evan Handler. This is other show-with-in-a-show NBC is offering about the offstage drama and network politicking involved in a long-running, SNL-like sketch comedy show. ER remains birthed in it’s 10pm timeslot, but the network will air no repeats of the show this season, by putting it on hiatus in January.

Friday begins with a second edition of Deal or No Deal followed by the returning Las Vegas and the relocated Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Black Hole Saturday becomes the one night NBC will air Dateline which will be followed by reruns of of the Law & Order franchise.

Set for midseason will be: Andy Barker, P.I., a comedy series starring Andy Richter as a failing CPA who is mistaken for a retired private detective and then decides to take on cases. The Singles Table is another comedy about a group of strangers at a wedding reception -- who bond over their exile at "the singles table" and become friends. John Cho stars. Midseason dramas include The Black Donnellys (which takes over ER's slot in January) from the Oscar winning writer and director of Crash. The Paul Haggis series is about four brothers become involved in organized crime in New York's Hell's Kitchen. Finally, Jeff Goldblum stars a an eccentric detective Raines, who can communicate with the dead victims in his cases.

Both Crossing Jordan and Scrubs will return as midseason shows, also.

Thrown into the cancel bin is: Book of Daniel, Conviction, E-Ring, Fear Factor, Four Kings, Heist, Inconceivable, Joey, Surface, Teachers, Three Wishes, and of course, The West Wing and Will & Grace.


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