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NBC's 2009/2010 Schedule

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 19, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 19, 2009 |

NBC had a lot of bombs last year, canceling “Crusoe,” “Kings” (not a bomb in quality, but definitely a ratings bomb), “Knight Rider,” “Kath & Kim” and “My Own Worst Enemy.” Other shows that got the axe include “ER,” “Life” and “Lipstick Jungle.”

As for the shows that would be on the Peacock schedule, we’ve known the deal, for the most part, for a while now. The big question has been whether “Chuck” would come back (and I guess there are still some folks curious and caring about whether “Law & Order” would come back). Late Sunday night, we learned that “Chuck” would, indeed, be getting a 13-episode Season Three (yeah!) and we now know that the “Law & Order” mothership will indeed be returning for an insane 20th season (this now tying “Gunsmoke” for the longest running drama ever). The other bubble shows, “My Name is Earl” and “Medium,” didn’t fare so well, as they’re dead (I was still watching “Earl,” but I won’t shed any tears, and while I didn’t watch “Medium,” I suspect some of you did so … sorry).

All of which means there’s not much left for today, but to see how the network was going to shoehorn everything in before inundating us with fucking Jay Leno, five nights a week, at 10 p.m. Well, here’s how (with a note that most of February’s schedule will be preempted by the 2010 Winter Olympics and some, if not all, of the midseason shows won’t premiere until March):

Sunday. In the fall, are you ready for some football? And it’s new and improved football, at that, as John Madden has finally retired, and he’s to be replaced by the infinitely superior Chris Collinsworth. In the midseason (i.e., January-ish), it’ll be “Dateline NBC” at 7, “The Marriage Ref” at 8, and a new edition of “The Celebrity Apprentice” from 9 to 11. Oh yeah, two hours of the Donald! As for “The Marriage Ref,” it’s a new reality show executive produced by Jerry Seinfeld, among others. I think we talked about it on the site a while back. It’s this stupid, stupid show where celebrities and comedians will be commenting on and judging couples in the midst of family disputes. It’s not supposed to be a Dr. Phil-type help ya’ show, but a reality-based comedy. Whatever.

Monday. In the fall, it’s “Heroes” at 8, the new “Trauma” at 9, and “The Jay (fucking) Leno” show at 10. In the midseason, “Chuck” takes over the 8 p.m. slot (huzzah!) and the new “Day One” takes over the 9 p.m. slot. “Trauma,” as you’ll recall, is the show from Peter Berg about first responders, and even though it stars Derek Luke and Kevin Ranking, among others, it looks like a heaping pile of cheese (you can see the trailer for this, and the other new NBC show, in my column from earlier this month if you’re a glutton for punishment). “Day One” is that show about what happens after a global catastrophe. Interesting idea, but it looks … awwwweful.

And then there’s “Chuck.” NBC actually released an entirely separate press release today just to talk about the “Chuck” renewal. The release notes that Subway is going to be even more involved as a sponsor, as part of “an innovative advertising partnership” that will be “multi-platform” with “significant integration into the show, as well as traditional advertising tie-ins.” This means, I imagine, we’ll see Chuck and company eating a lot of six-longs (I’d like to see Yvonne Strahovski eating a six-long if you know what I mean!). Actually, I’m willing to bet we’re going to see a Subway storefront pop up as a CIA cover or some such. Whatever. Just gimme my “Chuck.”

Two things worth noting. One, “Chuck” is one of those shows that won’t start running until March, which certainly sucks (good from a creative standpoint for the show, bad for us viewers and really bad for the show’s chances of roping in new folks). NBC claims to have an online plan to keep the show in peoples’ minds, and that the Olympics will serve as a great launching platform. We’ll see. Second, though this isn’t worth getting one’s hopes up about, NBC has left the door open to extend the 13-episode order at some point during the year, with new episodes running next summer.

Tuesday. In the fall, it’s a two-hour edition of “The Biggest Loser” followed, at 10, by “The Jay Leno (the Real Biggest Loser) Show.” In the midseason, NBC is really changing it up, as “The Biggest Loser” drops down to a 90-minute edition, followed by “100 Questions.” Formerly known by the longer title “100 Questions for Charlotte Payne,” this is a gimicky sitcom staring a British actress and the trials and tribulations of her dating life. The gimmick is tied to an online date site’s compatibility questionnaire, and the result is nothing short of comedy! …Actually, I suspect the result will be well short of comedy.

Wednesday. In the fall, it’s “Parenthood” at 8, a new home for “Law & Order: SVU” and 9, and “The Jay (knob gobbler) Leno Show” at 10. Midseason, “Parenthood” will be swapped out for “Mercy.” “Mercy” is the networks other new medical drama, focusing on nurses in a hospital. Doesn’t look terrible, and actually may be more tolerable than “Trauma,” but pales in comparison to the first-blush of “Parenthood.” If “Parenthood” lives up to its early hype, it’ll certainly be NBC’s best new show, and may very well be the best new show of next year (but again, it has a lot of hype to live up to).

Thursday. The Thursday schedule is a little liquid because, for a while in the fall, there will be “SNL Weekend Update Thursday” at 8 p.m. I think this is going to bomb terribly without having a major Presidential election as its focus point. When it bombs and NBC pulls it, or when it’s limited run ends, “Community,” the new comedy with Chevy Chase and Joel McHale, will then take over this slot. At 8:30 it’s “Parks & Recreation” and at 9 it’s “The Office.” And “Community” will initially premiere at 9:30 and then move to 8 when the SNL junk is over, at which time “30 Rock” will take over this slot. So once SNL’s gone, the schedule will be “Community,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “30 Rock.” Pretty solid. And this lineup stays the same in the midseason. And, of course, will be followed at 10, all year (or until it’s pulled) by “The Jay (crotch stain) Leno Show.”

Friday. This schedule stays the same all season. It’s “Law & Order” in a new home at 8 p.m., followed by “Southland” at 9 p.m. (seems like a bad slot to put this show), followed by “The Jay (turd burglaring pantywaist) Leno Show” at 10.

Saturday. “Dateline NBC” at 8 p.m., and reruns the rest of the night (for now, it’ll be “Trauma” at 9, in the fall, and “Southland,” at 9, in the spring, with “Law & Order: SVU” reruns all season at 10). You know, I’m kinda sad there’s no “The Jay (he puts the “cock” in peacock) Leno Show” on Saturday. Feels like a hole has been dug into my heart.

And as mentioned last week, NBC has indeed passed on David E. Kelley’s “Legally Mad,” even though it had to pay a hefty fee to Warner Brothers for passing.

And that’s the Peacock….

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Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.