UpFront 2009 Predictions: NBC Edition

It’s May, which in case you didn’t know in TV land is kind of a big deal. Not only does it signify the end of the official television season, with the big five networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the CW) beginning to roll out their big finales (check back Monday for our May 2009 downloadable calendar.) It also just so happens to be the start of something new. With Monday marking the first of the 2009 UpFronts as NBC unveils their fall schedule to advertisers at their annual UpFront Presentation (or as the Peacock network likes to call it, their InFront Presentation. Yeah, they’re just wacky that way!)

But before they do, theTVAddict.com editorial team, led by our very own Ken-Tucker-in-training Aleks Chan will be posting our wish list for what we’d like to see announced. And, since we’re used to disappointment (RIP: KINGS), what we’ll probably see happen (Who’s excited for five nights of LENO?)

With veteran drama ER finally signing off (after what we believe to be a record 18 very special farewell episodes), its new crop of shows failing to propel the peacock from the ratings cellar and parent company NBC Universal reporting a 45% first quarter loss, NBC has seen better days. 

Which is why we’d like to see: 
A third season renewal for CHUCK, after Schwartz, Fedak, Levi and Co. continued to deliver the goods in its second season, garnering fans, critics, and bloggers’ praises alike. HEROES — which has devolved into a pathetic image of its former self — to be put to death. And a little patience for KINGS, which deserved a far better fate than Saturday night purgatory. After-all, if THE OFFICE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and BONES have taught us anything, it’s that a little nurturing can go a long way.

What We’ll Probably See:
An intact Thursday night comedy block, with the notable exception of MY NAME IS EARL (which is rumored to be jumping to FOX, the network which produces it). More [BIGGEST[ LOSER, LAW & ORDER and LENO, who, much to the chagrin of TV Addicts everywhere, will be hijacking the 10PM hour Monday thru Friday.

Unfortunately for fans of the underrated and underapprecaited Damien Lewis vehicle, LIFE is as good as over. And between MEDIUM and CHUCK, expect NBC to pick up the former, on account of its stronger track record. PARKS & RECREATION will most likely get a free pass to play again in the fall, while SOUTHLAND, provided that it keeps its numbers nice and steady, will have a decent shot of landing one of the increasingly limited slots on NBC’s fall schedule. Again, we blame LENO!

Check back next week for our closer looks at CBS, ABC, FOX and the CW

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  • bws

    I suppose Earl would be a better fit for FOX. That’s the first I’ve heard of that rumor.

    NBC overall feels to be in fairly deep trouble. I haven’t seen Kings but it seemed to be a good direction for the network.

  • Josh Emerson

    It’ll be interesting to see the ratings for last night’s Southland. People seem to push it as being a successful launch for NBC, but last week it didn’t do any better in the key demo than Chuck did. Same for Medium. Parks and Recreation actually did worse than Chuck. Yet Chuck seems to be the one that’s the most in trouble.

    One thing that should work in Chuck’s favor is that they can air it at 8 or 9 in the fall. Medium can only be aired at 9, and even then it’s better off as a 10pm show.

  • Ace

    Josh — You bring up a really good point about “10 PM shows”. I actually really liked Medium when it started, but I think it has faltered a lot and I stopped watching a while ago. That said, it really isn’t appropriate 8 or 9 pm material. And really, neither are ANY of the Law & Orders. But especially not pre-10 PM friendly? Southland. Which is why it should get the boot and Chuck should stay :-P.

  • “HEROES — which has devolved into a pathetic image of its former self…”

    Really? Did you watch the second half of this season at all? Yeah, it got bad… real bad. But it also got real good during it’s last volume. Calling for it’s cancellation is a pretty week decision considering Bryan Fuller has helped turn the show back around.

  • Patty

    I used to watch Mediium and I’m not sure why I don’t anymore. Crazy scheduling maybe? Or the writer’s strike? It went away and I never looked for it again.

  • I’d like to see Leno START each evening, rather than finish them. Then you can run shows which would either be considered 8:00 or 9:00 shows in the 8:00 hour, and keep the 10:00 shows at 10.

    Maybe even have Leno’s format be Monologue, Big Star, Actor from one of NBCs shows that night, Musical guest.

  • Medium is okay, but I prefer Chuck over Medium. Also, is NBC ever going to show Kings again? I liked it, but shows like that don’t seem to make it. I like Life, also.

    Just my luck.

  • bws

    Kings is supposed to finish its run in the summer.

    Bottom line: Quality, high cost-to-produce TV is dying. I blame myself for having a DVR.

  • Josh Emerson

    I don’t think it would be such a bad idea for Chuck and Heroes to share a timeslot. Chuck could air in the fall and then Heroes in the Spring. Obviously I’d rather have a full 22 episode season of Chuck, but I don’t see that happening.

  • @matthew a: Sorry, couldn’t get behind Heroes at all this season. The flashback episode a few weeks ago was the final nail in the coffin for me.

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  • Aaron

    here’s a wacky idea… put Leno on from 7-8pm each night. after the evening news, and BEFORE the real shows begin. dont they just play entertainment/celebrity reporting shows at that time anyway? the others channels all have those kinds of shows at the same time. save those 5 hours a week from 10-11pm for the hour long dramas.

  • Stefanie

    I have to agree that Heroes got better the back 7 episodes of the season. I’m still a fan.

  • Heather

    If NBC is stupid enough to dump Chuck, I hope another network snatches them up–hint, hint CW! If they do, goodbye NBC as far as I’m concerned. No, that isn’t a threat like a boycott, just a fact. It isn’t worth it getting into new shows that disappear so quickly. And I HATE un-reality tv shows. I’m just finding myself spending more time surfing the net or reading than watching tv. And if the great giant eventually falls, it only has itself to blame for putting nothing but crap on for people to watch coupled with yanking all the good stuff off due to an outdated Neilsen mindset.

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