Officially closing the door on the disastrous 2009/10 season courtesy of the failed experiment that was Jay Leno at 10PM, NBC announced a Fall schedule yesterday that is overflowing with — for lack of a better word — awesomeness.
Unfortunately, never a network to get things exactly right (cough*PARENTHOOD*cough*lead in*cough*still*BIGGESTLOSER*cough*really?) we do feel the inexplicable need to point out one teensy little problem that NBC will now face as we inch closer and closer to Fall. That problem: There may be such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Now don’t get us wrong — with the notable exception of ‘TIL DEATH — we’re 100% behind the return to prominence of scripted programming to prime-time. Seriously. We cannot stress enough the fact that anything, and we mean anything that keeps THE MARRIAGE REF and other cheap alter (Read: Cheap alternative programming) off our television until midseason, we’re all for! That said, we can’t help but feel that launching eight new shows this Fall (13 if you factor in midseason premieres) does little more than set NBC up for failure.
Suffice to say, the once-proud Peacock has an enormous fourth place hole to climb out of. And while populating their prime-time lineup with shows such as UNDERCOVERS, THE CHASE and LOVE BITES is certainly a great first step, it’s also the easy one. The real challenge will be watching how the network — which just spent the better part of two seasons convincing viewers that scripted fare at both 8 and 10PM was no longer a viable option — will attract viewers to all 8 of their new shows come Fall.
NBC West Coast Chairman Jeff Gaspin argued on a conference call yesterday with reporters that NFL Sunday Night Football, with it’s 20 million viewers per week, is an unparalleled promotional platform in which to help the network cut through the clutter. We argue that the creators of the now defunct TRAUMA and HEROES might disagree.